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I added up the number of days that I’ve lived with my husband Joe. 10,962 days we shared together. It’s only been 135 days since he passed away. I’m suffering terribly and having mini breakdowns throughout each and every day. I’m lonely and sad and hardly able to get through the day. I do not care about the state of things around me although have been trying to get back into the swing of things. I hide all of this from family and friends because I simply cannot talk about it. Without breaking down naturally. I’ve looked around for facilities that may take inpatients for grief counseling because I know I won’t follow through with an outpatient situation. There aren’t really any around during these wonderful Covid times. This group has helped me immensely and for that I thank God. I assured everyone I wouldn’t do anything foolish but I thought about it. More than once. Do I want to live in a world without Joe?  Certainly not. I’m finding it hard to find a purpose or reason to continue on. Everything is changed. My husband....gone, my job after 17 years...gone, my son who just graduated Nursing school....ready to move out, and our dog who is 10 years old is in poor health. My identity has been completely stripped away. I don’t have the resolve to reinvent myself. I just don’t. 

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Indeed, it's the days after the initial shock has subsided a bit, and an awareness of the mounting number of days piling up behind you and an almost infinite number of empty days stretching out ahead.  I don't sugarcoat it, we know it's rough and going to continue be rough.  This stripping away of identity and familiarity is devastating, no way to minimize that, either.  All you can do is breathe through it, moment by moment.

(I hope it's ok to embed YouTube links)

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2 hours ago, Littlepeach said:

I hide all of this from family and friends because I simply cannot talk about it. Without breaking down naturally.

I assured everyone I wouldn’t do anything foolish but I thought about it. More than once. Do I want to live in a world without Joe?  Certainly not. I’m finding it hard to find a purpose or reason to continue on.

My identity has been completely stripped away. I don’t have the resolve to reinvent myself. I just don’t. 

Hiding it is one way to put it.  I just plain discovered no one got how intensely painful this is so it was pointless trying to convey it.  They think they know.  Some are SO sure they do and I spent many times pointing out scenarios and saying.....now take out him/her and see if you would feel differently.  That’s about as close as you can get.  Until it’s a reality for them, they cannot feel it’s true depth.  I’ve never put a calculator to my years with Steve and how long he has been gone.  That’s not counting our time before official marriage.  That adds another 6 years, so it would be 44 years.  In my life longer than not part if it.   

We’ve all found out what the world is like without our partners.  It’s empty, cold and yes, an immense purpose lost.  Not wanting to continue is a natural response.  I’m still seeking a purpose 6 years in. I’ll never find one even close to what we had.  There is a lot of anger at nature about this.  Sometimes misplaced towards Steve but I know he didn’t do this, he was a victim.  I can’t count how many mornings I have woken up so disappointed I did.

i don’t know who I am either.  I’ve never met this woman that has emerged from this.  I don’t like being her.  She is rarely, if ever, in a good mood.  Takes little pleasure from anything.  Is lonely and isolated from being a full participant in life.  She has to fully engage in it tho, alone now.  All problems fall on her shoulders.  The beauties of the world go unnoticed as there us no one to share them with.  She’s become a robot with feelings.  And a breaking down one with age. Death would claim us both eventually, but we thought we had more good years.  I feel robbed.  We had to give up so much for years before he died and now it’s claimed 6 more.  The typical story, we were just minding our own business and struck with lightning, only one survived and that is all it is......survival.  I don’t know what it is to live anymore.  And reinvention?   Can’t do it either because so much of what I want and need was taken.

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13 hours ago, Littlepeach said:

My identity has been completely stripped away. I don’t have the resolve to reinvent myself. I just don’t. 

You don't have to today or this month or even this year.  It will occur little by little as you are ready.  It's entirely  up to you how to deal with this but I caution you against doing anything drastic/permanent when you haven't had time to adjust to the changes it means for your life, it can take a lot of time and effort, unfortunately just when we least have it in us to do so.  That's why we take it slowly...

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And society demands more of us during this first year, more than is fair or kind, and in fact it is downright inhumane, starting with the typical three days bereavement leave. A civilized society would absolve the griever of social obligations for a year--in my opinion anyway.

It's more than okay to just be where you are, without making those drastic changes Kay mentions.  When I was saying/thinking out loud that "I should this, I should that..." a wise person told me, "Don't should on yourself.  You're doing the best you can, in a society that is incapable of facing grief and loss."  I never forgot that advice.

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I’m going to guess this wise person experienced this horrific loss.  I wish I could like your post more than once.  :)  if only we all had someone that was a veteran to help us when we so needed it.  I had a guide, but she was snatched away by death too.  I so miss having her to talk to as Steve was her brother so it was much more personal.  

 

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Thank you guys for helping me through these dark thoughts. I am in a much better place this evening. This month will be difficult for me because our wedding anniversary is drawing near. This time of year was always special for us and we did a lot of outdoor things. I will try and get outdoors and take baby steps if only to feel closer somehow to him. He loved nature. 

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Anniversaries are tough.  We celebrated them as markers of our commitment to each other.  I’m glad you have nature to turn to.  We had dinner out, maybe a little fancier, maybe not, but there was a different feel to it and always exchanged cards with poems in them.  Now they are painful days.  I have to get thru his death anniversary first.  I hate that date that never had any meaning before.  

I hope you find some solace on your anniversary.

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We used to go to the place we honeymooned...now torn down.  :(  I can't even go back and revisit that place!  With each thing that happens like that it feels like a piece more of George is ripped away from me...like he never existed!  Only he DID and I will never forget any of it.  It was one of the most wonderful parts of my life, for sure, up there with having my kids...and having Arlie in my life too!

It's amazing what we "survive."

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I guess survive is a good word.  It carries the meaning of wanting to tho.  That is my stumbling block.  I don’t want to keep doing this routine day after day without some spark of interest in anything and decisions about serious pain treatment to wind up mentally unchanged.  I’ve thought about how I might feel better mentally without the pain and I know I’d like that.  But give me reason to live as I do?  I just don’t care anymore.  I don’t think that will change as more loss and limits keep popping up.  I feel like I live in more apathetic mode and that is very bad.  And hard.  You can’t make yourself feel anything you don’t but want to.  I so want to feel something positive.  I visit memories when I did and wow.   What a great feeling it was.  There is not one thing in my life now that comes remotely close.  Even after Steve died I found motivation to do things.  After all these years I see not feeling complete is just waiting for the clock to tick down.  I felt I was a whole being unto myself who  chose to intertwine with Steve.  I only have til I was 25 to compare to and I was in a fury to explore and take on the world.  Then we joined and while I did my own things, he was always a factor.  So 45 years later I don’t know any other way and I’ve had 6 years to find it.  Haven’t found it.  The only thing I’ve found is I now, from that choice, do not know how to be alone.  

Got an invitation to an acquaintances house to meet her new puppy and bring Melody.  Will pass because of the pain as I want to shower later.  I limit my activity to lessen excessive pain time.  Plus I get so distracted by it I don’t enjoy the activity.  I don’t know how I’m gong to continue doing this.  Solving this pain won’t solve other med issues waiting in cue.  I’m overwhelmed and now saddened I have to pass up some much needed human contact time.

 

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17 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I guess survive is a good word.  It carries the meaning of wanting to tho.

I don't associate it that way, it seems we've survived a LOT, and wanting to didn't seem to enter in.  I know when George died I didn't want to live without him.  But I did.  I didn't understand how I could be one that didn't die within three months of a broken heart.  How is it that some do and some don't?  I know that I love/d him more than anything in the world!  It doesn't seem that what we do or don't want factors in.  I know our will can greatly affect outcome but in my case, I sure wasn't "willing" myself to live!  I doubt anyone here was!  Grief is very different than illness/injury where we determine to make it through it.  And even then, someone can be willing to make it and cancer takes them anyway.  I don't see anything fair or gracious about it.

Right now Kodie has given me the desire to live because I don't want anything to happen to him or cause him distress!  I'm sure that was a consideration when my son looked so hard for a Klee Kai for me.  I didn't even realize he was searching.

Today I finally gave in and ordered CBD, full spectrum.  It's very expensive but I used a reputable company in CO that my sister Polly recommended and I knew from her to get full spectrum, I did some reading on it and it's supposed to help in neuro situations so willing to give it a go, it can't hurt, if it doesn't help then I'm just out the money.  Hit a Labor Day sale and used a promo code so that helps a bit.  Here's hoping it'll bring me even partial relief.

I'm sorry you have so much pain, I never knew how unrelenting pain felt until the last six months...and it's only gotten worse.  My left hand, where they took the "core" unnecessarily, is swollen and bothering me on top of the bone damage from the dog chomp, and the right hand continues to be numb/constant pain.  I've had broken bones that felt better than this!  At least if you didn't move it wouldn't hurt.  I don't even have that relief.

I wish you could see your friend's puppy.  :(

 

 

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I certainly don’t will myself to live as you said.  It’s a feeling I never felt until Steve left.  Never wanted to be without him.  But now?   As pointed out now that you are having relentless pain, it’s a battle I don’t know how long I can fight.  I used to get more hours of relief but they keep getting shorter.  I don’t know what you’ve been told about your surgery.  I know mine has an 80% relief range, pain worse for about a month first (don’t know how I’d stand that as there are conflicts with pain and anxiety meds) and a good 6 months to know if it was worth it.  50/60% say it only helped nominally.  I so wish I had Steve here to talk this over with.  He would be involved in conversations with the doc.  Pressing for possible other options like I have, but there’s power in numbers.  Plus I’m high risk they say.  All I know is I can’t continue in this kind of pain.  No one could.  So, rhetorically, what do you do?

Melody I’ve talked about being so skittish and often frustrating.   I’m not doing well about losing my social butterfly Ally.  I wouldn’t want to be without Mel, but it’s just so.......dull most of the time.  I don’t mean to trash talk my dog, but it’s just so weird to me she won’t (for example) stay for lunch because the kitchen door was making noise from the breezes making it tap open and closed.  She was all happy chasing the ball after lunch.  It’s like two personalities.  

I have CBD drops also, but don’t know if they are full spectrum.  I’m guessing not as they have zero THC.  reading on the difference says the ones with it work better.  I hope you do get some relief.   I found I do have some with THC, but not the other stuff listed for full spectrum.  The THC is very low, not supposed to cause any high which I’d definitely want to avoid.  Did you get suggestions of a starting dose and how often? 

I did get to see the puppy on Zoom.  Looks like a doodle puppy.  Cute I guess.  Never been into doodles.  My other buddy will only get high rated Golden’s.  So many dogs needing homes and these people pay outrageous money for these.  I did buy Melody and she’s a gorgeous golden, but mutts need homes too.  It’s just easier to get puppies from breeders than find litters these days.  When I was young it seemed like pups were everywhere as people didn’t spay and neuter as much.  I can’t handle another dog now do it’s a moot point anyway.

 

 

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On 9/7/2020 at 3:07 PM, Gwenivere said:

I don’t know what you’ve been told about your surgery.

Nothing, other than I need it and both are severe.  Have to wait more months to get my eval from the orthopedic center!  Everyone is blaming everything on COVID, in this situation it's just the doctors not wanting to work which is maddening as I'm suffering meanwhile along with a lot of other people.

I got a lot of flack for getting my puppy from a breeder but I'd TRIED rescuing and look how that turned out!  Even "dog sharing" my neighbor's dog has been devastating for me.  I've had six bites in one year!  Some of the rescues lie, mine sure did!  This way at least I can work with Kodie how I want and not inherit the damage others have done.  I always agreed with rescuing and most of my dogs have been rescues but honestly, I was at the point where I was considering being dog-less the rest of my life.  Lord knows I needed Kodie in my life and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

I don't want to get high either, just a bit of relief would be good!  I don't think this has THC, I hope not!  I didn't think to ask, all I was focused on is my pain and they weren't answering their phones.  It seems no one is anymore!  It should come with instructions, I won't get it for a while.  Plus my sister can cue me in, they both take it for pain.

On 9/7/2020 at 3:07 PM, Gwenivere said:

I know mine has an 80% relief range, pain worse for about a month first (don’t know how I’d stand that as there are conflicts with pain and anxiety meds) and a good 6 months to know if it was worth it.  50/60% say it only helped nominally.  I so wish I had Steve here to talk this over with.  He would be involved in conversations with the doc.

Wow, those don't sound like good odds!  Not right!  I don't understand why they can't help people better.

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If they have to do both your wrists, won’t that be 2 surgeries?  I had a friend that had to do it that way to have a functioning hand.

 I’m sure my buying Melody would be frowned on by rescue people.  I was in A similar situation.  There were no puppies to be found and I didn’t want to chance an adult bring on my alone and finding someone who could blend with Ally.  I wanted a clean slate as she was such an alpha.  We did rescue an adult once and she was a treasure.  But it was considerable work we had the energy for decades ago.  A pup is a lot of work too.  If I get another dog (health permitting) it will have to be an adult.  

If your CBD is being shipped from another state it won’t have any THC.  Illegal to ship even with the minutest amounts.  If it does have some it should be very low,not enough to give the high feeling.  The may have some that has both, but I’ve never looked for that.  I can see how some people in pain might want to zone out.  Steve sure did a lot.  

Thus you see my conundrum about this back surgery.  I have a Zoom meeting about my questions regarding these statistics which I found on the web consistently.  A big concern, after the severity of it to 'recover' is it may not last more than 2-3 years.  Now that I see how quickly time goes by tho it feels like it’s dragging, I’m not too thrilled about that.  When I had my hysterectomy and gall bladder removed, it was done and over with.  This also involves hardware that can complicate things.

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Yes, some people (who have husbands or no pets and can go to rehab) choose to have both done at once and get it over with, I can't.  I don't know how I'll do w/o my right hand in winter if it happens, but I'll know more in a couple of months!

CO is legal, don't know anything about how the shipping works, but I don't need to get high!  :)  My neighbor made some homemade ointment (he grows it and makes it himself) and I tried it on my hands, it was great!  So now at least I know a source if I need it!  

I can't even do zoom here.  If I had another person living with me I'd have to pay 2 1/2 times as much and get better internet!

I wouldn't say Kodie was a lot of work (or maybe I've gotten used to my life revolving around him now like it did Arlie) but he DOES take a LOT of time!  It's getting better though.  Now to make it through the next year of chewing!

Oh yes, I totally get your conundrum about the back surgery.  You will decide what you feel is best for you.

My BIL was just  diagnosed with stomach tumor/cancer.  He's been very ill for over three weeks.  He takes care of my sister completely, she can't even drive anymore.  I was pretty anxious/upset & George calmed me down last night with a scripture, I actually slept good last night.  I can take her places in good weather but not in bad, she can't get into my pickup and my car doesn't have 4WD.  Hoping her friend will help her too, I think she will, even her neighbors will help if she but asks for it.  Sometimes we have to ask for help.

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I don’t know what they plan for your wrists, but both would seem totally disabling for recovery.  Having done a rehab center, it’ was for me very hard to adapt to.  I don’t like loss of control and following some places schedule.  Same as you, if I could come home I might be more open to it.  I say this as Im already hobbling around and barely up an hour.  The thought of going to the mailbox means pain.

Since your getting your CBD from Colorado, it will be THC free unless they break the law.  It may be legal there like here, but they can’t ship over state lines.  Good you have a back up.

is it that you have poor internet service?  I’ve never had to pay for Zoom.  It is picky if in use at peak times.  Screens freeze tho I’ve never lost sound.  Kinda silly doing if the person I’m talking to is frozen.  I’ve seen me frozen but they see me moving.  Anyway, it’s never been a charge service. 

Ah yes, I remember the chewing and having to duct tape my coffee table legs thru those times with 2 dogs that found them irresistible.  Lost a charger cord once.  Fortunately having tons of toys helped.  The challenge was hard things as I never allowed anything edible like rawhide or greenies.  Had to watch them with sticks too.  How old is Kodie now?  

I’m sorry to hear about your BIL and sister.  I know we have to ask for help.  I guess we’re at that age we have to ask for so much more and often can’t return it it gets discouraging.  Tho I’m continually amazed at what you get done.  One woman I see who is older than me does some amazing things.  It’s all the luck, or lack of, the draw on nature and these bodies.  If I had my back back, I might actually feel almost happy I could do more with less incapacitating pain.  That would be so cool!  I don’t want to climb mountains, but I’d love to vacuum bird feathers and not groan every time I put down or pick up Mel’s bowl.  

 

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I don't care what they'll plan for my wrists, I'm doing the right one first, the left when I am good and ready!  IF I heal to complete recovery on the right one that is!  I can be a tough old bird, I'm not doing anything less/differently than that!

I get 10.3 GB data/month, that's it, so yes I have to mete out my usage accordingly.

What's a greenie?  Arlie used to love pigs ears, they're not as bad as rawhide, but as his Colitis progressed I hated to even give him a bit of that!

Kodie has a ton of toys but has thoroughly destroyed all of his stuffies.  He doesn't want to let go of them though!  He still sleeps with them even though they're rags.

My back has been hurting since I picked up limbs for 6 1/2 hours straight, I think that was a bit overkill...sometimes I forget I'm not 40 anymore, I don't know why, I hurt bad enough I OUGHT to know better!  They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...I'm not so sure about that, it sure can feel like it's killing us sometimes!

Thursday through Saturday I will be gone, I have someone who will take Kodie in while I'm gone.  It's terrifying to me to leave him, still affected by losing Arlie and Kitty...

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Is your left hand your dominant hand?  I’d want to start with the less dominant to see how the surgery works/heals.  

I pay Comcast for phone and internet and have no idea if I have net limits.  I don’t use a smart phone, just my iPad and computer.  Must be high if I do because I use the iPad a lot!

Melody likes making new toys into scraps too.  It’s like a mission.  I look at the remains and think they should go, but she makes them uniquely frayed and torn up.  The only ones still new looking are the indoor tennis balls.  

I always think I know better when approaching projects and sometimes I do.  I always hope they won’t do me in even when my body is telling me at the time it will.  I don’t know if I’m stubborn or stupid.  More grasping at hope that I can keep going without severe payment.  I don’t know why, but it seems it is happening faster.  When this downhill slide started it was slow.  Perhaps I’ve just passed a point of recovery between any activities including normal walking and sleeping.  That’s the big challenges.   I’d give just about anything to walk with tolerable aches like most mid 60 people.  I’m a good decade ahead from people I talk to.  Makes it hard to make plans and dread the ones I have to do like blood tests and in person doc appointments as they have the biggest parking lots.   

How come your leaving Kodie?  

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My dominant is my right hand but it's also the one that very much bothers me the most!  I was surprised the left hand was labeled severe as I feel I can manage it somewhat but the right hand, no, I can't live with this the rest of my life!

I did get the CBD oil, it didn't help, unfortunately.  I'll try again tonight, but I was very disappointed, esp. for the expense I didn't need.  Oh well, worth a shot, maybe it'll help me with something else on down the road.  It did say it had .3% THC which is negligible.  Back to Lidocaine.  It's numbing somewhat, but doesn't alleviate the pain, numbness is part of my problem!

I've decided to go away for a mini get away with some friends, we'll be in a "bubble" of social isolation & masks (no eating out or shopping, a large house at the coast), so I'll leave Kodie with a friend, we're going over there today for a doggy play date to see how they do.  She got her fence fixed but they can't be outside except to do their business right now as it's hazardous air quality from the smoke.  Supposed to be in the 80s the next three days and then drop down to 60s and rain, yay rain!  It's terribly hard on me to leave him.  If I had a husband at home with him it'd be different as it wouldn't upset his routine, security, etc.  I've never been away from him, I know we all have to do it eventually but oh God it's hard!  I am such a worrywart mother!

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The dog lovers among us understand, Kay! Here's hoping your mini getaway serves up all the refreshment, relaxation and recreation you so richly deserve. I know everyone here joins me in wishing you Godspeed on your journey ♥️

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Kay, my understanding is often it takes time for CBD to work.  Or the dose was too low.  Everyone I know on it had to experiment with that.  Some did feel quick relief.   Maybe trying it a few days?  A higher dose?  That’s the thing with that stuff, there is no dosing guidelines.  My cousin uses it and has to go pretty high a couple times a day sometimes.

you can always do the worrywart mom thing and call and check on Kodie.  😁

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The whole idea of a "play date" is so foreign to me. Not in reference to introducing Kodie to a new friend to see how they get along Kay, but in reference to humans. I know "play dates" have been around for years now, but how did society become so regimented that we have to schedule a time for our children to play. What happened to kids being kids and just hanging out together at someone's house or the park, riding bikes or exploring the neighborhood. Can you imagine your mom setting up a "play date" for you or even setting up one for your kids. If people control every aspect of their children's lives, how will these children ever learn to be independent. Granted it's a good idea to guide their choices, but can't we just let them be kids having fun until they're forced to be adults. 

Guess I'll shut up now. Off my soapbox.

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I never had kids but I sure heard the term a lot when friends did.  I was used to running free (within limits) and just being told to be home at a certain time.  My mom wouldn’t know where to find me if I left the neighborhood for the mesa to catch lizards or whatever.   We’d descend on whoever’s house whenever.  Or go to parks which were not plentiful in NM.   The whole point was to be away from adults.  We were told the rules about strangers and such.  I’m sure kids were taken back then, but it wasn’t something, as a kid, I heard about.  I vaguely remember when milk cartons came out with pictures and disappearance dates.  Used to take my dogs to a buddy’s and would have to set a time.  I liked the off leash park, tho I did show up around the same time daily as did the people I knew.  I see the kids in my neighborhood and they have to stay in sight.  Or an adult goes with them.  Kinda defeats the purpose.  

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There's even a term for it: helicopter parenting.

I'm 47 and some of the client I see at work who are 21 - 30-ish are hopelessly inept at managing for themselves-- in almost any capacity.  Sometimes I get assigned one and it's always the mom, sometimes the dad, but usually the mom, who arranges meetings, gives them a ride or runs messages when they don't answer their own phone.  I try as hard as I can to avoid even interacting with the parent in this manner and force the young person to take their own calls, make their own appointments etc. In other words, holding THEM accountable. 

Sheesh by the time I was 12 I was doing my own laundry.  When I got to college I saw other guys with a written how to do laundry list from mommy.  🤨🙄

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