Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I hate my imagination sometimes

On Sunday morning my boss' wife had a major stroke. She woke up in the morning and tried to say that something was wrong but only a slurred moan came out of her mouth. My boss asked her to squeeze his hands. Her right hand was strong. Her left hand was not moving at all.

He called 911 and it all began.

Life changed forever for them. She is 53 (I believe) and before this, in good health. Both of them are active in their church, community, and their careers. Both are very good people who love each other very much. Both will never be the same.

When I heard this story, with my jaw hanging open in disbelief, the picture in my head was of my wife making a phone call to her work. Explaining how she was not going to be in for who knows how long. Telling her co-workers that she will keep in touch and let them know what is going on later that day. Asking everyone for their prayers and thoughts. I kept seeing myself in that hospital bed with my poor wife going through all of the crap.

I could not stop crying pretty much all day. Every time I heard the story told to a co-worker who had not heard, I would see my wife again calling all of our loved ones informing them of the incident.

I felt guilty. Who am I to think of myself when they obviously need all of my thoughts and prayers right now? I could not help it. Sometimes things that hit close to home take over your mind.

I remember back about 5 years ago when my doctor at the time told me that if I didn't quit smoking within a year that I should expect to have a stroke. I just quit this year so what damage has already been done? Who knows?

The fact is that regardless of how great I take care of myself, the odds are against me. Diabetes is most likely going to kill me and probably not in one swift blow. The thought of deteriorating scares me so much.

I am not afraid of death but I am terrified of dying.

I already feel bad about what my wife will go through someday. I want to apologize now for it while I still can. Not that I expect it to happen tomorrow or even next year. But just like what happened to my boss and his wife, you never know when something like this will happen.

Let's all live each day to the fullest because you just never know.


Chrissie in Belgium said...

George, I am going to show your post to my husband this evening and tell him it expresses exactly how I feel. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.

MileMasterSarah said...

Wow. I fear for my children a lot, if I were to get sick or have problems. I worry if Bob gets sick, how I will deal with that. Good post, George.

Scott said...

Yeah, it's a scary thing to think about.

We can express how we feel now to our loved ones, and that is important.

We can make whatever plans may be necessary, at least to the best of our ability being that the circumstances are unknown.

We can not spend every bit of our waking life worried about the end.

While I know that it will not be a pleasant process for me to go through, I do know that my loved ones will be with me, and many friends and others I have touched will be with me in spirit too. And I know that I will not go down easy, and I will not go without a fight.

And I know that when I go, or when something happens, it will be because it is - not because of something I did or did not do.

All we can do George is to live life to its fullest in the here and now.

Attack life with the joy, humor, love and companionship that you have, and don't worry about the rest.

Remember our plan to spend our last days in the same nursing home?

Man, that's going to be a hoot. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to it. So what if it's another 50 years down the road?

We'll have to beat those nurses off us with our canes...

Sit back and read some "Far Side". It will make you feel better, I promise!

Minnesota Nice said...

SG - mystery solved! I switched to beta (really quite painless) and now am able to comment!

For me thus far, the emotional aspects of diabetes have been far more difficult than anything physical. ("Mind f--king" in the truest sense of the word)

I don't have any solutions. But tomorrow might be better.
Have a great weekend, SG!

AmyT said...

Wow, George, you just took my greatest fears and put them out there so plainly... I'm shocked and grateful all at once. I not only want to live, I want to be able to partake of life!

lpret said...

You just expressed something that I couldn't explain to my wife. A futility that I feel. That, like you said, my diabetes will kill me some day. I kinda thought those thoughts were my own and that all the other diabetics didn't think that way.

Glad to hear it's not just me. Oh, and the whole weight loss thing -- I'm there with ya man.

Bernard Farrell said...


Thanks for such a thoughtful piece. I think I know a little how you must have felt on hearing that news. I hope that your pain eases before too long.

I agree with Scott about the humor and attacking life.

Hey, maybe the three of us will end up in the same place. Now that would keep them busy!

Vivian said...

George - We can not control the end but we can tell the ones we love how we feel now. Big hugs for what you are dealing with. I found a book that you might like and you might have time to use it before Christmas. It is called "Letters from Dad" by Greg Vaughn

Penny said...

"Diabetes is most likely going to kill me and probably not in one swift blow."

Woah, that was hard to read. Is Riley going to feel that way one day? I hope not.

George, you are being very proactive right now and that makes more of a difference than you know. Yes, some damage may have already been done, but think of what a difference you have made by taking control now instead of later.

I'm sorry this hit you so hard.