Posted 8/8/2013 7:05 AM (GMT -6)
I can relate to your story immensely. But I was also responsible for that "pre-180" disposition. When I could no longer perform my duties for work, lost my job. My whole "identity" was wrapped around "the physical being" and anything relating to my body or others, blurred lines, but it's me, it's who I am. When I was initially out of work, we all thought, temporary, always had problems, blah, blah. Then things got worse and not only did I ignore it (because I beat the odds before, by golly,) but I sunk into a "funk" that lasted,...a long time. The loss of my income was a big pinch, still is, but boy did I hear about it. There was more concern over the loss of income than my health and well being. By everyone. Everyone.
He got sick of it, coming home to me being curled up on the couch, living medication time to medication time watching the clock, intractable pain, couldn't take care of myself or my family, lived on the couch, didn't go to bed in our own bed together. He was angry, yes, but also ignored me and got frustrated. He grew weary and our marriage was at risk of ending. I found this out in a peculiar way.
When I couldn't take it anymore, (as if sucking it up until you feel like you're going to die is noble or something? Rather than addressing things as they arise? Yuh-huh. Martyr.), I was extremely fortunate that the ortho surgeon I found is one of the best in the country and helped develop some of the hip implant devices and surgical techniques. God, or someone or something, was on my side.
He came with me to my first visit and if I reached over to just touch his leg, he flinched, and glared at me like it disgusted him to have me touch him. I can't describe the pain I felt from that. He came in with me, the surgeon rested his head on his hands and looked grim and turned to us and said, "You need a total hip replacement. Immediately. This is about as bad as I've ever seen."
(We're still on egg shells, bear with me).
I'm freaked out and feeling lonely enough I call my Mother (who I don't even speak to), in tears, scared,....and reach our to a friend I have who lives across the country who lose her leg due to a botched surgery that was initially for a tendon release,....she's been a savior and helped me put my life in perspective.
I go in for surgery, petrified. I come out and within 48 hours, even though I'm in pain, I'm happy. I haven't been happy in years. We both feel like that surgery removed something toxic in me that turned me into a different person. This is when he told me he drew the line in the sand that if I didn't go through with this surgery and rehab, he was leaving. That's a lot of trauma in one go.
I came out feeling better than I have in decades. He came to see me every day in Rehab (remember, he has a 2-3 hour commute each way, but still found the time), and he thanked my surgeon personally for returning me to him.
It became frustrating when I had the back surgery in December and then this new hip replacement in June,....he told me his missed me. I was always getting surgeries, and I wasn't there for him, and he wanted me there.
Now THAT was new.
He has been amazing ever since that first hip, we've never been stronger together, we're happy, there's virtually no tension, he just wants me to focus on getting better. He knows when I have funky days to leave me alone, but he always comes back, and so do I. And the funks go away, they don't last for years.
It can be right in front of their noses....I think for some people, they don't want to see us as sick or as invalids or not independent so it's easier for THEM to turn a blind eye than cope. Me? I eyeball when people aren't well and jump in like I'm on call. I don't have it in me to look the other way. (It drained me the one time I had to,...I mentioned it in another post).
It can be tough, but it's nice when people eventually get it.
Once again I apologize Mods for writing a novel. I was just moved by Sherrie's post because it mirrored my own relationship, kind of hit a nerve so to speak.