Home > Life as a Widow, Loss of a spouse, stress > The long and winding road!

The long and winding road!

I’ve been posting cryptic Facebook status messages for a while, and only a select few people really have any idea what’s been going on in my life.  I don’t like to share my whole life with the world until I sort through it and put it in some semblance of order.

It’s not like I have any thing to hide. Damn, when Mark died, my life became an open book. So much of my dirty laundry (that I tried for YEARS to hide) was put out there for everyone to see. Did I like it? Hell no! It made me too vulnerable — especially at that time. Everyone knew my business and got to see some of my skeletons that were hidden in my closet.

So what’s been going on with me and my life? Well, on August 17th things changed. Would I say for the better? No, not exactly, but it certainly was not for the worst. It’s just different from how it was three weeks ago.

Here’s what’s happened in a nutshell….

On August 17th, we went out on the jet ski, and we hooked up with some other people who were going to go out to the Statue of Liberty. To make a very long story short, we got caught up in a rough wave, went 5 feet in the air and crashed into the water. George protected me from getting hurt, but in doing so, he dislocated his knee, and tore 3 ligaments, frayed two tendons, and stretched (tore??) the nerve that controls the movement to raise the foot and toes. He will need surgery to repair the damage.

The next day, while getting ice out of the freezer for George, I had a food avalanche, and a gallon sized bag of frozen food fell on my foot. My foot swelled, my toes turned purple, and it hurt like hell to walk. After a week, I finally went to the doctor and got an xray. There are two broken bones in my foot, and I’m in a walking boot for about 6-8 weeks.

In regards to George, I have been coordinating with his parents regarding his care. He’s in some pain and having trouble moving around. He can’t get up the two flights of stairs to get to the bedroom and shower at his parent’s home, so he sleeps at my house since I am one level. Well, for those of you who know the status of our relationship will know that is not the only reason he stays at my house.

In the morning before work, I drive him to his parents who care for him until I get out of work and get back there (about 5:45). On most nights, I have dinner with the family, we hang out for a bit, and then we go back to my house until we do it again in the morning. Some of my friends think that it will become too much for me to handle, but they don’t realize that I have much more endurance that anyone could imagine, and I have dealt with much more difficult “caregiver” situations than this one!

Also because of his injury, he can’t get in and out of my Eclipse (too low and small) so we have been using his pick up (a huge ass Chevy Silverado).  Never thought I would drive a truck that large. George would always ask me if I wanted to drive it, and I would tell him no. I was afraid to drive it because of its height and size. But once George got injured, I had very few options but to learn to drive it, and like most things I fear, once I do it, I can put that fear behind me.

George gave me an “out” of our relationship, but I didn’t take it. How could I? I didn’t plan on meeting George. I didn’t plan on loving him.  In the beginning I wanted to him. I wanted a man to do things with this summer. I wanted someone to take me out to the movies and dinner. I wanted to be able to have someone to cook for and have quiet dinners with. I wanted someone to hold my hand. I wanted a boyfriend. I got what I wanted. I had a great summer with George. Yet while I was out having fun with him, my heart decided that it had a mind of its own. In the process of hanging out with George, I fell in love with the man who he was. I went from wanting him in my life to loving him to needing him to be in my life.

Do I regret it? Absolutely not! I have a found a man with whom I am compatible, and who has a good heart. He listens to me, he cares about me, he loves me, and he is kind, sensitive, and gentle (although he does not show that side to many people). I’m happy – I can’t remember the last time that I said that.

So now that you all know how I feel, here’s what George and I are in for in the next year or so. After seeing multiple doctors, we finally saw one who could help him. He is an orthopedic surgeon who will do the repair of the ligaments. The first operation, which we hope will be in the next week or so, will consist of repairing the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) which connects the thigh bone to the fibula, the smaller bone of the lower leg on the lateral or outer side of the knee.

While he is repairing that, another surgeon will evaluate the nerve damage that George has that is causing the “foot drop”. They will evaluate what needs to be done so that his foot and toes can move normally. It really depends on what the damage looks like as to what course of action will be taken. The options can include nerve reconstruction surgery, using a donor nerve, or re-routing a nerve. The prognosis for the foot drop/nerve damage is not the best, but we won’t know anything until after the surgery.

The second surgery will consist of repairing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) (one of the two major ligaments in the knee. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone in the knee) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) (the second major ligament in the knee connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone in the knee).

We were told that the recovery for this type of injury can be a year or more. It’s going to be a long road for George (and for me and his parents). We are still trying to work out the logistics of how his after care will work out. It’s obvious that he can’t get around in his parent’s home, so for the most part, he will be with me. Do I have a problem with that? None at all. I’m fine with caring for him.  For the haters who will call me a sucker or make comments about my life and how I choose to live it, you don’t know me at all. I am extremely loyal and I put those I love above all other priorities in my life. I know why that is. It’s because when I love, I love with ALL of my heart, and not just a part of it.

I will stand by George’s side for as long as his recovery takes (or for as long as he wants me there — which I hope will be forever). I will work with his parent’s to be sure that we give him the best care that we can, and to be sure that we keep his spirits up and his mind occupied. I’m so grateful that he has such wonderful parents, and I am grateful that they are allowing me to so involved in George’s care. His mom says she is very happy that I want to support George because she says that she’s never seen him so happy, and she feels that he waited his whole life for me.

As many of you recall, whenever Mark was sick or hospitalized, I always had to deal with decisions, hospital stays, surgeries, after care, and everything else that is involved with someone who had a chronic illness all by myself and alone. While I had my friends to vent to, there is nothing like family to support you through the tough times. Mark’s family never EVER once offered to help me with his care, nor did they EVER come to the hospital to visit him or sit with me during any of his many surgeries.

This situation is a whole different scenario. I won’t say it will be easy, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. And he is definitely worth having!




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