Thanks everyone for asking how we are. This is an update.

About 10 days ago the doctor took Michael off steroids because he had reported feeling edgy and argumentative. Even though he was on a small amount, he said he now understands “‘roid rage.” He wasn’t outwardly bad but he was jumpy when the kids were around and he would report feeling edgy for no reason. He would occasionally, uncharacteristically, say mean things.

Last Friday we came home from radiation as usual. I fed Michael, as usual, and he fell asleep. Again, as usual. But he stayed asleep until about 7 pm on Saturday night.

I have been married to him for 12 years and he has had a sleep disorder from the Vietnam War. He “dozes” is what he has always said, preferring to sleep on the sofa or in a recliner so he can get up and walk around after a 20 minute nap. I’ve rarely known him to sleep more than 3 or 4 hours at a time and that is only when he’s driven 20 hours or something like that. Sleep is not something he’s ever done. He has always complained about having war nightmares if he sleeps too long or too deep and when he was first in the hospital, he was having nightmares about the war.

So I was stunned when he went to sleep about 2 pm and continued to sleep and continued to sleep and continued to sleep. About 10 pm he went upstairs TO BED and continued to sleep and continued to sleep. I was the one waking every half hour to check on his breathing. Should I call the doctor? Is this normal? What in the world is going on?

It continued all day Saturday and finally he woke up Saturday night, had something to eat, took his meds and stayed awake for about 4 hours. Then he slept again but was up about 8 am on Sunday morning. He had a bowl of cereal and then fell back to sleep.

I went to my oldest son’s house to make a birthday dinner for him and spend some time with the little boys. I had a nice day.

On the way home I felt lonely. Admittedly I knew that Michael couldn’t have taken the ride and probably couldn’t tolerate the kids even without the ‘roids. But it seemed like a long drive on a Sunday night and I realized I missed him greatly. About 10 minutes from the house I broke down and started crying. I thought about the song “Because you loved me…” and it just started going through my head.

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

I had to pull over before I drove up the street. I was just crying and crying.

Then I came in and checked on him. He had called me a few times but never said much. I asked if he was okay because he had called me a few times and he said, “I just miss talking to you.”

And I smiled.

Michael was coherent and chatty on Monday and we had a nice time watching television and eating together and talking. It was “old” Michael…my partner, my love…and I was thrilled that he was “back.” I basked in the time we spent together.

On Tuesday the doctor said we would be done with radiation next Friday and we were happy. I stopped to vote on the way home and thought all was well as I came back to the car but he seemed confused as to where I went. The polling place was 5 minutes to my house so we came home immediately.

Once in the house he started talking about things that didn’t make any sense. I got him comfortable on the couch, cooked him an early dinner and went upstairs to watch election returns. My Michael was, once again, gone.

Today he was very confused. He took a long time getting ready. He circled around the house several times before we got out the door. Once in the hospital, he did his wandering around the radiation suite. He also uncharacteristically called the nurses “girls” to my chagrin. I’ve never known him to call grown women “girls” but he did that today. When I guided him out of the suite, I realized there was no connect and no reason to correct him.

We got home and he went straight to sleep and didn’t want to eat. Even though it was warm out, he wanted to be covered by a blanket. He wouldn’t be here today, but I put the blanket on him and kissed his forehead and softly sang,

I had your love I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

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