Sunday, December 19, 2010


Hanging. That's how it feels. I push myself to work towards changes. I completed my vitae and have applied to teach online for Briarcliffe. That idea offers me some real potential for more time with Bill. I also began my application for Wichita Public Schools. Hanging. I feel a peace, guarded peace but peace. Throw it to the Universe in the words of my friend, Dave Barnes. Here's a toss. Again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Day of the MRI

We did it. Bill made it through the MRI today. Tough tough for someone who is very clausterphobic, has a big history of being suspicious, and has dememntia on top of that. The first time we tried (over a year ago) he ran out of the hospital. There I am following him in a dead run (I am 50 and not in shape by any means at all; not a pretty sight) going, "hey, hey, Bill, stop, wait honey..." He met me at the car. That was the last time he agreed to be tested, until now.

On the way to the doctors, Bill was talking and grieving about not reaching all his goals and dreams, and was laughing and reliving some old times. He looks at me summarizing his philosophy by announcing that we are loving life and living it. And that's that no matter how the tests come out. We know it's not a tumor, we know we have some time, so Bill wants his Goldwing fixed. Wow. I feel like I have permission to relax emotionally a little while.

Now, the actual process was a hoot. I had explained to Bill's neurologist, Dr. Roth, about the last excursion of the MRI attempt and Bill's sudden ability to leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Dr. Roth generously perscribes three doses of 10 mil valium each. He tells me to give the first on 3 hours before the appt., the next one in an hour or so. If he's still showing signs of anxiety an hour before the appt, give him the thrid dose and they will give him a place to sleep it off. So I give the first dose. His response: I'm driving. Sorry, over my dead body, babe. Someone has to raise Jack and pee the dog. I win. For one hour he of course becomes an expert in back driving. I look at my watch. Time for pill 2. Hallelujah, thank you Lord. About twenty minutes later the talking does slow down. We now limit the conversation only to back driving. We get closer, the addrenalin rises, so down goes the third dose. He not only walks into the appointment,He walks into the MRI room, and totally cooperates. As soon as the test was over, he was definitely stoned out of his gord, but he is in a jolly and ornery, mood. He gave every person in the office a tough time and words of wisdom, did the test. Bill pops out of the tube chatting away. The doctor is stunned Bill is still talking and walking and asks Bill, "Have you ever taken that much valium before, Bill?" Bill response is, "Well, not legally, doc."Doctor's cracking up, nurses are roaring with laughter, the blood tech comes out for him and say, "Come on, sassy frass, I'm done dulling the needle." We go have lunch,he starts flirting with the waitress until I smacked him in the head and reminded him he is an old man and married," he spends an hour recruiting our waitress to go back to College, learn a second language (Spanish), and she's fired up and ready to return when we're done laughing and eating.

So, I set a few goals, wrote down a to list, and am making a promise to add Walnuts, popcorn, and yogurt (like one a day) to help control my blood sugar levels. The promise includes being consistant in my daily exercise regime, thirty minutes a day.I know we face some very difficult periods, but right now, at this very moment, I feel hope today. It feels good.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

This was a big day

To start off with, today was a big day for Jack. He passed the first level of Driver's Ed and he can drive with an adult anywhere in the state of Michigan. We are celebrating.

I haven't written lately. It's been going. I keep thinking the medication will perform some sort of miracle, but I am still seeing Bill slipping. Our wonderful big screen tv died yesterday, so we hooked up the tv we use for Bill's computer monitor (it's big, too). It looks a little different on the HD set, so it's confusing Bill. He can't figure out how to use the remote control, even though we are using the same one we've used for years. Spike's the cat. He's our fourteen year old poodle. It's hard. Jack and Bill are really batting heads. Jack corrects Bill and gets pretty impatient sometimes, and it upsets Bill because Bill is the adult. It's tough. Jack and I have a good relationship and we talk pretty openly. He has an incredible relationship with my mom, too, and she tries to be there for him, too. We're going to make it, but it sure is nice to know we have people out there to give us a hug when we need it.

Yesterday Jack and I attended the Special Olympics Unified Bowling Tournament. Jack and Rusty won first place and James and I placed 4th in our division. We had so much fun with our friends.

Ok, I am a little behind, technologically speaking. Jack has introduced me to Skype, and I love it. I got to talk to Gloria on it this week. It was so cool.

Congratulations once again, Jack, are passing and getting your permit. I am so proud of you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My perfect life

Ok, enough time being overwhelmed. It is time to live. Jack and I had a talk this morning on the way to school. We decided we need to focus on now, and try to take everything one day at a time. We are going to live our lives and laugh and cry and be one like we have always been. We are going to try to not worry and to try to focus on the now. Take these broken wings and learn to fly~

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Looking towards the future

I contacted Habitat for Humanity and inquired on getting help to make the house livable before we move in. Wish us luck.

Last night was tough. Bill was hyper and agitated. Nights are often tough. Pray for Jack. It's so hard for him.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Grief comes in so many forms. It is an important part of our emotional makeup but it is confusing. Shock must be an intial response. Sometimes this still seems unreal. How could it happen to us? He's only 55. I think back and want to find blame. His work, the stressful lifestyle of a workahaulic. The truth be known I think we're closer now than we've been for years. He's playful and funny (thanks to the Paxil, lol) and fiesty. His labedo is certainly not affected (more information than you wanted to know I am sure, lol.) During his hospitalization for testing he wandered off and they lost him for about an hour and a half. He tells me he was having wheelchair races with a 90 year old down the hallway. He probably was. His grueling crisis hits, though, out of the blue. He'll become agitated. He paces worrying about not providing for his family. He has some OCD behavior that may drive me crazy. He has this thing about turnng off the lights. He follows me around the house. I turn on a light, he has it off in seconds. He's starting to forget to eat. He can't remember what day it is, or month, or year. He gets lost. He can know longer remember how to teach online, and when we practice it is like starting all over every day. How do I tell him he can no longer work? No longer teach? He lives to teach. He lives to help guide a student into a career that will meet their needs.

I am a bit paralyzed emotionally but need to begin to take action. I want to move closer to my family. Ironically we ended up getting our house back in Arlington. Now Arlington has not been my home for a very long time, and it will never be the same. My folks are gone, many of the folks I was close to have passed, but I have to start a life closer to my family and supports. The house is pretty much gutted from the renters. All my trim is gone, there are gaping holes where someone has punched their fist through. They sold our fireplace, ripped out the carpeting, knocked out walls, and did a hit and miss paint job on the outside of the house. The pack yard is full of sand, and the deck has been cut out. The peaks on the roof are starting to rot. Dear God help me figure out what is important to do and what can been done over time. Finding a job is primary importance. I just can't seem to make myself start on a resume. Again, the paralysis thing. Very strange experience.

Friday, November 26, 2010


The first round of tests have ruled out a brain tumor and strokes. The doctors have told me it's not stress and it is serious. I knew that. In my heart I knew it. They are calling it cognitive impairment. The neurologist asked me if I can still handle him at home. I feel frustrated because I don't know what it actually is- and because I don't know if it really matters what form of impairment it is. He's been through such a horrible experience here at Lake Superior State University. His first job reviews were superior. Then the power went to Paige G, known to be a man hater and self serving. Bill received support from his coworkers but they were also limited because she has all ready ruined the lives of many. How does someone so evil get the power? I watched my husband go from organized, knowledgable, confident to fearful, stressed, forgetful. We took his poor reviews to the state level and won, but the rewrites were nearly as degrading and by that time he was wearing down. Did this cause the downfall in his health? Absolutely. I believe with all my heart that working in a violent work environment simply speeded up the process of cognitive impairment. When someone takes away hope it is like piercing the soul. Students still call, his co-workers union still call with hopes of "getting her" back and correcting a horrible wrong. Today they sent him a card. He shed a tear. It said they still believe in him. To pursue this legally or not? I think of the years of productivity that he has been robbed of. I am in grief. Jack is heartbroken. He asked me last night if he would be this way some day? I pray but I feel far from God's ear, even though I know He hears. I hear the pounding in my head, the anxiety in my heart and wonder what is the right way to go.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The beginning

When exactly did I notice something was wrong with Bill? And how could it happen to us? Why do I feel so matter of fact? Where do I go from here? Just over a year ago, my sweet husband of 23 years lost his job. The job search started and interviews slowly started coming in. The stress was tremendous for him and probably worked as a mask for awhile, covering his mounting confusion.