I have been touched by the kind messages I’ve received from readers, some of them wondering how Ricardo and I have been getting on. Since I have a bit of mental clarity right now, I’ll just bring you up to date.
In June of 2012 I had a mastectomy, and was able to make a complete recovery due to the extraordinary kindness of my sister-in-law, who dropped everything and came to take care of Ricardo and me for a whole month. It was a real sacrifice on her part, as she is an avid gardener and had to leave her beautiful gardens at the height of the growing season. It was also hard work, but because of her I was able to follow the doctors’ instructions and not do lifting, pushing, or lots of other things.
In early December, Ricardo agreed that the time had come when it was necessary for him to go into long-term care. We were fortunate to quickly receive news of a possible placement, because I had reached the end of my ability to care for him at home. Still, it was a terrible wrench for everyone when we moved him, and he had a terrible time accustoming himself to all the changes. The Parkinson’s affects his flexibility in dealing with changes, and he suffered very much as a result.
He has adjusted now, more or less, and so have I. I have had to learn that I am most useful now as an advocate, but I’m no longer responsible for his care. When he is managing to get by, I’m able to be reasonably upbeat, but when he is going through hard times or illness (he recently had pneumonia and then a urinary tract infection), I have difficulty keeping tears at bay, and sometimes find myself crying for hours.
I could tell lots of tales about all the systems and people that need to be dealt with and managed, over and over again, when a loved one is in care, but I think I won’t go there. I’m not crying now and I want to keep it that way. Times are tough, but lots and lots of people have very hard things handed to them in life. I’m hanging in there, and so is Ricardo.
Thanks again to those of you who have written, have offered prayers, and have wished us well. I’ll try to update and keep you informed. I have appreciated your thoughtfulness.