Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So I'm Worried (Update)

Update Wednesday: We are waiting on a cardiologist visit, blood test results and an ultrasound next week but I do believe he is feeling some better today - at least that's what he tells me.

Your advice and words mean soooo much to me. Working on a post later today. It snowed in Bloggingham last night. I am snug as a bug and feeling encouraged. I think what many of you have expressed in comments is simply "acceptance" of things I can't change and embracing what is.

I needed to hear that. Thank you for allowing me to "pour me out" on the page again and again.
Love you all.






I took apples.

He wouldn't eat them.
I took grapes. He wouldn't eat them.
Sugar free, caffeine free diet coke. His favorite. Nope.
He got up five times from his favorite chair to find his shoes.
He is so addled and confused he can't remember where he put his shoes.

Sugar lows. More than once a day now. Shaky hands. Insulin. Needles. Prick. Prick. Prick.
I hate it.
I can't stand watching him pretend the needle doesn't hurt in his finger.
I can't stand watching the careful lifting of the shirt as he turns away from me and I know he will plunge the syringe in his belly. He knows I can't watch.
I hate that I can't watch.
I hate that I am chicken.
I hate that I am a weak, horrible nurse.

I hate diabetes.
I hate what it has done to my father.
I hate that I can do nothing about it.
I hate that he is brave and I am not.

I ask a question. He can't answer. He looks confused. He gets up again. He sits. He gets up.
He stammers for the answer. "Its' OK, daddy....never mind, really...it doesn't matter." And then he asks again and again and I see that he is about to cry because he can't remember what he just started to say and he is trying sooo hard not to lose it in front of me and I have to leave the room because I am losing it watching him lose it and we had such a great day just last week when his eyes were bright and his laugh was long and he didn't need the morphine and I watched his stare rest lovingly on the curls of my hair down the front of my shirt and I see....oh I see....that to him I am still twelve years old on my way outside to catch fireflies with my brother and will never be a day older.

"Let me do that, daddy.....I'll get it." Nope.
He is standing in front of the wood stove with a piece of kindling bigger than his bony arm and the wood is too long and I'm holding my breath that he doesn't burn himself so I jump up to help and he gets flustered with his I-can-do-it-myself-watch-me-dammit attitude and it falls and breaks open his paper skin which makes him want to cuss and cry but he is just too tired to do either.


All day Sunday he fought with the diabetes devil and all I want to do is fast forward to spring and see his tomatoes on the vine and his Tarheel hat on his head while he putters around outside and we all pretend that he will be here again for Christmas even when we know that Easter is nowhere near promised and besides nobody really noticed that he fell asleep in the middle of opening gifts this year.....did they?

If he could see me now butchering the page with my don't-take-a-breath-Mimi-or-you'll-fall-apart-run-on-sentence-therapy and foregoing all sense of grammatical sanity he would wonder why my non-Tarheel education went out the window at the site of his pain because this is how my mind is racing at this hour and I feel a merciless migraine looming because my head is full of scenes I can't erase no matter how hard I try or how much I cry because my heart remembers a ball playing daddy with strong arms and piggyback rides body surfing in the ocean feet buried in the hot sand of youth and his shadow standing tanned and strong over long wet brown curls full of sand and plastic shovels as he watched my pale skin burn "Sis, get out of the sun" in that stern voice that knew how to love whether I heard it then or not with never a hint of what was to come and no choice but to run the bases one more time under the firefly lights and popcorn air ......but I can't think of anything else tonight but his frail little body fading away right in front of me one sugar low at a time and why is his skin so yellow today covering ever so thinly one beautiful erratic heart that won't survive another operation beating slower and slower everyday and I know....I know....I know.....





Copyright © 2006-2009 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.

57 comments:

bundleocontradictions said...

Oh, Mimi, I'm so sorry. I wish I could make it all better for both of you. ((hugs))

katherine. said...

I'm with you mimi

caring for one's parent in sickness is a trauma one can not anticipate.

Through Thick and Thin said...

hugs to you mimi

Julie said...

You can do this....and you know how.

*hugs*

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i have no words honey, just a hug...

bee
xoxoxoxoxooxoxxo

Lois Grebowski said...

Hugs Mimi...big squeezy hugs...

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

Mimi I'm so sorry about your Dad... I know how hard this must be for you. My mom had diabetes too and it's painful to watch.
*Thinking of you with heartfelt hugs*

Travis said...

I'm sorry honey. I'm thinking the best thoughts I can and sending them east.

Giggles said...

Dearest Mimi
My heart bleeds in unison as I recall similar days. So, so, sorry you must endure these difficult times. It is those powerful memories of vigor and youth that live on. Other than that, there are no words, except, sadly I have been there. Big virtual hug to you!

This post has touched me to the core!

Love Sherrie

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Sometimes words come to me so easily, and other times I am at a loss.
I can offer no answers or revelations, but can reach out my hand and say I care, I understand, and have felt helplessness.
Sending you a hug too Mimi,
Eric

Cindy said...

{{Mimi}}
I, too, recall days filled with laughter, with hiking down the steepest bank to get to the deepest, shadiest portion of the river where the trout hid in the shadows, of watching his strong hands delicately untangle the line I foolishly caught in the brush, of being so proud to see him smile when I caught the tiniest of fish. Those are the images I try to think of now instead of the ones where I held his shaking hand to guide the spoon of food to his mouth or smoothed that one, stray curl that always came down his forehead as he lay restlessly sleeping through the morphine haze.

The circle of life can certainly suck. Many hugs to you and your dad.

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh No. Honey I am so sorry to read this. My heart, my thoughts and my prayers are going out to you. (((((HUGS)))))

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I had to stop reading more than once as my mind led me to personal scenes. Then I would go back to read and hear your words without my own words interfering.

I had to stop reading more than once as my eyes clouded over with tears. Then I would go back and see your words more clearly.

I identify with your father, as my own health wanes. In a few days I shall be 63; my father died when he was 63.

I identify with you, remembering what diabetes and strokes did to my daddy; seeing him struggle to get around with his amputated leg, hearing him struggle for a word he couldn't recall.

Thank you, Mimi. Thank you.

Sharon Sue said...

Praying you will find the strength one moment at a time. Your love is all he needs. Take care.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

You should be proud of what you are doing. It is not easy. God bless...

Summer said...

I know how hard this must be for you and especially for him. I don't think there are words to comfort right now. Just know that you are both in my prayers.

Hugs to you, Mimi.

Luv, Summer

Margo Moon said...

Here's a thought that helped me, Mimi. Decline is part of the whole cycle. Embracing the entire life means holding on tight to this part too.

And it seems that's exactly what you're doing.

Much love,
Margo

Mark said...

It is so very hard ... You have more courage than you realize ... You are so much more to your Daddy than you will ever know ... Give love and be love, that is the greatest gift you can give him now and it is what will help you both through this time.

Hugs!

seher's shenanigans said...

i dont wanna say anything. sometimes words arent warm enough.
may i make you cosy somehow?

sweetcopswife said...

((((((((((hugs)))))))))))

Mimi Lenox said...

Friends - The blogosphere is a wonderful place. You just proved it again. I do feel your hugs and your love. I will pass that blessing on to my dad. Thank you for the healing I feel through your comments and prayers.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Thinking of you, Mimi. Sending warm wishes to you and your father.

Akelamalu said...

Oh my dear Mimi, come here and let me give you a hug. I know exactly what you're going through because my Daddy is just the same. It's so scary I know. I'm sending Reiki to your Daddy, just as I send it to mine, each and every day. I'm thinking of you. ((hug))

Tammy said...

I'm so sorry. I know how you feel, I took care of both of my parents while they battled cancer. Unfortunately they both lost that battle and although it was very hard I am so glad I was there for them even though it killed me to see them like that.
HUGS!

Bond said...

HUGS Ms. Mimi....

And hugs to dad also

oh and if you send me your snail mail, Bruce will come make you feel more cozy

The Social Frog said...

So sorry to hear all the pain in your words! It breaks my heart to know we all have or will face this at one time in our lives. I send you lots of hugs and prayers :)

The Gal Herself said...

This stirred so much in me! It touched me because it's beautifully written and so heartfelt. What's more, it made me think of:

My mom, who was in the hospital last spring with COPD, emphysema and pneumonia. She's home and she's better, but she's not WELL. She's old and frail and she has more years behind her than in front of her, and it's very hard to accept.

My uncle, who is battling Parkinson's Disease and is dying slowly -- so maddeningly slowly. Just living day to day is exhausting. Every now and again he mentions suicide, a topic I remain non-committal on. I don't know what it's like for him to be so cruelly trapped in that body, and what he chooses to do is between him and God.

My best friend has diabetes and while he's active and careful about his diet now, I worry about his future soooo much.

My best friend would have some advice for you, Mimi. It's what he tells me on the subject of my uncle, and how difficult he often is to care for. You're not a "weak, horrible nurse" at all. You're a daughter. Professional caregivers have an easier time because they're trained, this is their chosen profession, and they treat the patient in front of them, not the man he was. They never saw those strong arms you knew so well, so their hearts won't break remembering. As my best friend says to me, "Don't be so hard on yourself!"

Tarheel Rambler said...

Aging is a cruel reality and all the junk that comes with it is painful to observe. Thanks for sharing your pain with us and putting into words what so many of us feel as we watch our parents become the dependents that we were to them when we were children.

Charles Gramlich said...

the sadness is palpable. I'm very sorry for you both to suffer this. You are being strong, though, whether you think so or not.

Finding Pam said...

Mimi, it will be alright. Love speaks volumns. Soft hugs...

Mimi Lenox said...

We are waiting on a cardiologist visit, blood test results and an ultrasound next week but I do believe he is feeling some better today.

Your advice and words mean soooo much to me. Working on a post later today. It snowed in Bloggingham last night. I am snug as a bug and feeling encouraged. I think what many of you have expressed is simply "acceptance" of things I can't change and embracing what is.

I needed to hear that. Thank you for allowing me to "pour me out" on the page again and again.
Love you all.

Jamie said...

Mimi, There is not a one of us who doesn't wish that we could be there, to help, to talk, to listen, to care. That we do it from a distance and through these strange windows on the lives of others doesn't keep us from caring. I wish you strength at this time. Just know that we are here for you when needed.

Ricardo said...

mimi this is terrible and I hope things get better for him soon. Some of the things like not eating and not wanting help remind me of my own grandfather who pretty much raised me. He did not have diabetes but suffered a bad stroke. I felt helpless and awful when I visited him. I feel your pain on this one and it's just not easy or fair. I'm hoping for the best for you, him and your family.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - I know you are going through something similiar - and worse - in so many ways. Hugs to you as well.

Mimi Lenox said...

Autumn - You are great friend. Thank you. All hugs accepted.

Julie - I do. And thank you for praying.

Debbie - I need that hug. Thank you so much.

Bee and Lois - You are both excellent friends and huggers.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - Yes. The watching and the feeling of helplessness. How did you cope?

Travis - Your thoughts are heard and received all the way from the other side of the country. Thank you.

Sherrie - I'm sorry you went through this too. The memories of better days are so difficult - and wonderful at the same time - to remember.

Mimi Lenox said...

Eric - Hug received. Sending one back. Thank you.

Cindy - You said it brilliantly. The circle of life.....I loved your comment.

Meleah - How are you doing? Any better? Thanks for the hugs dear.

Nick - Diabetes is a beast. I'm sorry you have had to deal with so much. Hugs to you.

Sharon - One MOMENT at a time. Perfect. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bud - You have met my dad and know the story. It is not easy. I appreciate your words of comfort.

Mimi Lenox said...

Summer - Prayer is a wonderful thing. Much appreciated.

Mimi Lenox said...

Margo - Ah. Your wisdom always calms me. "Embracing the entire life means holding on tight to this part too. "

Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - I am trying to keep it simple and focus on his needs. He is a simple man. I need to stop fretting so much....

Seher - How sweet. Thank you.

Sweets - Back to you...

Jean-luc - I feel them...

Akelamalu - Reiki. Love it.
I know you go through this same thing. When I read your posts about your dad, I see it all the same. Bless you.

Tammy - It is so hard to watch him decline. Up and down. Up and down. Now there are more bad days than good, it seems.

Mimi Lenox said...

Tammy - I am sorry about your parents. So sorry.

Bond - I won the CD! YaY! Smooches and hugs to you my friend.

Frog - A part of life. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - Your mom...yes, I can imagine how hard that must be for both of you.

Your uncle....sad. He is lucky to have you in his life. Your non-judgmental caring must mean a lot.

Your best friend....I've read about him before on your blog. I didn't know about the diabetes. It is an insidiously hellish thing. Hopefully, he is young enough to try and get a handle on it. My dad has had by-pass surgery more than once, the heart meds ruined his liver....it all compiles and is a mess. Prayers to him!

Your advice....THANK YOU. I will try to let myself off the hook more.

I appreciate you sharing so much. You are a kind person.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lee - It is scary that he is dependent on me now. Overwhelming. And yet he doesn't want to be. That is the saddest part.

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - I am trying. Thank you. It is a day by day process. I never know how he will be from one moment to the next. I wish his good days were longer than the bad.

Mimi Lenox said...

Pam - He soaks it up. Every minute. Every smile. Every touch. He soaks it up. I hope I give what he needs.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jamie - I do know it and your comment made me cry. These are not just little benign boxes. I so get that. Non-bloggers have no clue how rich the blogosphere can be.

I feel it. Thank you, my friend.

Mimi Lenox said...

Ricardo - I appreciate that. No, it isn't fair that he worked so hard all his life to give us what we needed and now he is suffering this way. Not fair at all.
Thanks for your well wishes.

Mojo said...

We're crying right along with you babe. Some of us have been there already, most of us will be there before it's all said and done. I've done it once already, and will probably do it again -- if I live that long.

To borrow from a quote I heard once...

"There is no easy way to do this. So do it right: weep, laugh, watch, pray, love, live, give thanks and praise; comfort, mend, honor and remember."

And most of all, know that it doesn't make you weak to lean on those who care about you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - The quote is beautiful and moved me to tears. (the good kind) What a relief to know I have others to lean on. Thank you.

katherine. said...

Mimi and Mojo -

I loved that quote too...and set it aside to look it up. It was part of an article written by Thomas Lynch in the November 2000 edition of Esquire Magazine.

How To Throw A Funeral

I saved it.

thanks Mojo.

Desert Songbird said...

The ONLY saving grace of losing my parents so young and so many years ago is that I don't have to watch them suffer through their ailments any longer. And suffer they did. My daddy was a diabetic with heart disease, too, so I can relate. Sadly, I can relate.

Starrlight said...

My thoughts are with you, Mimi. We just went through hospice last year with my grandfather. It's not easy.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - I, too, loved this quote. Thanks for the link.

Mimi Lenox said...

Songbird - I never dreamed I would say this but the heart disease and surgery hasn't caused nearly the trouble diabetes has. And then the blasted meds for the heart ruined his liver - as in cirrhosis. Diabetes is hell.

I'm sorry. Here's a smooch.

Mimi Lenox said...

Starr - I'm sorry. No, it is not easy. Hospice has been taking care of him for nearly 2 years now. He is such a fighter and my mother (with all her quirkiness) is truly worn out.

Thank you for the thoughts.

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