In the waiting.
Here we go, only about the forth time this week that I’ve tried to put the thoughts in my head, into words. A good few months ago I decided that one day I would write a post about the role I play as caregiver for my husband and the challenge to make the two independent of each other. This week felt like the perfect week for that but it just wasn’t working for me.
Andy has been in hospital for nearly two weeks now. He went in at the end of September with a couple of bad infections and was sent home once they were under control. It was the first time he had been in hospital since leaving Musgrave and I found it pretty difficult. I wanted him home and his care at the time wasn’t what he needed so I suppose we didn’t question his discharge too much. Anyway, the infection did not go away and after some tests it has been determined that Andy has osteomyelitis, which means that his infection has gone into his bone. Not exactly the news we wanted but it was caught very quickly with no damage caused to his bone. Treatment for this is 6 weeks IV antibiotics which he has begun and will continue when he gets home this week. It means total bed rest. He was already spending much more time in bed but the reality of it all has forced us both to not compromise that just yet. There will be a time when it gets a little better that he can start getting into his chair for a short time each day, but for the moment it just isn’t worth it.
This comes with it’s obvious difficulties and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it makes me really sad. Sad for Andy as he is bored out of his mind in hospital and even with the x box at home, I suspect the boredom will continue. I am also just really gutted for what that means for me and that’s a really hard thing to say. I never want to tell people that I am struggling with it all because I never want Andrew to feel bad, but lets be honest, he knows. He can see the burden I have been carrying as I have attempted to organise help for him coming home and he can see the pressure that has ben put upon me to make it all work. You see something has changed for us at home and that something is me. For the past five years I have struggled with hip and back pain after I injured myself at the Titantic 10k run.
I was pretty used to running and I had allowed myself to run this without any training, at a much faster pace than normal. I haven’t been able to run without pain ever since and I am still suffering from it. I hate to be dramatic and I don’t mean to be when I say that but the reality is that sometimes it’s all great and then there are periods where the pain just doesn’t go away. That’s where I am currently at. I’ve been doing so much more for Andy at home since the start of summer as we have not had enough help through our direct payments and I have also been the one dressing his wound the majority of the time. It has taken its toll on my back and I have been suffering pretty bad, especially in the last few weeks. I didn’t think at twenty-six I would need to sit on the end of the bed to get my socks and shoes on but hey, hopefully that will pass. This obviously means that I am currently unable to help Andy the way he needs me to. This breaks my heart but I am also in a moment of knowing that I need to look after myself and I am trying so super hard to remind myself of that. I just got myself into a really great self-care routine when Andy decided to go back into hospital and mess that one up so I am planning to get that going again very soon.
So here we are, Andy is coming home this week and I am unable to do anything for him. I cant help him with his stretches, I cant assist him when he needs to turn in the bed and I can’t even really lie on my side to stare at him looking so handsome. It is safe to say that I am feeling pretty sorry for myself over here. I am in a position where I am having to say no, when all I want to do is help, which is something I feel I do in all areas of life. This is one of the things that I would assume I’d talk about in that post I can never write, the realisation that life has changed and I can’t do the things I’ve always done. I’m looking into situations that I so badly want to go and pour my heart into but I just need to say no. I would say that it is kind of breaking me right now. I have these dreams and lots of ideas for amazing things to do and be involved in but my life circumstances just don’t allow that to happen. Every part of me wants to go to the events, join the teams, invest time in people and even decorate my house to make it look autumnal, but I just can’t. Not only do I not have the time for the majority of it all, as my priorities need to be at home, I simply do not have the same energy or drive that I used, no matter how hard I try. The only thing I have felt able to commit to recently has been the kids environments on Sunday mornings and even at that, I feel like life is failing me. Half way through my morning this month, my back went and I was in so much pain. I sat for a while on a chair at the side of the room, feeling very separate from the children before I gave in and drove home. I cannot tell you how difficult that was for me to do. I wasn’t even needed in the room as there were plenty of us helping, but admitting defeat in the one area I thought was working for me was super tough. It is so hard when we want to be all in, to throw ourselves into things but life says no. For me it is one of the hardest things. I used to be the person who bought random gifts and delivered them to friends or cooked meals for people and encouraged them. Now I feel that all I do is receive and man that is hard. I get it though, it is just where we are currently at and we need to be ok with that. Be ok with it while also asking and pushing into the things that Jesus is calling us into. Sometimes for me that is simply taking time to sit down and type my thoughts out for other people to read (which is also the weirdest thing).
You are all so lovely and encouraging on here when I post and the messages I receive mean so much but tonight I need you to know that that is not why I write what I write. Tonight I am not seeking affirmation for the role that I play in Andy’s life, right now I am fully aware that I am killing it! Life is so so hard but I know that I am doing the very best that I can and that my best looks quite good right now. I write these posts as a way to share our story, hoping that if you identify with any of it, you will be encouraged that you are not the only one walking the lonely road and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am currently struggling to see that light but that is because I am focusing on where it is coming from; how far away it is. The past seven months have been awful and I’d really love to have an exact date for when things are going to pick up. Unfortunately life does not happen that way so while we wait, we will remain thankful for all the healing that has come before and expectant for all that is still to come.
If you haven’t already picked up on the fact, we need more help at home. Andy needs another guy to work with him and assist him to do life. Ideally we would love to find someone with relevant experience and who could commit to at least two days a week. If you would like any more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for a male worker and unfortunately any emails from females may not be responded to as that does not fit our essential criteria and I quite simply do not have the time.
Thank you for taking the time to continually follow our story and pray into these areas of our life. We are so grateful for all the support we receive every day and life would look very different without it. Remember to subscribe to the blog if you don’t want to miss any updates.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” Romans 8:25