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Realization


John9

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LMR,

I am also on journal/notebook number 6(almost full) I "swear" in those I keep it family friendly here to not offend or kicked off. It al "helps" but nothing like talking to my wife or a human being who UNDERSTANDS the "problem"

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annie123

John,  I get poison ivy EVERY year.  And I usually end up taking prednisone every year.  I can work in the yard for 10 minutes and sure enough, another case of poison ivy.  I am so prone to it.  I really like working in the yard, so, I guess I will keep getting it.

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I worry about brain fog too, John9. I find myself second-guessing myself a lot lately. And then I just sit and cry or sit...and cry some more. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and just sit. My cats are a bit worried about that. I see it on their faces but I have no answers for them. I feel as tho I am not acting normal anymore. In fact, I know I'm not acting normal but I'm not really up to doing anything to snap out of it, either. Well anyways, reading your posts as well as the others helps. Even if it's all sad...which I know that might seem weird but, at least you are being honest and getting stuff out into the open. Come to find out, I feel a lot like you do. Bet a lot of commenters do.     

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John9, ramble away.  That's what I love about this site.  Everyone gets it and someone can always identify with what you're saying.  My least favorite thing to do these days is go grocery shopping so I can really identify with that.  I buy enough for two or three weeks so I don't have to go as often.  Brings back too many memories.

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annie123,

I have had so many "issues" working in our yard since we first bought the property and started clearing it for the house. I ended up doing yard work in pants and sweatshirts even in 95 degree weather because of poison ivy, chiggers, mosquitoes, wasps, etc. and then everyone looks at me like I am CRAZY because they are outside in barely any clothes on. I used to just change clothes when they were too wet and wash multiple "outfits" until I was done. I still get the poison ivy but have "learned" to not scratch it (it is hard) but it goes away. Since my wife died I don't enjoy yard work anymore, I do it because nobody else will and to keep the city off my back.

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tnd,

I know I am not acting the way I used to and this is even with the brain fog and the people I talk to once again don't understand what I mean because they aren't going through this. My "wife's" cats come and look at me sometimes when I am in bed crying but since the are only 17 months old they don't understand me at all anyway. And they aren't cuddly like all of the other dogs and cats we had before. I just keep trying to do what I can when I can for as long as I can until this all ends. I fully understand about reading other posts and feeling okay about what they are saying because we can identify what they are going through.

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MaryB,

What is really so bad for me about shopping is I used to use shopping as a stress relief, mind clearing therapy. "We" would go to the store as a quick break from MIL for 20-30 minutes because we could but that messes with my mind now too. I know that I have to do this because this is ALL on me. And right now I am unable to take MIL with me so I have the added pressure of that worry too.

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John, I don't see you as taking over or derailing a thread, you relate to others and you're still fresh in your grief, everything brings it front and foremost in your mind/heart, how could it not!  I daresay people relate to what you write, it's not rambling, besides which it's hard for us to think clearly in early grief with grief fog/brain fog and this is a jolt to our brains like none other!  It's like trying to come back from brain trauma only worse in many ways.  Keep talking...

 

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10 hours ago, MaryB said:

My least favorite thing to do these days is go grocery shopping so I can really identify with that.  I buy enough for two or three weeks so I don't have to go as often.  Brings back too many memories.

MaryB:  I use to actually enjoy doing the grocery shopping. My husband hated it so I was the one who went. I use to love being able to pick out the fresh produce he liked and even his razors and shaving cream. Guess I liked it because I knew it made him happy. I'd often come home with a "surprise treat" and that made it even better. I haven't gone tho since being homebound and no transportation but I look forward to when I can go again -someday. Hopefully I won't break down crying while standing at the bell peppers but who cares...I'll be sure to stuff a hanky in my purse. Hopefully you will be able to do things again and it won't be so upsetting as it is now. Getting enough for 2-3 weeks is your way of coping and in my opinion, that is better than not coping. Stay strong! Do what you feel comfortable with. There are no rules here. 

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9 hours ago, John9 said:

I just keep trying to do what I can when I can for as long as I can

John9:  We have to give ourselves kudos every once in awhile. Or come "toot your own horn" on here. I for one applaud what you are able to do and get through each day. Despite your circumstances and the blow you've been dealt, you are still standing and finding your own way now. Obviously what we or what I thought of as "coping" isn't quite what I thought it was at all. 

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tnd,

I guess that in our own ways we are all being tested and how we cope is the "answer". I have said before my wife died that I am not sure how much "more" I could handle and yet here I am still "going". I am afraid because I believe that I am "only" working off of my adrenaline (or whatever) that is keeping me "upright" and moving and when MIL dies or something that pushes me over the final edge I am going to just collapse and that will be whatever God has for me. Nothing makes sense in regards to why I am still here but here I am.

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John9:  I have a similar thought. I don't honestly know how I am still going but I am. But I have a strong feeling that once I get moved and get a new doctor, I will be admitted into the hospital. I hate hospitals but the time my doctor admitted me, I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis and pneumonia, which was very bad however, after a few days I felt so much better and was finally breathing well enough (on oxygen of course) to finally sleep. And when I was able to come home, it felt so good and I was happy. I know I should probably go to the hospital here and now but I don't have anyone to look after my cats and I certainly don't need to cause an uproar or trouble for my brother and his wife. I wouldn't be able to relax and let the medicine help me. But once I get moved, if my new doctor wants me in the hospital, I won't argue. Are we tough as nails, or what?! I hate having to be but I just do what I can right now and then after I move, we shall see... 

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tnd,

I fully understand the comments about causing an uproar and worrying about the cats because now without my wife there is nobody "here" if something happened to me to care for MIL or cats.I made sure all paperwork is in place for my wishes in regards to medical care since my wife would have taken care of me in regards to hospital care. Of course that is another sadness trigger because she was always in case of emergency contact and now she isn't. No treatment to prolong life if quality isn't there but that was what both of us wanted before but have to make sure son knows now. Son gets everything and the cats go with the house.

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25 minutes ago, John9 said:

Of course that is another sadness trigger because she was always in case of emergency contact and now she isn't. No treatment to prolong life if quality isn't there but that was what both of us wanted before but have to make sure son knows now. Son gets everything and the cats go with the house.

John9:  I  hear ya. In fact, I think the next time I find myself in the hospital (and there will be a next time), I am going to sign a DNR or DNAR "Do Not Resuscitate" or "Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate". My husband and I were the same way. We discussed it and both agreed that if something happened and there would be no quality of life and just machines, then we gave each other permission to end life support. But we both agreed not to sign a DNR. Now that he can't be there if something happens to me, I've decided that I will sign a DNR.   

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tnd,

When my friend first had a medical issue 25 years ago, he was unable to "speak" for himself and had nothing in writing to allow anyone to "help" him and it was a bad situation. He was lucky that his parents were alive at the time to talk to the Doctors. So one would think that he learned a lesson but he didn't and in 2009 when he had his first stroke he was lucky that he was able to speak for himself this time but did he learn NO and the when he had his second stroke he couldn't speak again but his Doctor was aware of me and would at least listen. Finally he got the hint and put the legal paperwork in place so I could talk to the Doctors and when he was admitted in the Hospital the last 2 times I could call and receive information and then of course when he died I now get to deal with all of the probate stuff that is just dragging on forever and adding to my already stressful life. Long way to get to my point of what you said DNR, now more than ever because what would I come back to more suffering and more pain.

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12 minutes ago, John9 said:

Long way to get to my point of what you said DNR, now more than ever because what would I come back to more suffering and more pain.

John9:  My husband and I only agreed to not signing DNR's in case we could be revived and no brain damage/loss of quality of life. But we both agreed to not prolong the other's suffering either. Now that he's gone, I am really not all that concerned about being revived. If signing a DNR is my ticket out of here so I can go be with him, then I want to take that opportunity. As grim or morbid as this sounds, it is a very personal decision that I think I should consider. Of course, I haven't researched it yet to see if a DNR is considered an act of suicide because if it is well, I won't do it then.    

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tnd,

As far as I know and I know nothing anymore I don't think it is considered suicide if YOU aren't trying to kill yourself.

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John9:  I'm not Catholic but since they do tend to be very strict, I read it on a Catholic site that a DNR order is not suicide. The Catholic official said that God cannot intubate us and so needs our help in doing the right thing. Depending on the patient's individual situation, she said something about not prolonging a person's death or suffering. So I think if I want to sign a DNR, I'm good to go! pun intended.    

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I have in my medical records to contact my son as to DNR or not because I don't trust the medical community...I want DNR if there's no hope of coming back from it, but not if I can get better, so want it left to his judgment.  That's if they can get a hold of him.  Gosh can't reach either of my kids anymore, I also have no one there for me.  It's a very alone feelings knowing no one cares.  No one does like my George did.  We lose so much when we lose our spouse..  That beautiful connection...

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tnd,

I think we probably read the same thing and I just don't want to be kept alive only by machines if I am not able to LIVE without PAIN and SUFFERING more than I have now. I think you understand what I mean.

 

KayC,

1 hour ago, KayC said:

We lose so much when we lose our spouse.

That is SO TRUE, and that is why I did my paperwork for the "legal" reason that my son or if he isn't available my wife's Aunt can decide based on what the "outcome" would be. If the quality of life isn't there let me die. I don't want to be an "experiment" or doing surgeries because the insurance might pay or my son will have a bill, etc. Follow the "oath" and do no harm and follow my directions and let "me" decide and it isn't suicide if I can't or won't get better, suffering and pain is not good for the patient even if you can treat the pain.

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foreverhis
20 hours ago, John9 said:

Of course that is another sadness trigger because she was always in case of emergency contact and now she isn't.

Indeed.  That one didn't hit me until more than a year after.  I had to go for some imaging for my knee and hand.  As I was checking in, the receptionist ran through my information, confirming this and that.  Then she said, "And your husband John is still your emergency contact."  I couldn't speak and could barely think.  I started to cry and said, "No, he died more than a year ago."  Of course, she felt terrible, but I assured her it wasn't her fault and that she had no way of knowing, considering I hadn't been in for imaging for more than 2 years.  Then she tentatively asked, "Is there a family member or friend you'd like us to include?"  Again, my brain almost shut down thinking, "Who the heck would it be if not John?"  Finally, I made sure she had our daughter's information in Seattle and my sister's information in the Bay Area.  She said, "Um, we could do with someone local, just in case." so I gave her a good friend's name (without even asking the friend first!).  She happened to also be a patient, so they were able to pull that information right into my file.

It's things like that that can really trip us up for a very long time after, even after you think you've got the legal stuff handled.

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foreverhis,

I am actually hoping that I don't have to seek any type of care and go in my sleep. Overall my wife and I were relatively lucky in regards to medical treatments for ourselves. Most of the forms have been for MIL. I have "changed" the information at the Vet office since it was all in her name since she worked there and at MIL Doctor so they don't leave a message in my wife's name to trigger either MIL or me. I try but brain fog does derail my plans and I go off and completely lose what I am doing. If I need to I will list my son as he is the "legal" medical contact anyway.

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3 hours ago, foreverhis said:

As I was checking in, the receptionist ran through my information, confirming this and that.  Then she said, "And your husband John is still your emergency contact."  I couldn't speak and could barely think.  I started to cry and said, "No, he died more than a year ago." 

foreverhis:  I hadn't thought of this. After I move and start seeing new doctors, no doubt this will come up. I guess I'm lucky in the way that I still have family (brother and SIL) that I can list for contacts. I told my brother last nite that next time I'm in the hospital that I will be signing a DNR so that no one has to make any decisions.  

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3 hours ago, John9 said:

I have "changed" the information at the Vet office since it was all in her name since she worked there and at MIL Doctor so they don't leave a message in my wife's name to trigger either MIL or me.

John9:  I still get calls/messages for my husband. Mostly all business calls. Since I will be moving soon and having our phone turned off I'm just doing my best to not let these calls bother me. Easier said than done, right? But I know if I try to call any of these people back I will only burst into tears so I'm just letting it go.   

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tnd,

The Doctors/hospital will probably still try to "make" sure to cover their butts.

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tnd,

I called when I started receiving mail for my wife to buy life insurance and they "bounced" me all around the company and when I told them why I wanted her name removed from the "list" I was told to have a nice day. I am "still" receiving mail for her from them. I try as they come to address each one but I do break down when talking to them. Sadly a lot of companies have a "division" for this issue and they are not sympathetic to the grieving person calling.

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6 minutes ago, John9 said:

Sadly a lot of companies have a "division" for this issue and they are not sympathetic to the grieving person calling.

John9:  I am going thru something similar with the electric and phone companies. The accounts are in my husband's name. I had begged him for a long time to have me added but he obviously didn't. Wish I had been on him more about that. It's been a pain just to make payments because he was having the bills emailed to him. Well, I cannot get into his email account and if I go online or call, I have to go round and round with them about my husband having passed. I imagine it's going to be just as bad when I need the electricity and phone turned off when I move. Have no idea what widows/widowers are suppose to do about these things. As for the mail, my husband use to get mail for his first late wife. Went on a few years and then it stopped. 

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tnd,

I am trying to address that with my son, I am listing all of my accounts and how to access them because like your husband most of the bills come email now. I was lucky with my friend because I was the one controlling his email account and checking account anyway so it was a little easier to turn off some bills. The fact that this is happening is why some attorney's tell you to list your digital accounts for after you die so someone has access to them. I had our son "memorialize" my wife's Facebook account and I am in control of her email and I was in control of her cell phone till I had it turned off. I think the problem is that there is no uniform rules across the country to address this. It may sound bad but if you ask to speak to management maybe they could tell you how to get things addressed.

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John9:  Thanks for the suggestion. At least I only have to deal with 2 companies. I remember when my father ran out on my mother. Luckily all us kids were grown up and gone. But she called to get the phone turned off when she moved and they wouldn't do it because it was in my father's name. They told her that HE had to be the one to call. SO...she went across the street, grabbed the neighbor and HE called pretending to be my father. And they obliged. That was many years ago but obviously incompetency never ends. 

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tnd,

I have stated numerous times that I did EVERYTHING for my wife because among other things she hated talking on the phone if not family or friends. So whenever any account issues for her accounts came up she would have to TELL the person to talk to my husband. I tried to "get" her to do more but she was reluctant because she didn't HAVE to do it. She also "told" accounts that she was her mother because of dementia issues and to talk to my son in law. It shows that the "rules" they have mean nothing if you can cheat. Also explains identity theft too. The biggest problem that we have is that there are some things that we have to deal with that are important and some things are a pain in the butt and should not be hard to do like the issue you have, all you or anyone should have to do is provide proof you are "spouse" especially if you want to pay. As an aside my wife LOVED that I did EVERYTHING for her and in the 35 years we were together she actually never put gas in her own car.

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I suppose when I move in with my brother I should make sure he can go online and have access to my bank account but other than that, I won't have anything. I don't have a car, no cell phone, no credit cards, nothing. And of course I will list him as a contact on medical records. It just seems so unbelievable that I went from "we" to just "me". I wonder if I can even consider myself a "Mrs." anymore. I feel like I am. I think I am. I'm not going to get upset if people call me "Miss" or "Ms" but I did take pride in being my husband's "Mrs". After divorcing my first husband I stayed single for almost 10 years. I intentionally avoided men. I didn't hate them, I just was afraid and not trusting. And I made a better life for myself and kept busy. Moved my mother in with me...she had a heart condition that prevented her from working full time. So I was busy and felt fine being single. But then I met my husband and that all changed. I realized I no longer wanted to be alone. My mother had moved out and remarried so it was just myself at that point. So by the time my husband and I married, it was a big deal -for both of us. That feeling has somehow continued, even after 14 years. And even tho he's gone. To me, it is still a big deal to know we were married and had a life together. And it most certainly would have continued. He knew that and so do I. 

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11 minutes ago, John9 said:

As an aside my wife LOVED that I did EVERYTHING for her and in the 35 years we were together she actually never put gas in her own car.

John9:  Ah!  A traditional man! Or what some call "old fashioned". My husband did the same thing. I always loved it. Made me feel special and that he was being a "manly man". Only one time, because it had been so long since I had done it myself, I nearly panicked at the gas station. That's when I realized that perhaps I was a little spoiled. 

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13 hours ago, tnd said:

As for the mail, my husband use to get mail for his first late wife. Went on a few years and then it stopped. 

I have for an XH that was just a con that stole from me, never even lived with me, he started using MY address when I divorced him!  I printed some labels that said "Return to Sender, never lived here!"  I put a note inside my mailbox (taped inside) that said do not deliver anything for him.  Don't know what the post office does with it, but they no longer deliver it to me, good!

13 hours ago, John9 said:

like your husband most of the bills come email now.

I gave my son my password to my pw file so he can get into it if I die or get incapacitated.  Most of my bills come on line also.  I can't think of any I pay snail mail.  My budget is also on the PC so it's pretty clear what to pay/when.

 

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tnd,

 I enjoyed doing EVERYTHING for my wife and She would actually "brag" about it to her family and her co-workers. She knew she was spoiled and she LOVED it. WE were PROUD that we were the SPOUSE of each other. I feel the same as you about we and me or us and I or team to ALONE. This is another one of THOSE days, DREARY weather and it is a FRIDAY and she should be home with me or we should be doing something TOGETHER. As I said she chose what she wanted to do and if she didn't want to do it she didn't. When we first got together she was a smoker and I knew it and the only things I said to her was it isn't "good" for you. Fast forward to 2007 (ish) and the price was getting very high and she wanted a new car and I said IF you quit smoking you could afford one, she DID and she DID. She decided to quit I was happy but I never MADE her do anything she didn't want to do. I knew and she knew what we were getting into when we got together and accepted that (warts and all). The only things she changed on me was the way I dressed, certain things I wasn't "allowed" to wear when I was with her mostly certain colors or styles of shirts. Now I don't know if I could even attempt to shop for clothes without her. We decided when we got engaged/married that we didn't want to be alone anymore either and we "couldn't" sleep well if the other one was not in bed. That is also one of the issues I have now, went from sleeping with my wife and dogs to sleeping totally ALONE. And I know that if everyone on this site was sleeping in one bed they did too but again I am venting.

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KayC,

That is what I am trying to do but I am sure I haven't thought of everything and now matter when I die, he will end up having some issues because right now it is grief brain and later it might just be I completely forgot about something. I have written him a letter that addresses some of the things he will need to do and I keep adding to it, it went from 1 to 2 pages so far and I told him where it will be and to make sure to look at it as soon as he can after because of things he has never had to deal with.

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7 hours ago, John9 said:

The only things she changed on me was the way I dressed, certain things I wasn't "allowed" to wear when I was with her mostly certain colors or styles of shirts. Now I don't know if I could even attempt to shop for clothes without her.

John9:  When the time comes for new clothes, maybe you could shop online. I'd start writing down sizes/brands from your labels on clothes now before they fade. That way when you shop online you will have the info. Can't tell you how many times I've forgotten my own size, it all depends on the brand/manufacturer. And I have to admit, I hate shopping online and now I can't (no money right now). When I was still able to get out and do stuff I didn't mind getting my husband new clothes. Unless it was a trip to the bookstore, he hated shopping. I never strayed from what he wanted except for colors. His style was a little boring or I guess what you'd call "modest" but it was the style he had when I met him and I never thought of changing it. It was "him".  

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7 hours ago, John9 said:

I have written him a letter that addresses some of the things he will need to do

John9:  You are a good father! Writing all this stuff down for your son is a good idea. I am kind of living a nitemare with having to search for stuff/paperwork and sure wished my husband or "we" had kept proper files. Hate to say it but, I was the neat freak and he...well, I'll just say he was not. His desk and home office room here in the apartment is atrocious! Mountains of paper and files but...nothing I need can be found. At least not very easily. Leaving info and instructions for your son will definitely help him.  

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tnd,

My wife never really set out to change me but she didn't like certain colors, didn't hate them but didn't really like them and as I already said about other things she was the one who was looking at me. My issue with online shopping which my wife did all the time is just what you said, the sizes vary and I don't like to have to send something back and she didn't either. I just gave her Aunt clothes that she had bought years ago with the tags still on them. One of the other issues we had was when we would find clothes that we liked the companies discontinued or altered and it wasn't the same as before. We had the same issue with food too, whenever we liked something companies quit selling it so much so it became a running joke with us. Sizes have been an issue for both of us because as I found out it depends on where the company has something made. I have bought the same size and style of jeans and one will fit and one won't and the difference is country of origin so I always had to try on clothes at the store and she hated to try clothes on at the store and I was usually the one who returned something because that's what I did. Neither one of us cared about what anyone thought about the way we dressed as long as "we" liked how "we" looked to each other. She was always saying she like the way certain jeans made my butt look and the same for me and her butt.

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tnd,

Sadly the reason I am writing things down is because I was the organized one between my wife and I and I had trouble finding things after she died. I am also sad to say if I had died she wouldn't have been able to find what was needed either. I was actually in the process before she died because of my friend's death and how much trouble I had going through his stuff for court but she died unexpectedly and I still had to scramble to find things and there is still a possibility I missed something and won't know unless I receive a notice or a bill for something. My wife always told everyone that if it wasn't for me "things" wouldn't get done because she was an artistic soul not an organized one. She liked to keep a "clean" house but she didn't go overboard I was the detail cleaner (deep dusting) and such but as I said before really everything we did was teamwork she did what she did and I did the rest.

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6 minutes ago, John9 said:

as I said before really everything we did was teamwork she did what she did and I did the rest.

John9:  Teamwork. That is the best word to describe it. My husband and I had that, too. He used to want to take a turn and scrub the tub but he was a big tall guy and I knew it was hard on him to be bent over on his knees scrubbing. So I did it but he felt guilty. Then he went out and bought me a long-handled electric scrubber. It was perfect! That was his way of helping me do the tub. He could have easily done it using the scrubber too but I didn't ask him to. He often did the laundry and after I got sick, he did the grocery shopping. He would also help wash dishes. Best of all, he never not once complained about my cooking. Such a dear man! 

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tnd,

I was the one who cleaned the tub because it hurt her to do it, I never complained about it or anything that she couldn't do. She hurt her back many years ago and the Doctor told her not to vacuum and for 25 years she didn't using that as an excuse. When she was pregnant in 1990 with our son the Doctor warned her about cleaning the cat litter box and until 2020 with HER new kittens she didn't clean the litter box either. I joked with her but it was never a big deal I did what she didn't want to do simple as that SHE was SPOILED and SHE KNEW IT. I never complained about her cooking I just said if I didn't like something please don't make it again. When I became a "full time" caregiver for my friend and MIL I basically did the majority of the housework but she would clean as a distraction from MIL as a break.

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John9:  I suppose I have a little OCD going on but honestly, I try to be organized as a way to make it easier on myself. Years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and learned to keep things orderly and in such a way that made it physically easier on me to get to. Even my furniture was arranged in a way that I could walk past it instead of having to go around it and it made vacuuming easier too. I kept some of my eating utensils in decorative containers and cookware on the counter to avoid having to pull/push drawers and cupboards. I kept clothes and things neatly arranged on built in shelves in a closet instead of on hangers or in drawers. And yet no one could walk in and guess that I had any sort of medical condition. These days tho, sheesh...the place is a wreck. An absolute wreck. It bothers me but I am just trying to do what I can until my brother and SIL get here. 

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tnd,

We all do what we can with what we are given or have to deal with and sadly now alone or at least without the most important person in our world. My friend was wheelchair bound and he figured out the basics to make it easy for him so I understand what you are saying. I am not as organized or as "clean" as we were when my wife was alive and maybe part is the grief brain or maybe it is that honestly I don't care about much anymore and that is sad but the truth.

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3 minutes ago, John9 said:

I am not as organized or as "clean" as we were when my wife was alive and maybe part is the grief brain or maybe it is that honestly I don't care about much anymore and that is sad but the truth.

John9:  When my husband was alive and I had something to look forward to, I didn't mind keeping up on the place. I took pride in having a nice clean home. He liked it annd so did I. I did it for both of us. Especially when I gave up working in the office to be a housewife. I actually wanted to do the cooking and the cleaning and run errands. I kept the place spotless. My husband worked full time so I didn't expect him to do any of that but he would do a little and help out. Thing was, we had an appreciation for each other and respect. We clicked. If we took the other for granted it wasn't because the other said not to. We knew we could depend on each other and we knew each other's limits. Seemed to be that way since Day One. I use to say we were like "Two peas in a pod". Without him here and despite knowing better, I am caring a little less about things. Everything I do right now is a chore because I HAVE TO do it...pack, clean, take care of paperwork, etc. I have no enjoyment because there is nothing to enjoy here. Maybe after I get moved but right now, I wake up to the next thing on the "To Do List" and whatever else I need to worry about. And I've got to hold back my tears and grief until I have knocked something off the To Do List.  

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