Monday, June 18, 2007

Weathering the storm. . .

As you all know, my wife has been struggling health-wise for some time now. We were discussing it the other night; and it’s been a journey (for us) that’s now lingered into five years.

She had knee surgery in 2002, in 2003 I had two separate back surgeries. We both got laid off and she had a hysterectomy in 2004, then a back surgery for her in 2005, and another in 2006… and finally a Thyroidectomy and radiation therapy in 2006 for her as well.

Now, fresh from our visit to the latest in spinal specialists, we find that there’s definitely a problem with the last surgery, in that at least one of the screws used has literally broken out of the bone… more tests, and in all likelihood another surgery are in our future for 2007.

One the upside and we do try and stay focused on the upside around here, with the exception of the back issue, and the resultant intense pain that brings, things do seem to be improving on the health front for her. The new Doc specializes in what they call “failed back” syndrome. That’s when you’ve had surgery, but have not gotten any pain relief. With any luck, this guy will be able to find the root cause and get it corrected this time.

One of the things that can become overwhelming at times, when a person deals with constant chronic pain, is the concept of “I don’t deserve this”. I know I had it, and she helped me stay focused and get through it, and now I’m trying to get her through it as well.

Couple that with the fact that she often feels as though she has no ‘life’, and doesn’t feel like much of a wife at times… and you have all the makings of a good solid depression. I’m constantly amazed at her ability to “cowboy up” and just tough her way through it.

Despite all of this, I feel blessed. That’s right, blessed.

I had no way of knowing it at the time, but, getting out of my last job, was probably the only reason I’ve been able to ‘be there’ for her, in the way that I’ve been. This company, from the top down, believes family is the single most important thing. They let me work from home any time I need to be here, to go with her to Doctor’s appointments, or she just needs me here.

On the days where I’m not going to be able to get any real work done, I can use a sick day without fear I’ll be taken to task for it.

On the last job, even if I called in sick, they’d call me at home wanting me to take care of things from my sick bed. In two years of working here, not once has anyone ever called me outside of normal working hours, unless it was arranged in advance (often when making system changes the business owners have to verify connectivity and functionality after the changes are made).

I’m definitely living in a very different world now, working for a company that honors not only the employees, but their families as well. I can tell you this for certain, had the last company not outsourced me, I would have been fired, or had to quit, to get through this anyway.

I laugh sometimes, when I think about the emotions I felt at the moment I left that last job. Fear, anger, uncertainty, was just the tip of the iceberg… In the end though, like I’ve always done, I kept looking, and this gig found itself to me. We never had a lapse in health insurance; in fact we’ve had even better insurance since the split than we ever had before.

Most importantly though, we’ve been there, for one another through it all, day in, day out, that has never changed.

Yes we worried about money, argued about what we could, and could not buy, but, we got by, kept the bills paid and carried on.

Life has a funny way, of giving you exactly what you need, at precisely the moment you need it… even if, at that moment, it seems the exact opposite is happening.

She and I have been through more, in our eight years together, than many folks go through in 20… what’s amazing to me, is that I love her more today, than I ever have!

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Greg said...

Hey Big Guy!

Glad to hear you might have finally found some one to do right for Maryan...and that you both are doing right by each other...I was there for that day, and bet you would then!

Love ya!

Bill said...

Hey Greg! We'll see the myelogram is on Thursday, and we go back to see the Doc next week for the results...

Yeah, you were definitely there, and we still talk about dinner at Frankie Roland's!!

We're going back up there for a weekend as soon as she can travel!

Love you too bro!

Patrick M. Tracy said...

Bill, (responding to multiple posts)

So good to have you back and posting! We missed you. Sounds like they're "end of life-ing" VFP, but my cousin works in an industry that has been in that stage for twenty years--radio tubes for radar emplacements. You'll probably be able to nurse a living out of VFP for a while longer. It's too bad when these things happen, but we don't make the waves, we only ride them when the come in.

As for the travails and medical issues, I empathize. My dad's been in and out of the hospital since '94, and it's been tough on all of us to watch it eat away at him. It is amazing that people can keep bouncing back after they've been through the medical mill so often.

I wish you and Maryan the best of luck with the newest doc. Let's hope that this time's "the charm".


Lorna said...

Bill, there's nothing better than the support of a loving partner---it sounds like you and maryan both have it

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...


As long as you and Maryan are strong, and work as a TEAM, you will make it through this.

You are both VERY lucky to have each other!

(1/2 of "Team Jackson")

Jada's Gigi said...

Hey Bill
long time no see..:) so glad to hear Maryan is making progress..she's a lucky girl to have you taking care of her...always nice to hear of couples hanging in. Its very easy to get depressed with chronic pain or illness. Keep looking on the brighter side...
Loved your post on your dad...great!

No_Newz said...

Awww! How sweet are you?!!? Good happy and healthy vibes to you both!

Bill said...

Pat - Thanks man... I've missed being here! I can certainly squeeze some more work out of VFP, but I'm almost looking forward to this next chapter.

Lorna - Thanks! You're just exactly right, we are both blessed.

Liz - Yep, you're right... but, then again, so are you ans Steve.

Cheryl - Thsnks, life is definitely a roller coaster... but hey, every once in a while it's nice to get off and watch other folks take the ride :)

Lois - Not all that sweet actually... kinda salty I think... thanks for the good vibes.. we can use them!