Sunday, August 3, 2008

A breakdown

Thursday night I had a breakdown.  Thursday itself was stressful--running around to work, get Gess after discharge, pick up Beauty, etc.  I was exhausted, but couldn't go to sleep.  As soon as I put my head on the pillow, my mind would start to race. All I could think about was everything that I needed to get done.  I got up and did the things that you are supposed to do to combat that type of insomnia--do a few things, make a list, meditate, take a warm bath...but nothing worked.  Finally around 1 am I tried to go back to bed, but soon after laying down, I started to cry.  And not the little tiny tears---but the big, sobbing ones where your whole body shakes.  All I could think about is how Gessner is sick and how he has only been really "well" for about 2 weeks during the entire year.  It was a completely selfish moment--where I wonder if I can actually handle this day after day after day.  And then my thoughts quickly went to the fact that I need to make more money.  Because if I made more money, then Gessner could quit his job and just focus on his health.  Of course, he says that he has no desire to quit and I actually think that it will be really hard for him when he hits that place.  But on the other hand....if he wasn't working, could his health improve?  I put so much pressure on him to do things--I schedule dates with our friends, or get tickets to the opera, or like right now, I am decorating the house and trying to get it done before his family gets here next weekend.

So...I feel like a complete failure.  I cannot do my job well enough.  I cannot be a good enough wife.  I cannot even keep my house in order or get myself to the gym, or to lose weight.  I cannot do an of the things that I need to do.

These thoughts causes a lot of sobbing, even wailing.  Gess wanted to know what was going on, but I knew that the thoughts there were inside my head would not be good thoughts for him to here.  Finally I blurted out "You're sick!  Your lung functions are 43 percent.  You are sick every day and it isn't going to get any better."  It all just came out.  Those are my fears.  My fears that 43 is now the new baseline and wondering when the slide will start.  I don't know how I will deal with it when it comes.  Will I be capable of giving him what he needs?  Right now I feel woefully inadequately in all aspects of my life and my care of him.  I put too high of expectations on him and push him.  Why can't I push him to do less?  Why? 

And there are days when I can't stop thinking about the "when" and the "after."  It will come.  Come before it should.  My life will end as his does.  But I will be expected to carry on.  But how one does that is so unclear.  My whole life for the past 10 years has been intricately entwined with his.  We are a pair.  That is not to say that we aren't our own people as well....but we are a pair.  When are a couple and we have couple friends.  So when that day comes I will no longer be a couple and the dynamic with them will drastically change.  They will invite me because they don't want me to be alone.  But it won't work.  I will be lopsided, or missing a apart.

These thoughts engulfed me and I couldn't stop crying until I vomited.   Even then, I continued to cry....finally collapsing when I could not feel anymore.


Amy said...

AWWW Lisa I wished I lived closer and could come over and give you a great big ole hug!!!! YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!!!! You are so supportive and loving and cooncerned about Gess. That is not failure, that is love. I would give anything to have someone care about me half as much as you care about Gess!!!!! I know it is hard but try not to worry about all that stuff. When the time comes for him to stop working he will know. It is a hard decision, and one only he can make. But he will know, and if he stops working before he truly wants to then he won't be as happy, or take as great care of himself. Sometimes having that steady routine is what keeps you happy, healthy and going. I don't know him but from what you have said about him, it sounds like that is him. I'm one of those people, I need routine to keep me going, without it I loose myself and forget to do all that crap I need to stay healthy. Just continue to love Gess the way you do, thats all anyone needs...LOVE :)


Eileen said...

:( So sorry Lisa... I don't know if I can say much to help you feel better, but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. My husband has CF too and I have felt so many of the things you've expressed here - from the breakdowns in the middle of the night where I can't stop crying because I'm scared of the future, to feeling like a failure as a wife, to worrying about money issues.

You sound like you are really devoted to your husband and you are definitely not a failure. Like Amy said the most important thing is love, and from reading the things you've written, sounds like you have lots of love in your life that you share with your husband. That means you're doing a great job :)

As for the fears of the future.. well I haven't figured out how to deal with those myself. But I do know that it helps to have someone to talk to, and like you I don't like to bother my husband with it.. and a lot of times my friends don't understand the things I'm dealing with.. so if you need someone to talk to feel free to email me.

Betsy said...

Oh Lisa,
Those times are so tough - I remember too well. It especially happened to me once Rip came home from the hospital. It was like I worked on adrenaline when he was in and then had an adrenaline crash when he came home -- and like only then was it safe enough for me to feel my feelings (my fears).

But actually I am relieved for you that you had a meltdown. I hope that you and Gessner will be open with each other as you both live with this.

I understand why you think that maybe you should protect him from your fears (and maybe he is feeling that he should protect you from his), but only if you share will you retain the real couples' intimacy that you have developed.

If you really start holding it all in then you will become strangers with masks walking around each other. You won't really be a couple anymore.

About what happens after you are widowed. It is different for each person. It's only normal for you to think about this, but try not to dwell. You cannot know what it will be like for you until you get to that place. Try to have confidence that you will be OK. (I have confidence in you, if that helps at all.) Maybe try to stay connected to a girl friend or two as you continue on this journey with Gessner.

Keeping you in my heart,

Jenn R said...

(((Lisa))), I cried when I read this entry. You are so wonderful and supportive of Gess, that much is clear. I know it is hard to watch someone you love fight so hard...keep sharing your feelings with Gess. Please know that you aren't a failure in any way, sending hugs...Jenn