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 Had a hard time thinking of a topic.  I’d been sick for days and made my 3rd trip to the ER last Tuesday night.  They finally admitted me for pneumonia.  I became so weak rapidly.  I can’t believe how frightened/frustrated  I am.  I have not wanted to go on without Steve, but if something were going to happen, I hoped it would be at home and quickly.   I have someone looking after my furry kids, but I miss them so much as they are all I have.  The sights, sounds, stuff they do here stirs up so many horrid memories of when Steve was here.  Staff is great, but I’m so alone.  I trapped and at their mercy.  Extra hard being a smoker as the replacements don’t provide the soothing ritual.  Only a smoker would understand that part. 

I talked to a chaplain here because I was losing it.  Have to have a scope done Friday which means being sedated.  I hate that.  I’m loopy enough from lack of sleep.   

I have a new appreciation for my lonely life.....at home.  Half empty and quiet as it is.  Miss being in our nest.  Miss my kids bugging me or seeing them sleep contently because we were all together til the next ritual thing.  They have amazing internal clocks.  

There’s an empty chair in the room he should be sitting in as I did when he was the patient.  How I miss his crazy personality which would be soothing for me and joking with the staff as he always did.  He was loud, boisterous and sometimes embarrassing, but he was all mine.  I never underestimate the ways the universe will keep reminding me of the most precious gift I ever had and taken away.

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Hi Gwen,

i feel so bad for you.  I know how lonely and totally alone you feel.  I stayed with Al all the times he was hospitalized and he stayed with me when I had my gall bladder out and there were complications.  Just to have him at home when I got out was such a comfort.  We worked so hard to make each other comfortable.  Now there is no one.  I know how hard it is.  I understand not wanting to be sedated.  Wishing you well tomorrow with the scoping.  Hope they get the right treatment started and you feel better soon.  I know you have not felt well for a long time.  I will be thinking of you and praying for you.  Gin

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Gwen,

My heart goes out to you. I understand the fear and longing for that familiar presence. Debbie had been gone for 2 weeks when I finally forced myself to go to the hospital in Kentucky. I had been coughing non-stop 24/7 for those 2 weeks. The last place I wanted to be was in a strange hospital. I was scared. It took almost a week for them to figure out the Aspergillosis, tons of tests and different meds(one of which gave me Thrush.. That was fun..NOT) Surprisingly enough, the patches worked quite well. I didn't have the breath to smoke, even if I had wanted to. In the 8 days I was hospitalized, my grandkids , my ex and his wife, my daughter's friend from church, and of course, my SIL came to visit a couple of times. It was not the same as having Ron there or my daughter or son, the people I was comfortable with. One night, I remember blubbering like a baby until I was comforted by the nurse I had become familiar with. My SIL brought me a laptop so I could communicate with my friends here and that helped. Still there is nothing so embarrassing as having your SIL pick up your dirty underthings, wash and return them to you. When I could sort of breathe, I'd shuffle the halls leaning on the IV pole, just to get out of that lonely room.

I hope you are out of there soon and back home with your furry kids.

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I'm so sorry you are going through this alone. I understand the smoking thing. The patch just isn't the same. Hoping you are out of there soon. 

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Sorry for your loneliness of being in the hospital. I just spent two months in the hospital with my wife before she passed. I could not imagine not having someone there for even a minute. I hope you get better soon.

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So very sorry to see you being in the hospital Gwen. I'm glad to hear that you sought treatment early since pneumonia is what you are there with. My wife's official cause of death was sepsis because that insidious crap called c dificil had gotten hold of her, but pneumonia was what she was admitted into the hospital with. Rest well, get your strength back, and get back home to your fur babies.

I understand your comments about smoking all to well. I still remember the date I quit smoking the last time---Dec. 15th, 2003. I stayed off of them until the date my wife passed. Jan. 1st, 2016.  By the evening hours of that day I craved a cigarette so bad that I just couldn't stand it.  Maybe I'll quit again one of these days. But so far I'm just not ready to deal with all the stress that is part of the quitting process. And then maybe a part of me lives with a death wish now because I miss my wife so very much every day. I have to celebrate her birthday (the 16th) without her next Thursday. That sucks!

Get well and back home soon, Gwen.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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Thanks everyone.  Getting scoped in the morning and I hate sedation. Bad headaches.  Nicotine withdrawal or side effect from the illness itself or myriad of meds?  Gawd only knows.  Could be stress cause I’m having sooooo much Fun!  I can barely think clearly anymore as it is.  Better get to sleep if possible as life begins here at 6am or sooner.  I’m trying to ignore the feeling I’ll never get out of here and see my furry kids. Time to sleep so they can wake me to put me to sleep.  Again, thanks for being there for me.  I love this family.  💖

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13 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I have a new appreciation for my lonely life.....at home.  Half empty and quiet as it is.  Miss being in our nest.  Miss my kids bugging me or seeing them sleep contently because we were all together til the next ritual thing.

I can't wait for you to be home with them again!  I know exactly what you mean, your description says it all...it may be alone and quiet, but it's home and with your furry kids.

I'm so sorry you have Pneumonia!  I had it once years ago, I remember I didn't care if I lived or died, I had no energy!  

Get your strength back so you can come home again.  I pray it's soon.  

My sister has been without a cigarette for ten days now, I requested patches for her but she doesn't think they have one on her (she's been pretty out of it so who knows), this is the longest she's been without one since she was a teenager.  I can't imagine what it's like but I know it's another stressor on her body.   George was a smoker, he said it calmed him, so it's pretty tough to be without the thing that calms you just when you need it the most! 

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You are so right, Kay.  All of it.  I had the endoscope which was sedation.  Fogged out for hours.  My anxiety meds orders got botched AGAIN so getting that fixed and talking with the occupational therapist took all my mental energy.  Woman taking care of the dogs came by to discuss options.  Thought I was done for the day but the physical therapist decided to try a walk.   Even with the back and leg pain it felt good to get out of the room.  Supposed to do that 3 times a day now.  Guess my days of laying here sipping champagne with peeled grapes are over.  

I need to find some alone time.  I need to cry I so miss Steve.  Motivation for this fight.  I wouldn’t have to be having talks about strangers I might need going home.  The kids lives wouldn’t have been impacted.  It’s all so unfair as I have felt before.  He was never alone or had to worry about any of this.  He had me.  Why can’t I have him?  Rhetorical question.  😓

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10 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

  I  need to find some alone time.  I need to cry I so miss Steve.  Motivation for this fight.  I wouldn’t have to be having talks about strangers I might need going home.  The kids lives wouldn’t have been impacted.  It’s all so unfair as I have felt before.  He was never alone or had to worry about any of this.  He had me.  Why can’t I have him?  Rhetorical question.  😓

Gwen, do I ever know from whence you cometh when you talk about the loneliness. I mention nothing here wanting anyone's sympathy or pity. I try to avoid pity parties. In the case of my wife and I it all has to do with decisions made, and choices. In our case, the Lord brought 2 lost, discarded souls together to be "there" for each other. In both of our cases, we had been used and abused by our immediate families. It wasn't ever the physical sort of abuse that shows. But there was plenty of the mental and emotional abuse during our growing up years. The Bible tells us to honor our parents, but unfortunately that just isn't always possible. To maintain some semblance of sanity we both ended up turning our backs on our families. And because of fertility issues, we never had children. But did we ever have each other.

When I retired from truckdriving to be my wife's full time caregiver,  I asked God to take her first if it wasn't part of His grand design for us to die together. I didn't want her to be the survivor who had to deal with all this loneliness and unhappiness. I live in a HUD apartment building now. Most of the residents here don't seem to be very happy with their lot in life now. Too many of them seem to thrive on attending each other's pity parties. One only needs to spend about 5 minutes here to understand the meaning behind the old saying "misery loves company".  I'm sorry for them, but i can't change them. And I refuse to let them drag me down into that muck and mire they exist in now. So I stay to myself. I'm a bit of an old curmudgeon now I suppose.  I shave almost every day, and I still like that old fart that I see when I look into a mirror.  I have made arrangements to be cremated when my turn comes. That was always our preference anyway.  And this way  the added expense of hiring 6 people from a temporary service to serve as pallbearers can be eliminated. LOL!  My wife's birthday is coming up this Thursday--the 16th. Another one of those trigger events that are a part of our existence now. (I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU, MY SNUGGLES)

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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Gwen:  So sorry you have to go through this alone as well as be separated from your fur babies.  I can barely go to the grocery or a doctor's appointment and be away from my sweet companion, Maddie.  She is the one that gives me a reason to get up everyday.  

Take care, get stronger,  and know you will soon be home where comfortable surroundings await you.

Dee

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How are you doing today, Gwen?  Are you getting any stronger?  Do you have any idea how long you'll be there?  Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. 

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I’m becoming more frustrated and depressed as the days pass.  Learned so much I will have to do to live with this lung condition.  My dogs are be taken to a sitters probably tomorrow.  They’ve never been away from home and I feel so responsible for the stress this will cause them, plus my home will be empty.  It breaks my heart how this has changed dealing with life again and it will not go back to what it was, lonely as it was.  After getting this managed, if I can, it still leaves 3 other serious health issues to deal with.  No exactly motivating to keep pushing forward.  I have thoughts I would never voice here of giving up totally. Last thing I need is to be taken to a psych ward.  No visitors except the dogs guardian to drop by a couple things and then she’s outta here.  No phone calls about me, only in regards to care of the dogs and for how long.  Not even one cheap balloon in the room.  I thought I knew loneliness before.  It can get worse.  I’m living it.  I just want to curl up in a ball and disappear.  I feel it wouldn’t be noticed.  Where I volunteer hasn’t even reached out after over 24 years of service.

gawd, they tell you to hurry up so they can do something else and then disappear.  I’ve put in a call to my counselor as I am pulled to go home and just suffocate.  I so hate it here.  At least I could lay with my kids and fade away.  Darned body panics tho and fights.  But there are ways around that.  Sorry, don’t mean to wallow, just being honest the only place I can besides my counselors.  Glad they are there, but sad they can’t be friends.  Plus I met them because I pay them.  I want Steve.  Time to cry.

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I'm sorry Gwen, I'm sorry we all live far away from each other and we cannot be there to, at least, just be there sitting on a chair next to you.

 

 

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Gwen,. If at all possible, I would be so happy to phone you.  You could send me a private message with your number.  I know I can not fix anything, but sometimes just talking to another human  helps.  Your choice.  It is so horribly hard to be so alone.  Hope you get the help you need and get back home soon.     Gin

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Gwen,

It sounds like you are feeling similar to my sister, she has been in so much pain for over three months and can't come home and can't even read, she has too much pain and interruptions constantly.  They're doing PT with her eight hours a day.  She just wants to come home, not even sure if she'll make it.

I can't imagine, what you're going through sounds hellish.  You will eventually be able to go home with your dogs, won't you?  I mean, are they giving you that light at the end of the tunnel?  Are you in a hospital?  It seems hard to understand how the place you've volunteered at for 24 years hasn't reached out to you.  I know that loneliness.  I'm so sorry.

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The plan is to release me to home.  I was told today a push on that even tho I’m still on oxygen.  I know they are trying to help me, but I feel worse since I got here (yes, a hospital, Kay).  All the drugs have made me feel so sick.  Keep being told how much better I am doing but sure don’t feel it like they mean.  First few days it really helped to be here.  It’s been such a stressful experience I am barely hanging in there mentally.  Not just me being here but all the craziness getting the dogs taken care of.  Now that it looks like I’ll have to go home with oxygen, I’m really depressed.  Might be different antibiotics so that has me on edge as there are only two I can tolerate and they are not in the running.  I won’t be able to do my volunteering which will lead to more isolation.  Don’t think wearing portable O2 would be a positive experience for me or the residents and I doubt they would want me to anyway.  Talk of someone coming in to help at home.  It’s like hire a friend.  The loneliness is crushing me.  I’ve been trying to push away the suicidal thoughts but they keep coming stronger.  I do need to see my kids tho.  I’ve been in constant contact with my counselor.  She knows I feel this way and is bending every rule not to report me so they don’t drag me off somewhere.  I could write more, but it’s just downer crap.  I thought I knew what hell was.  I was wrong.  

A huge thank you to you all for being some support. A safe haven of caring.  Sounds odd to say not having met any of you, but love you all.  💕

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Gwen I hope you keep telling the staff and your therapist about your suicidal thoughts.  All of us have had similar thoughts at different times in our lives but something has helped to crush the thoughts.  I believe it is very difficult to break that kind of thinking on your own, particularly when you are so alone.

I pray that this hospital stay will cause an improvement to your life and that you will find some joy on earth. ❤️ 🙏

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Thank you, Marita.  You are such a sweet, caring soul.  I do talk to my counselor and only places I trust, like here. 💕

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17 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Sounds odd to say not having met any of you, but love you all.  💕

I feel that too, we are an extended family here.  We DO care about each other, I just wish we weren't physically spread out so far so we could be of tangible help besides just emotional support.

I hope when you're off the antibiotics you start feeling better, I hate antibiotics, they accomplish what they set out to but the side effects are awful and it takes so long to build our body's immunities back.  I hope you're on good probiotics.  

I do think it'll do you good to get back home with your babies, they not only need us, Lord knows how much we need them!  

As for the volunteering, I'm sure there's plenty of residents there with oxygen so I don't see how that would prohibit you being there, the only thing is, will it inhibit your getting around, will you have a pack strapped to you or will it be a mobile unit on wheels?  It might slow you down, but I guess it depends on how big the unit is.  My sister Donna had one but she was already in a wheelchair so it didn't make much difference, but now Peggy will have one too...although she didn't get around a whole lot before, but I imagine it will get in her way trying to cook, etc.  Not sure how that will work, if she'll have to take it off to cook?  I know when Donna went outside to smoke we always had to remove the oxygen unit first.

Hoping things get better for you soon.

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I’m finally home!   Almost 10 days.   Good and bad experiences.  Bad they are always bugging you for something (treatments, meds, vitals, etc.), good they had room service and a more comfortable bed than mine.  What little sleep I got I had no hip pain which was awesome.  The biggest frustration was I was treated with the wrong antibiotic for 7 of the days.  They could only guess til lung cultures grew and they switched to one that is effective.  So the bug had an extra week to set up housekeeping in me.  This new one is oral and tough on the gut.  Didn’t escape having to go on oxygen so a lot of adjustment there.  I got so used to lots of people that coming home is rather strange.  Place is a mess from dog hair and dust.  Woman feeding them changed things around so I overdid it when I got here putting basics back.  Then add in walking everywhere with tubing.  My schedule is all off so it’s disorienting.  

But THE hardest thing was doing all this alone.  As usual, I was asked who was going to help and I said....no one.  Leaving I got so many comments about how great it must be going home.  You learn to smile and nod.  Almost 4 years ago I rid this house of medical supplies from Steve’s cancer.  Now it’s replaced with my stuff.  Tanks and a big oxygen machine.  Too weak to clean so even more depressing.  Hiring someone will be the topper.  Have to also find someone to pick up after the dogs outside.  Hoping this is temporary because I’m not sure I will be able to stand being dependent and more vacant hours.  I haven’t figured out how to restock heavy foods inside from the garage and the store.  Thinking about going shopping with a portable tank is depressing.  Keep using that word.  The last thing most of us need is more time vulnerable to griefs grip.  At least when I did what I used to I got a bit distracted.  I don’t feel anger as I have in the past when I have had to face tough times anymore, just the profound sadness of that one person truly caring and loving you.  I don’t know how many people 'cared' for me during my stay, but the tally is large, but compared to him they didn’t even move the needle.  I walked in here to such emptiness.  Even more so with another change of life without him in it.  Sorry for the babble and rambling, just had to get it out as I am listing all the things to be done and listening to this machine pump air to this leash I am on.  A very ironic analogy.  

 I haven’t been able to have my glass of wine before bed, do a little something to look forward to if my stomach can are it.  T helps me cry too and I really need to.  

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Gwen,.  Glad you are finally home, even though it means more adjustments again.  So hard to do all this alone.  Maybe with the right antibiotics, you will feel stronger soon.  

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