Well hello everyone! I've been off the radar for a quick minute.
What's been going on around here you ask? Well ....
1. The spouse
He underwent surgery. It was a major surgery which involved replacing and repairing various parts of his heart and pulmonary anatomy. He was born with congenital heart defects that he had been largely unaware of until tests revealed the hidden, ticking time bombs in his chest. Now, he is a bionic man with synthetic tubing and artificial valves where once there were natural aneurytic arteries and diseased valves conspiring to bring him down any.time.now. And way before his time.
He has a long, very neat scar from the base of his neck to his lower abdomen.
Intensive care was scary for a while but I never doubted that he was in excellent professional hands and I had faith, for the first time ever when it comes to a situation as out-of-my-control as this one has been, that he would recover and be fine. He is making a good recovery and is home from the hospital with a pile of meds (most temporary) and equipment to help him regain his independence in walking, bathing and other activities of daily living.
The spouse is not out of the woods and never will be. The grafts could fail, as could the valves, but he's doing his best to lose weight, stay motivated and cheery. He hasn't suffered depression in the slightest, nor fear. It has been quite an amazing experience for us both. I am impressed, as always, with his resilience and his matter-of-fact manner in dealing with life's curves. He says that he has had good practice because he is, after all, married to me. LOL
For my part, I am impressed with the way I have handled this situation. I used to fall apart, my underpinnings having being planted in such weak foundations. This time, I found a strength within that enabled me to NOT bawl my eyes out when the nurses wheeled my man away to be carved up. I was determined not to do that. I told myself that this situation was NOT ABOUT ME. It was about being a rock for my rock. I saw him waver at the end, potentially staring death in the face. Still, I stayed strong and so did the rest of the supportive family there with me. No one cried while we waited with him. We'd already done plenty of that in secret beforehand, in the days when we first found out that our Main Man was in trouble. For me, it would've been unacceptable behavior on my part. He needed to see that I could cope. I stayed focused and razor sharp (pun!). I was his advocate and believe me when I say I advocated.
We are now on the flip side, working on cardiac rehab and looking forward to the much lengthened future. After seeing the surgical report, we now know that the spouse was actually living on borrowed time. He was in even worse condition than revealed by the CT and MRI scans. I don't think he would've lived out this year.
We smile a lot, laugh a lot, love a LOT. Life is good, thanks to a brilliant talented surgeon and his impressive surgical team. These people are truly amazing to be able to do what they do.
2. The Immediate Family
Our kids are doing well. College is over for us finally. No more pencils, no more books. The most recent college grad is interviewing for jobs but entirely enjoying being at home too much. This has been a surprise development. For months, the kid has been telling us that jobs were lined up, which they were not. Yes, I have seen the diploma so I know that the course of study has been completed but I am bewildered at this complete lack of motivation. Not good. I am sure, however, that the situation will be remedied. It has to be. There is no other recourse.........
We have 2 kids who have excelled. Both hold demanding, professional jobs earning big money. They are great kids who supported me beyond belief while their father was in the hospital. They are both involved in strong relationships, one just got married.
This third kid was also a great support, has always been very supportive. Unfortunately, despite graduating from a global top engineering college, this kid is exhibiting signs of Failure to Launch. It is beginning to cause stress at home because this kid needs to get out into the world and build a life. We need to get that butt off the couch. I fear there could be signs of depression, inherited from my side of the family no doubt. I'm not sure what to do about this situation. I don't want it to blow up but, given the fact that enough rope has been handed to this kid over the years, all signs point to GO. I'm staying calm but holding firm that things must progress and evolve. Stay tuned.
The fourth kid, Cat, carries on as selfishly as ever. I sent her a text and an email to let her know that her dad was about to undergo major surgery and that she was welcome to come home to see him before he was admitted. She knew her father was in the hospital but never even bothered to so much as send a text to ask about his well being. She lives in a dope house in a poor part of town with a guy who is no good. She spends every cent of her earnings on pot (I have a spy) and has just turned 30 years old. She is jealous of her siblings and their successes. She cannot be around us and we don't want her around, I'm sorry to say. Life is easier with Cat out of the mix. She has lost yet another job and is on the way to being bounced out of her current job. She owes money to family and (ex)friends. She cannot come back home here to live when she loses her job and car UNLESS she agrees to rehab, which she will not do. Honestly, I cannot live with her anyway so I have no idea how this years long situation is going to ultimately play itself out.
3. The Extended Family
My father is still an asshole. My sibling and her husband are still assholes.
My mother is trapped indoors, a victim of increased dementia and agitation. She is now incontinent. She has just been released from the hospital into my father's 'care' but I'm damned if I can figure out why. Is the UK health care system so far gone that it is acceptable for an incontinent woman with Alzheimer's to be released back into the care of an elderly man with gimpy legs who may have caused her bad fall to begin with? I told my sibling that the potential for abuse on the part of my father was huge. I have no idea how my mother is being kept clean and hygienic. I cannot imagine.
I've already detailed the horrendous living conditions within my parents' home: extreme mold, leaking roof, substandard bathroom facilities and plumbing, poor cooking facilities.
My father is a cheapskate who has always been a cheapskate. I left home and was on my own at 18/19 years of age and so I wasn't always aware of just how big of a cheapskate he was/is but I'm finding out now. He is an awful human being. I feel terrible for my mother but I have removed myself from the equation and the situation entirely. I have no input, I have no say. I receive my news second hand from an extended family member. That is the extent of my involvement with my UK family. There is no dealing with the jealousy, the bitterness, the rage and the dysfunction that emanates from that group of people and so I have chosen to remove myself from the madness and have gone Zero Contact. When my mother dies, I am positive that they won't even tell me.
To be continued ......