wings and things

A brief moment of panic

on September 22, 2015

Yesterday morning I received a phone-call from the nursing home manager to say that Anthony had had a ‘turn’, most probably a TIA (transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke). He has had these before but this time he was unresponsive for ten minutes.

As I rushed into town, I experienced a brief moment of panic even though I knew Ants had recovered from the TIA, because the more of these he has the more likely it is that he will have a serious stroke. On the other hand, he has been having TIAs from well before I knew what they were and twice, when he was still living at home, I had to call the ambulance. And, during his years in the nursing home I suspect he has had more of them than anyone realises because he sleeps a lot anyway.

Four years ago, at the huge 75th Ming and I held for him here, I remember being fairly certain it would be Anthony’s last birthday. His prostate cancer was well advanced and so was the parkinson’s. Daily tasks had become extremely difficult for him and I was exhausted. Perhaps it was this exhaustion that made me more accepting of the fact that he might die soon.

But now that all his care needs are fulfilled by the nursing home and I have the leisure to simply enjoy Anthony’s company, the thought that he might die soon is unbearable. Having outlived his prognoses by several years already, I have become used to the idea that he will continue to live for a long time.

So the thought that he might either die or become even more incapacitated by a stroke is horrifying. I can’t imagine my life without him but maybe I should prepare myself a bit. Who knows?

Anthony’s fortitude amazes me; he is so resilient! When I said to him yesterday, “You had one of those mini-strokes again, Ants”, he retorted, “No I didn’t – I just fainted.”

But for the rest of the day he kept hold of of my hands with both of his until I left to come home with the usual goodbye.

Anthony: Don’t be long, Jules.

Julie: I’ll be back soon, my beautiful man!


30 responses to “A brief moment of panic

  1. What an inspiration to us all for you to share your devotion and love for your husband and his for you. That you can persevere through the struggles is proof of the steadfast nature of devotion. Bravo.

  2. It must be so difficult for you. I just cannot imagine the pain and heartache of dealing with a disease like Parkinsons. I do think you are right; that you should prepare yourself for the inevitable, but how does one do that? My MIL has had a serious heart problem. Many times the doctor told us she would not make it to the end of the year. She is still kicking. She’s not strong, but she just withstood another serious heart attack and the dr said she would not likely make it through the month. That was a month ago and she is fully recovered. Like Ants, I just think they love life so much, they are going to stay here as long as they are able. Mom says she’s not done. At least she says that when she feels pretty good.

    I send you love and big hugs!

  3. Vicki says:

    Having lived longer than all expectations, I can well imagine how unbearable you may find any bad news of Anthony. One can only hope that his remarkable fortitude will support him for some time to come and you get to enjoy more precious moments together. Vicki xx

  4. Oh yeah that would indeed cause you to have a moment of panic and being told he is ok doesn’t help till you see with your own eyes that he is ok

  5. I can relate to this Julie. We knew my mother didn’t have long but when those few weeks turned into a few months we thought she would keep going for ever. We adapted to her being more disabled but stopped thinking of her as being terminal. So when she did finally go (nine months after expectations), it was quite a shock even though we were prepared. I miss those months in between where we let other things go that bother normal people (like schedules and work) and just spent as much quality time together as we could. So now I am mourning that time. Isn’t it ironic, that I would never have wished her terminal illness on her, and yet it was that illness that gave us such quality time to spend with each other?

  6. Judy says:

    This might sound strange – but I do think you spend almost every moment of your life now preparing yourself for when he’s gone. You are cuddling under a blanket of love with him and that blanket will warm you for a long time. There really is no better preparation than that because you don’t know what you will be facing. It’s not simply about strength. It’s adjustment and that’s something you’ve become very good at. Hang in there – sending love.

  7. Terry says:

    I so hated this point of Al’s illness. My mind battled back and forth constantly. Will Al be ok? Should I get prepared? No, he seems better. My only advice, is to enjoy each day like there is no tomorrow and keep the journal going. Love ya my friend

  8. I love how you love him and how he loves you.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    You have a way of taking us through a range of emotions with a smile while causing a tear.

  10. tersiaburger says:

    I am so grateful that Ants is fine. You are always in my thoughts. I have seen when people receive good medical care they loose the will to die….your love is however what keeps Anthony alive. So I believe. Much love my friend

  11. Bless your sweet heart Jules. I don’t know how one “prepares” for the death of a loved one. I think we can think we’re preparing but the experience is going to be what it is. One thing I can say to you is you’ve an amazing heart, good support, you’re a really good person, and live among nature and animals, etc. These things will sustain you and help you through whenever… And you will shine because that light of yours is just too bright to dim. Sending you love, Paulette

  12. I love your love. I truly do.

  13. Rhonda says:

    Each day is a gift. Open with relish, enjoy to the fullest, and thank God for it at the end of the day. Preparing for the day without that gift is something people talk about, to themselves mostly, but honestly Jules, you just never get there. So I say…again…live like there’s no tomorrow…love this beautiful man without the cloud of ‘what if’…and when the time comes, you’ll feel exactly how you know you are going to (prepared or not), devastated and lost. That is when your strength will help you reach out to your amazing family and loyal and loving friends. But until then my love…live and love the hell out of it all. I love you

  14. tootlepedal says:

    I am glad that things turned out well. The worry must be ever present.

  15. You remind me so much of my Tantine Louise; she is the one who took care of her husband at home for 22 years while he was in a vegetative state, she did it with the same grace and love that you do with Anthony. It has been a while since he passed and she still misses him but she is active and still going strong at 82 years. You and she are both women of gold standards. Hugs Jules 😀

  16. Fear and panic by degrees. Sigh and prayers for more good days.

  17. this really hit home for me. as we both have married men who are older than we are there is that fear now isn’t there. my man has a-fib and there are times when he is sleeping so quietly that i feel a little knot in my stomach until i feel his chest move or the snoring resumes. i will never complain about the snoring as it is my reassurance that all is ok. poor man, he comes to check that i am still breathing every couple of hours minimum.

    my heart slowed and i felt that knot for you. anthony is so loved and loving i smile to think of him. you are giving him the best chance for more time with your love, laugh and care. sending you love and big warm hugs!

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