Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back from the brink

A few months ago, H's viral load was 330,000...the second highest that it's ever been. Now, 3 months or so into the next round of new meds, his viral load is 100. Yes, 100, no comma.

Back in December and January, as I have done several times now, I was steeling myself to get hospice involved. And, like before, I made the phone calls and talked with the Drs.

But a few days ago, I came home to a vacuumed house, the beds made, stuff put away, and H making a sandwich for himself. Something is different…and then we got the news about the drastic drop in viral load.

A long-time friend of ours told me yesterday that last Fall and Winter, H was a "zombie" and that it was hard to have a conversation with him. And now, she sees the improvement in H as well.

"You know, , I don't understand how you do it," she says.

"Do what?"

"He's dying, then he's not dying, then he's dying again, then not dying again," she says.

"Yup it's a white-knuckle ride. It's happened so many times I can't even remember them all...and it will happen again, most likely. The doctors don't know and I don't believe them anyway at this point."

"Yea, but how do you do it?"

"Well, it's really hard. I know that I have no control, so that doesn't bother me much anymore. I have a good therapist and I take anti-depressants. But, at the end of the day, I can't change what's happening to H and I accept that."

"Right, but how do you get up every day and do what you do while H goes up and down?" she presses.

"I think that I've compartmentalized a lot of this by now...I've divorced myself in many ways from what's happening with his health and I've divorced myself from romantic feelings for H as a survival tactic. And I don't expect him to get any better...I expect him to get worse...so I'm not disappointed. But, to be honest with you, I don't know how I do it. I just do it because I have to."

While I'm glad that his viral load is down and he's more himself, what really bothers me is that I know he'll go the other way again. And then they'll pull him back again. And that this will drag on and on. And when I indulge this line of thinking, that's when I don't believe I can cope.

1 comment:

Y | O | Y said...

"How do you do it?" It takes a special person. :)