Over the last two weeks, I have started to emerge from The Fog.
It officially started back in December when a succession of bad incidents started happening. My dad had a heart attack. I was rear-ended while stopped at a light. My sister Ann was hospitalized for 5 days (we now realize that we don't know the real cause). My mother's health started deteriorating.
In January, Ann passed away and we were all completely blindsided. I spent days sobbing and it didn't matter where I was. In the car. In the grocery store. Sitting alone in the living room. Curled up on the bed.
Meanwhile, Mom's health took a complete pit dive and the problems began to accelerate. She was continually hospitalized. Surgery. Blood transfusions. A bloated stomach that had to be drained. A cracked sternum from falling in the middle of the night. By the end of March, I was wondering if I was going to be able to survive. I was stressed and exhausted beyond anything I'd ever experienced.
It was around this time that a rotating doctor at the hospital told me that he didn't think mom would live more than 3 months. He was the first to provide a timeline. My sister Denise flew up to help me with mom. She'd been hospitalized yet again and the dementia was especially bad. The nurses had to put an apron on mom that kept her strapped to the bed...because she kept trying to escape. We had been through this cycle before, only two years earlier. Because it was so similar to that situation, Denise was convinced that mom was going to rebound. I began to believe that myself.
When mom was entered into the hospice program, I pretty much told them that their services would be short-term. They didn't know my mother. She was tough and she was a fighter. She had already outlived the original lifespan estimated by the doctor who diagnosed her disease by more than 5 years.
Four days later, mom passed away without warning.
I didn't have time to grieve the passing of my sister because I was trying to save my mother. Then suddenly, she passed away too. And Ka-Blam. I went Kaput.
I am just beginning to feel good again. It has been a lifesaver for me to be out on leave and not have to work. I can honestly and truly say that I would have collapsed if I had not been given that opportunity from my doctor. In the beginning I resisted, because I wanted to be a reliable and responsible employee. But she knew better. She saw how stretched I was. She recognized the depth of my depression. She already knew that I wasn't able to function. Apparently, it isn't normal to refuse to get out of bed for days on end.
Now that my head is clearing, I'm able to juggle more. Sure, there are still days when I don't leave the house. And I have yet to socialize with friends again. But it's all coming back...very slowly.
Today, I am going to sit in the sun and sort through old papers. The more I catch-up with issues that have been ignored for months, the more my head clears. I'm able to look back now and recognize that I wasn't able to deal with anything.
Today, I am also going to thank God for the chance of renewal. I'm grateful for the chance to lift myself out of the darkness.