Thursday, May 15, 2008

But they keep telling me he will die

In the past decade or so that H has been sick, I've been told many times by his Drs. that he will die, sometimes it could be tomorrow, sometimes it's a matter of weeks or months.

First, in 1997 it was PCP pneumonia and a 3 week stay in ICU on a ventilator followed by months in the hospital and nursing home. And, no, they told me, he won't be going home. But he did.

Then every two years or so as his virus developed resistance to each set of meds, I was told to get ready for hospice. Then a new med comes out and pulls him back from the brink.

In the last 3 years now, I've been told 4 times that he has <6 months to live. So, for two of the past 3 years, he has been on that edge. And so have I.

Thus, the horrible cycle repeats and repeats where I get ready for him to die and he doesn't yet continues to functionally decline. And I get more and more desperate for relief and he does too.

H asked me once why I haven't left him yet. I told him honestly, "Because I love you and they keep telling me that you're going to die and I wanted to be there for you through that."

How do you honor someone you love, your soulmate, while also honoring yourself under these circumstances?

While he may be dying slowly, so is our relationship and, while I may not be dying myself, I'm certainly suffering and in some metaphorical sense, it is killing me too.

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