Merry Christmas and PizzaPosted: December 21, 2013
The space between posts has been fairly substantial. Why? Two reasons:
First, it is difficult to “go back” and, if you will, relive the past in this context. My MO in the past has been to dwell on the negative and live in the world of “what if.” As I write this I will tell you that this tendency and horrific habit has been changing big time.
I am learning how to recall and “go back” without allowing it to bring me down. While not everyone in a similar situation as my own is like me, there are others out there – guaranteed. So to all of you I will say, if I can do it, I believe you can also. So hang in there!
Second, I had my last appointment this year with my PCP person. I have also been falling asleep early so my sleeping pattern is disrupted. I also let him know that I seem to have a lot of energy for three, sometimes four days after I took my 1 1/2 pills (once a week, along with one pill six times a week) for sluggish thyroid function. He looked at the blood tests and said, “Well no wonder. Your TSH score is in the basement.” At which he upped the synthroid to 150 mcg from 112 mcg, So part of my lack of oomph was physical.
Now before posting what is prepared from my husband person (caregiver aka Mr T – teacher):
Our hope for each of you and yours is a most Blessed Christmas and healthy New Year.
As we Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ may we all allow our generosity of spirit and deed to continue to flow freely.
I asked Mr T to put together a few thoughts from the caregiver perspective. So without further word from me, heeeeeere’s Mr T:
Me a caregiver. Never been placed into that role before. Sure, I was a dad and took care of the kids. Held them when they were sick or just needed held. But, giving care to a loved one gravely ill, well I never faced this before. I knew how to be taken care of, having had a few ‘incidents’ in my life. But caregiver? Was I prepared for this?
In my life I have learned a few things and tend to be contrary to the core. So when life deals me lemons, I get PIZZA. Anyone can make lemonade, but turning the world on its heels takes ingenuity and at times bigger cajoles than you knew you had.
I was taught as a puppy cop a few maxims. One was to learn my limitations and then realize I had none. Facing the unknown, thinking fast and, doing something (even if it was wrong) was a way of life. And now it was really being put to the test!
When Mrs. AL decided to fight this menace I was all in. One issue facing her was never having learned to scrap. I mean down and dirty street fight and, in a place where you cannot lose, ever. She had never faced her own mortality before and now realized it was going to happen. After all, none of us gets out of here alive. Facing death, especially your own is not a comfortable place to be. My job: teach her to fight, win at all cost and, give no quarter.
This was not the easiest job. She only saw me being strong. She did not see the tears driving to work. She wasn’t aware of the sleepless nights checking to see if she was breathing. True to her name, Mrs. AL learned fast (she had no choice), was always receptive and, took charge.
I was cautioned before the chemo started to make sure she stays active and not to lose weight. I am a master at not losing weight so that part I had locked down.
Then came one of the tests for the caregiver!
Prior to the third treatment, blood was drawn locally three days prior to treatment (it was usually done the day of the treatment). That same day, Mrs. AL was on the phone with the chemo palace and was told she might not be able to get her chemo because her white cell count was in the dumper. I could see the disappointment and despair starting. This was not going to end well.
Think, THINK, T H I N K, do something anything to change the situation. A quick check online showed me that eggs raise white cell counts. I like eggs, especially with bacon and lightly buttered toast. EGGS I call out, and she comes running. “What?” she asks. EGGS I tell her, eggs raise white cell counts (ok, so I left the part off that it takes a long time and ain’t really all that great anyway). “What are you waiting for,” she says, “GO GET EGGS!” Off I go, and boy did we eat eggs. For two and a half days, eggs with bacon and toast, too!
We go to the chemo palace and the doctor tells her white cell count is good to go and she can get the treatment. Mrs. AL leans over and hits me on the arm and says to the doctor, “he said it would work.” “What?” the doctor asked. She proceeded to tell him all about the eggs and how I said it would raise the white cells.
Doc just looks at me with a glare. All I said to him was, “hey, it worked.” The mental part was far more important that weekend than the tests or treatment. (What if it hadn’t worked? I have no idea how I would have gotten out of that one!)
Whether intentional or not we are all taught as kids to quit when the going gets tough or we don’t feel comfortable and to hang onto a mom or dad. And moms and dads don’t want to see their wee ones hurt so they reinforce the idea of looking elsewhere for help.
If we are fortunate we have experiences with people who hold us to account for our actions. If we are really blessed we learn to make PIZZA out of lemons and do something, anything even it’s wrong.
As for me, I have added eggs, bacon and, toast to that PIZZA recipe. And, I will always remember that day and how I was taught as a young cop to recognize I had no limitations, that the only thing standing in my way of anything is me. A lesson, I am proud to say, Mrs. AL learned as well.