Dear Family & Friends,
There was so much more I wanted to say last week, but the words just weren’t flowing. I wanted to say that trusting in God, your spouse and your decisions makes life smooth. I have total trust in Curt; he has never done anything to cause me to question him otherwise. Mutual trust means we have no jealousy issues. He has never lied to me about anything, he makes trusting easy.
The hard part is trusting a situation that is out of your control. I have no control over Curt’s disease. I have no idea why this is happening to our family. I have no idea how we will get through each day, let alone how we will get through life without Curt. I tell myself over and over, “You can’t worry about what you can’t control” and “Everything works together for those who love God” and so on. Sometimes these affirmations are not enough.
Weeks had passed as my heart raced inside my chest, stronger and faster with each day. My heart was racing day and night. Beating so fast I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t control my moods. One minute happy the next raging out of control. My gums were full of blisters, painful and raw. Four nights in a row I slept less than 3 hours per night. I was a mess; physically and emotionally. But no one knew any of that, not even Curt or the kids (apart from the mood swings). I carried on as normal; work, home, Blog, friends, I just didn’t talk about it.
On Monday morning, April 2, 2012, I called the doctor’s office with my symptoms and I was told to go straight to the emergency room. I waited for Barbara to arrive to take care of Curt and left “for work” as usual. Headed to the hospital down the 605 freeway my chest began hurting and tightening, then came the shortness of breath. I thought I was going to die right there on the 605. I had to hold on, I thought, I can’t die where the kids have to pass everyday. I wondered if I should have told Curt my symptoms. I called a friend and gave a quick update, just in case something should happen to me.
At the hospital I was admitted quickly, given some medication to calm my anxiety, a chest x-ray, EKG, blood work and an emergency psych evaluation. I was overwhelmed from days of no rest and constant anxiety. The doctors (medical and psych) were instantly engaged and concerned hearing about the impending loss of my 46 year old husband. They were surprised that I had lasted this long without an anxiety attack and called me a hero. They said my love for my husband and family was apparent. They promised to not only get me through the day but through this ordeal assuring me the road ahead will get harder as Curt continues to decline. Everything checked out fine and after a heavy dose of Ativan (for anxiety) and a prescription for antidepressants, I called my friend Carolyn to pick me up. She took me to her house to sleep for a few hours, then back to my car at the hospital and I was home by 5:00 just like a normal work day. I later confessed it all to Curt who made me promise to tell him how I am feeling no matter the circumstances.
So back to last week’s post and how I said that people compliment me all the time on how well I am handling our situation. I want people to know that it isn’t easy. Curt and I have chosen to concentrate on the bright side, the sunny days, our wonderful children and time with friends. We somehow trust that this is all going to work out. We talk about emotions and what’s to come, but it’s not easy. Most of our feelings are held in, pushed down and ignored, until they come out through anxiety, gum blisters and sleeplessness. It has been eight weeks since that emergency room visit. My symptoms are getting better each day although my heart continues to race. The war inside me will continue on as my emotions, mind, heart and spirit battle. I will continue to recite my affirmations. I will continue to concentrate on making each day the best it can be for Curt and our children. I will trust that God will somehow work this out.
This post is dedicated to all the ALS spouses whom I have been privileged to meet through this blog and the ones who follow silently. I hope it helps to know you are not alone and that this journey is not easy. And I am not as strong as I may seem.
Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin
|Memorial Day Weekend|
|Dad & Mom & Clarissa & Cayden & friends at Lake Nacimiento|
|Danielle, Courtney, Emily, Corey, Clarissa and Paige|
|Shane, Zach, Cayden, Jacob, Alan & Corey|
|Corbin had a busy weekend at home with friends!|
Landon, Jay, Trevor & Corbin
|Hanging out on Sunday with the guys!|
|What a great day!|
|and the girls!|
|and the kids!|
|These guys are so gentle!|
|Curt loved it!|
|We all loved it!|