Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Blues

We got good news this week:  Hubby is the perfect candidate for a pacemaker and we scheduled his "out-patient" surgery for January 2 at 10:30.  We have to be at Research Hospital at 7:00 and they hope to get him in early but the current insertion time is 10:30 a.m.  He will not have to go off the Coumadin except for the day of the surgery.  He will need to stay overnight but the next morning, he goes home -- with a steady heartbeat for the first time in two years.  

I wasn't sure he would agree to the surgery because Hubby is not one to have "invasive" procedures on his "perfect" body (little sarcasm there) and he wasn't even willing, initially, to go in for the consult.  I had to keep saying, "We're only going to listen to what this new doctor has to offer; then we will have all options open to us." 

Hubby is at the limit of what meds can do.  He is NOT getting stronger or better.  The tests this fall showed he was in A-Fib over 50% of the time and his heart rate was always above 100, even when resting.  Exercise sent it sky high -- over 150.  He is never out of an exhausted state and our activities have been limited to watching him watch TV 24 / 7.

As the new doctor drew pictures of Hubby's heart and what they would do stop his own heart from beating so irregularly and quickly, Hubby was throwing "rolling eyeballs" at me the whole time.  However, we kept listening and finally the doctor uttered the magic words:  less meds, outpatient surgery, increased energy, longer lifespan, a less frightening existence.  And with the "increased energy" Hubby was all in -- ready to schedule his surgery the next day.  Outpatient surgery also signaled "not a big deal" and Hubby was even more enthusiastic. 

I've been waiting for the magic "bullet" to help us cross this gigantic canyon of lethargy, his inability to walk any distance, the frightening body coldness, the days on end in bed because both the blood pressure and the heart rate were so high he was incapable of movement, and my deep fear that every episode might be our last together.  So when the good news came that we were going to do something positive and all the signs pointed to a very real reprieve from the misery we were in, I initially hit a huge high. For about five hours.  Then, predictably, I swam down into a very real depression.  

The fall in the bathtub didn't help, of course.  My body is so sore that almost any movement on my part is uncomfortable.  The bruises on my back and feet are very ugly and painful.  Even laying in bed, if I turn wrong and hit one of the bruises, I'm in misery.  Walking dogs the past two mornings with temps in the teens and wind chills in the single digits made things worse.  I am continuing with my water aerobics but Tuesday was rather a half-hearted effort on my part.  I even tried sitting in the 100 degree hot tub to see if that would ease the joints but all it did was make me sweat. 

Probably trying to amp up for Christmas is playing a part in my "blue" mood.  I think about trying to pack up for the Houston jaunt and all I feel is inertia.  Really?  We leave in six days?  I need to find all those Christmas presents scattered around the house and put them in a central location so they can be packed.  The underwear needs to be laundered and damn, if walking down those steps to the basement doesn't just seem a Herculean task.  And then I get to drive 850 miles across Oklahoma and Texas?  Just the idea makes me feel exhausted. 

I know -- so don't leave the comments, please. Buck up!  The health news for the New Year is exceedingly good.  I'm retired -- and mostly, I love it.  It's just that I have to get through today and then tomorrow and then the day after that -- and the dogs have to be walked, and I've waited so long for good news for Hubby that, now it's here, it's just . . . .well, news. 

Tomorrow will be better . . . if I keep the faith. Christmas IS coming and we will be surrounded with people (well, at least, person) who loves up.  The New Year is very promising.  If today I can just keep the faith . . .


Margaret said...

My mom feels way better with her pacemaker! It was an easy surgery and a quick recovery. I've really got the holiday blues and am grumpy as well. Bah.

Donna said...

It's hell to get old, isn't it? Aches and pains all the time... trust me, I know. I do know the pacemaker will make a huge difference. My mom's life was improved for over twenty years by a pacemaker. And the Christmas blues? Story of my life, and I never even had a good reason for them. The best part about those blues is that they eventually pass.