Moment of Truth

We are now less than twelve hours away from Will’s liver biopsy, and do you know what that man is doing? Changing the sheets on our bed and cleaning out the cat litter box as if there were absolutely nothing wrong with him……as if he hadn’t been so weak earlier this morning that the priest brought Communion to him in the pew.

I’m beginning to think he may have gotten a bit deconditioned during his hospital stay, but I also suspect that his blood sugar may have been low again this morning. Since this thing started in the pancreas, it all makes sense now that he’s had trouble keeping his sugars above 75, with the resulting weakness, tremors, and irritability. In the hospital, he’d drop into the upper 20s, which would send most people into a coma….but he remained alert, oriented, and conversant.

So now we know that when he starts feeling weak and woozy, it’s time to get some food into him. Tonight our daughter fixed us a scrumptious dinner of marinated flank steak strips, red potatoes, corn on the cob, and sourdough bread, and I watched him eat not only enthusiastically, but well. Now he’s bopping around downstairs as if everything were totally normal, and an ever-so-slight glimmer of hope has begun to dawn……could it be that he really ISN’T as sick as his doctors and I think he is?

I was watching him this afternoon from across the room, as I’ve been doing a lot lately when I’m reasonably sure he’s not looking, and other than the fact that he is visibly thinner than he’s been in years, he does NOT look like a man with a terminal illness. Maybe I’m just slipping into that denial stage that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross defined decades ago in her book On Death and Dying, but after days of dissolving in tears with any provocation or NO provocation, I’m drinking deeply of this fountain of possibility.

This is such a rollercoaster ride. It’s like bipolar on crack: my moods change multiple times daily and encompass the entire spectrum, from rage to despair to hope and back again. I smile awhile and cry awhile, yell at the dog for barking and caress the grandchildren for existing, eat far too much food for my small appetite and curse myself for it half an hour later.

Oddly enough, however, my illness itself has been blessedly silent during this ordeal, and other than popping the occasional PRN for anxiety and taking my other psych meds twice daily, I haven’t given much thought to it at all. In fact, I don’t think anything I’m feeling is the least bit pathological—what loving wife in this situation WOULDN’T feel like she’s been belted upside the head with a baseball bat?

Then somebody mentioned today how much worse things could be……like if I were still dealing with my sister’s issues instead of my younger son, who has taken over for me and done a far better job than I was doing. Or, like if I were still dealing with my sister’s issues AND the job that nearly destroyed me (and then kicked me to the curb when I couldn’t do the work without accommodations for my disability).

Yes, insanity comes in many forms, but this isn’t one of them. And as much as I hate what’s happening, it could definitely be worse. As in find-me-a-bed-in-the-psych-ward worse. As in where-the-hell-did-Will-put-the-.38 worse.

Thank God I’m not there yet. And God willing—and depending on the results from today’s tests—I may never get there at all.


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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