Home > Life as a Widow, Love never dies > The Epitome of Love

The Epitome of Love

Let me preface this by saying that I am the happiest I have been in a long time. However, that does not preclude the fact that life takes twists and turns that are both good and bad, expected and unexpected. As I posted before, and updated many times on Facebook (for those of you who follow my posts), I am dating again, and things have gotten pretty serious. And if you have been following along, you also know that George and I got into a jet ski accident, and in that accident, he tore up his knee.

Yesterday George had his first surgery to repair the damage. The surgery reconstructed his Lateral Collateral Ligament, repaired the muscles and tendons, and decompressed and removed scar tissue from the peroneal nerve (which controls the foot movement). There was about a four-inch section of the nerve that was scarred. The nerve itself was not torn, but it was all stretched out and twisted up with the damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles. The doctor said that it would have been better if it had torn. The stretching will take a VERY long time to heal (if it actually heals on its own). The nerves regenerate at about 1 mm per day which equates to about 1 inch a month. The nerve will need to regenerate from the site of injury which is close to the knee cap and go all the way down to the big toe. That’s going to be a lot of healing time. The doctor told us that there is a 50/50 chance of recovery on its own. If it does not show improvement (after a nerve test is performed), they will consider tendon transfer surgery as another option.

This morning the occupational therapist came in to see George to teach him how to move around without putting any weight on his leg. He will be using a walker because he does not want to use crutches. There is a chance he will get out of the hospital today, and his mom will simply drive him to my home, and I will meet them there rather than driving back up to University Hospital in Newark to go get him.

He will be staying at my home for the majority of his recovery. We all decided that it would be best for him because I have a single floor home so there are no stairs. I am close enough to my office so that I can be home for lunch and get home if he needs me.  He also expressed that he wants to be with me, so we think that will help his recovery.

So how do I really feel about this? Well, I never EVER thought that I would be back in the shoes of being a caregiver only 8 months (6 if you consider that the accident happened in August) after Mark died. It was not something that I even considered at this point, But as the saying goes, “shit happens.”

After much thinking about this whole situation from different points of views, I have realized that I am fine with taking care of George while he is recovering. I never ever hated caring for Mark. That was never the issue. Yes, it was exhausting. It was demanding. It was lonely (only because I had ZERO support from his family). But I did it for about six years. I was very good at it. I was patient (about 95% of the time) and even though I needed to vent (which is completely normal), I knew it was what I wanted and needed to do.

I love George, and I have no doubt whatsoever that he loves me. And with that being said, I am ready, willing, and able to take care of him. It is what I want to do. It is what I need to do. And it is going to be what I WILL do. I will adapt… (so haters, just deal with it!)

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I am ready to face it head on. In the last six weeks (since the jet ski accident), I have realized the extent of my relationship with George. We have become very close on many different levels. We have pushed through the fears, and we have learned the fine art of trusting another person implicitly. Not only did I gain a boyfriend, but I also gained a family. I have been spending quite of lot of time with George’s mom and she is a wonderful person. I feel like I can talk to her. We have shared a lot and the best part is that we can laugh. She has a great sense of humor, and when we laugh, we laugh so hard that tears roll down our cheeks! Even George’s dad is a good guy. He is a typical man and he is rough around the edges, but he has been very kind to me as well.

With a full day of sitting in a hospital, we all did a lot of talking together. Mostly it was me and his mom, Sue, but his dad, George (although in conversation I refer to him as “Big George”) often talked as well. I’ve come to realize that I am completely accepted into the immediate family. Both of George’s parents are great to me, and I feel very comfortable with them. They both told me that they are happy that George has found someone like me. From what I have been told, his previous girlfriends left a lot to be desired, and the ones that his parents knew about, they were not very thrilled with. They have expressed to me that they would love for me to continue to be part of their family. They are appreciative that I am so involved in George’s care. I must reiterate that I am happy that I have a gained a family!

I did really feel bad for Sue yesterday because when we were getting George prepped for surgery, they only allowed one person at a time to be in the surgical prep area at a time. George requested that I come in first. I wanted to switch out so his mom could get a chance to spend some time with her son, but George wanted me to stay with him. I didn’t want to “step on toes” by not letting his mom get her share of time. When they took George back to surgery, I went out to the waiting room and apologized to Sue for not letting her have her time. She was not upset, and she was happy that he was with someone who loved him, and that he was calm and happy with me there.

Another time I expressed that I did not want to step on toes by going along to all of George’s doctor appointments and consults. I told Sue that I was appreciative that she didn’t mind that I went along. She told me that she and Big George were appreciative of ME for wanting to be a part of George’s care.

I am guessing all is good in this case. I just never want to be disrespectful or step on the toes of his family. But then again, George is a grown man, and he can say who he wants in the room with him and who he wants to take care of him. I do feel honored (is that the right word???) that he wants to be with me as opposed to his family. (But then again, that “Jewish Guilt” makes me feel badly for his mom and dad!)

As far as being a caregiver goes, I thought long and hard about what I am doing. I know that with the three broken bones in my own foot (yes, originally there were two, but the fifth metatarsal broke in another place, and now I am in an air cast for EIGHT WEEKS) I need to take care of myself. I know that I need to stay healthy and get my rest. I know that I need to function and life does not stop just because I am taking care of someone. I know that some of you are wondering why I would care for George when he is not my husband. I know that taking care of someone who is sick or injured is tough. Yet, as I can personally attest, caring for someone is one of THE most rewarding and selfless things a person can do for someone he/she loves. It is the epitome of love. And love is what George and I share.

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