Monday, May 5, 2014
The ache is deep. The loss profound. Crying now amounts to bouts of low growls, a kind of gasping, like my guts might be falling out. Way beyond crying loudly, yet quieter. In fact it's more a quiet deep gasping for air, for faith, for strength. He has been hospitalized for a UTI and a subsequent stay at a rehab nursing home..."to recover his strength" before returning home. While he was in the hospital, I visited group homes as I struggled with the fact that he was becoming very difficult to care for at home. I felt the predictable mix of horror and relief as I considered these kinds of options but was not prepared for the actual horror I felt when I visited the homes. I came away determined to try longer to care for him myself. I just couldn't leave him in one of those places. My new resolve was severely tested in the rehab place where the predominant "therapy" for "returning him to strength" meant using strong psychotic and sedative drugs and injections and strapping him in a wheelchair. He left the center weaker than when he entered and barely awake. It took a day but he not only returned to full pre infection strength but also entered an unbelievable renaissance period of almost coherent language and socially appropriate interactions. We thoroughly enjoyed the respite and his company. I tried desperately not to jump on the roller coaster ride of hope, and sure enough, three days later the shadow of my husband replaced this new version. Now as the house quiets and the last of the caregivers leave, I am alone with him. This should be a relief to reclaim our own space, to be alone with each other. It is terrifying. So far he can't get out of his hospital bed but if he does, I have no idea with whom I will be dealing. My own sweet absent minded professor is long gone. This creature, this specter, with snarling fangs and drooling lips, comes at me with fists curled, spitting venomous gibberish into the air. I am afraid of the dark.