Please, don’t panic. I’m not going to give daily updates of the minutiae of Thomas’ illness. I don’t plan on continuing the daily entries.
It’s just, I’ve been pretty shaky the last month, and I think I need to get this stuff out on my own, not teased out by a third party. So, whilst I say these daily updates won’t continue, they will be driven by the degree of fragility I feel, & who knows when I’ll need to get it out..?
The other thing is – this actually may be useful to someone. You, or someone you know, or have connected with. So, I’m happy for you to share this. You never know who it might help. Yes, this is for me. But we’re all in this together, aren’t we? Life..
So – how did we get to this place? No, it didn’t happen overnight.
As I said – it all started with insomnia, in March. Which we put down to stress, & being too busy with life. And that’s pretty much how it continued. We started from the premise of Insomnia, & that created a bias in our thinking. All our actions after then were guided by that premise of simple Insomnia.
When there were no Mother’s Day presents for me in May, his excuse was that if the girls really wanted to give me presents, they would have gone shopping themselves. The girls were 13 & 11, so were unable to get to the shops without a parent driving them. We talked about this Apathy, that engulfed him in many aspects of his life at that time, & he said “I know I should care, but I just don’t.” We both put this down to chronic exhaustion, caused by the Insomnia. Surely you can understand that?
There was another apathetic incident in early June, but again, he was exhausted. He’d slept so poorly for 3 months, of course he’s having trouble ‘giving a shit’.
So, how to fix this? He was terrible at eating breakfast, so I started baking wholesome, healthy things that could be frozen, & then reheated quickly in the microwave, or just defrosted on the bench overnight. I got up earlier, to make sure he had carbs, protein & fruit for breakfast, before he left for work at 6:30am. This was to reset his biological clock, to kickstart his metabolism, so that his body knew when it was wake time, & then would re-learn its natural ‘sleep time’. He also put himself on Melatonin, to help with resetting his body clock – just like you do if you need to overcome jetlag in a hurry. Minor successes, but an overall slow slide further into exhaustion. I urged him to book in for sleep studies, but he didn’t have time, because they were only doing them on week nights, & he needed to be fresh for work. Ummm…
We talked about stress, was he depressed? Was he unhappy in our marriage? Was he unhappy with his work? Was he worried about work? Did he want a divorce? Was he just Unhappy? Resounding no, to all of those, & more, questions. Awful questions. He was shocked, & cried, when I asked him if he was tired of me, or if he wanted out from the family. His answer was that we were the things he was most interested in. The things that kept him going.
The reflux became evident in July, just occasional coughing at meals “it’s just my reflux.” He started taking medications for that, I stopped giving him carbonated drinks, & he was a bit better.
We were booked to fly to Europe on 13th September last year, on a trip that he & the girls had spent almost a year planning in minute detail. I was essentially tagging along for the ride, but had said that Rome was on my Wish List, if we could fit that in, because I’d not been that far south in Italy. The rest was up to them.
He got home early on that 13th August, around 4pm. He was sitting on the sofa, & I rang the GP. When the receptionist answered, I handed the phone to Thomas, & told him to make an appointment to see our doctor. He scowled at me, & told the girl he didn’t have his diary with him, but would ring her back. We sat there, in silent combat.
I said “Why aren’t you seeking help? Are you scared that you’ll get a diagnosis that will stop us from going to Europe?” He seemed stunned that I’d guessed, & said “I just need a holiday. I’ll be okay after some time off.” “But what if it’s just Reflux that’s waking you overnight? What if it’s just an ulcer, that can be cured with a week of antibiotics? Why can’t we just get a diagnosis – it might be really simple! And the fear will be gone! We have a month till we leave, and it could be fixed by then.”
So he rang the Endoscopy clinic for me, found out who was doing each list on the free day he had coming up, but he didn’t know either Specialist, so said he’d ring them back when he’d talked to colleagues. But he never did.
Memories of these conversations, quite risky conversations, are what’s been making me so jittery this last month, and why I’m here, now.