Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grief: Being Sick Alone Part 2

Yesterday I packed everything I might want in the hospital.  I finally washed Artie's Yankee jacket.  It didn't smell like him any more - just material that had been slept in and worn and had food spilled on it for a year and half.  Smells good now!  I didn't need to go in to the hospital.  I was sent to get a CT scan.  There was an elderly couple there.  The man was gently helping his wife put her sweater on.  It made me happy to see how loving he was - and sad that I was sitting there without Artie. After the scan the radiologist said it wasn't "acute" but wouldn't give me any more information.  It was good to come home to sleep in my own bed even though I had lugged this heavy bag around all day - just in case. For some strange reason I thought the doctor would call me this morning to tell me what to do next as my level of stress is super high and when they asked me my level of pain I said 8 out of 10.  Ha!

I called the doctor and the office said he was in surgery all day so they didn't know when or if he would call me back today.  I had a brain that was working for a change and I called my regular doctor.  They are going to fax him the results and hopefully he will call me.  Why don't doctor's offices understand that people who live alone need to plan differently than people who don't?  Most of the people I know are going away for the holidays.  I have a NYC friend who is going to help me but it is the holiday season and I want to let her know what's happening and when because she is changing her schedule to be available for me.  My daughter wants to fly in if I need surgery and I want her to know what's happening.  Most of all - I want to know what's happening!!

The thing that has kept me a little sane through all of this grief experience is keeping busy; making sure I have a lot of happy and interesting experiences to balance the sadness.  I'm not feeling well enough right now to keep doing that.  Today I am especially stressed as I don't even want to take a shower in case I miss a phone call that might not even happen. I can deal with knowing what is happening and what I need to do next - but I am having a hard time dealing with uncertainty - especially without Artie holding me and petting me - and also getting on the phone and making someone tell him something (he was good at that!)  I hope I don't need surgery - and I hope they can fix whatever mysterious thing is wrong.  However, I put a copy of my will and medical directive on my desk.  Even with my friends it's so difficult figuring this all out without Artie.  I don't want to interfere with anyone's holiday plans. I don't even want my daughter to have to interrupt her life.  It's that thing about not being first in someone's life any more. 

Whine. Whine. Whine.  If you are still reading this - thank you for listening to my whining.  I had plans for tonight but my regular doctor once called me at 9 pm.  It's so crazy.  It's just a day.  I'm perfectly safe and warm and cosy and there is sunshine and a beautiful dusting of snow.  I miss the days when doctor's knew you and cared about you.  I'm sure some of them still do.  It makes me think about how even in the small town of Carmel Artie's doctor and friend for 8 years misdiagnosed his cancer and spent 6 weeks giving him antibiotics and Gatorade for his "stomach problems" when he had Stage 4 cancer that had spread through his whole body.  When I finally got him to the hospital he only lived for another six weeks.  The blood tests that my regular doctor took don't indicate cancer - that's good.  I might not need surgery - that would be great.  I just hope I can find out something today and don't have to spend tonight wondering. 

Hope you are all HEALTHY!!  I'll let you know what happens.  xo

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