Back on Christmas Eve, I posted a poll asking my readers to pick from a list of shared topics, promising to write a post in response to the winners.
The top choice was Joy and Grief. So, this is a post about that topic.
Joy is learning that, after months of uncertainty, we finally have a plan for getting her heart surgery done.
Grief is finding out that the surgery did not fix her congestive heart failure and it left her weaker than we expected.
Joy is being able to travel to a part of Tennessee where I haven’t been in years and see the lovely mountains near Nashville.
Grief is finding that the hotel room has just one recliner and neither it nor the bed is comfortable for either one of us to get a good night’s sleep.
Joy is learning that the surgeon at St Thomas West Hospital is rated the best in the state and, possibly, the region, so I know she is in good hands when I leave her to come home and rest.
Grief is coming home to our home without her and finding that the cats are inadequate company under the circumstances.
Joy is being able to travel back to Nashville to be there for her heart surgery.
Grief is finding that, yes, the LaQuinta Inn has a recliner in the room, but there are so many negatives about the room and the hotel that returning to it every night is just downright depressing.
Joy is hearing that she is being sent back to Memphis by the hospital so I don’t have to drive to and from Nashville a third time just to pick her up.
Grief is finding out that the nursing home she is sent to doesn’t pay enough attention to cleanliness and general maintenance.
Grief is her being sent to St Francis Hospital with fluid buildup that leads to another life-or-death surgery.
Joy is her recovering from that surgery and going back to a better floor of the nursing home for rehab.
Grief is her being sent back to St. Francis 2 or 3 more times for additional fluid to be drained.
Joy is her recovering from those and not needing additional surgery to do so.
Joy is sharing Christmas dinner together in her nursing home room.
Grief is waking up the next day too ill to visit her and that illness continuing until a friend took me to minor med for antibiotics.
Grief is her having a stroke on December 30, losing her ability to speak or write or read, and losing most of the strength in her right side.
Grief is not being there to visit with her from Christmas until the night of her stroke, when I had to put on gloves and mask to see her in the emergency room.
Joy is seeing her working so well with the physical therapist back in the nursing home that the PT can’t stop bragging on her progress.
Grief is being told by the case manager that we have less than 2 weeks before insurance will stop covering her care, something that they should have known and advised us months earlier.
Grief is the nursing home finding a blood clot in her leg during her last week there, so she is sent back to St Francis Hospital.
Joy is the hospital stepping up and providing some of the information needed to handle her care at home.
Joy is her being home at last.
Joy is our friends and family who provided support, time away, cooking lessons, and advice on our new reality.
Grief is her having a second stroke while at home on March 5th.
Joy is having learned enough to recognize it for what it was so I knew to call 911 and not panic (much).
Joy is St Francis Hospital taking care of her (again).
Grief is her coming home wheezy and still on several heavy-duty prescriptions, as well as oxygen.
Joy is learning to cook for her and (sometimes) offering her food that elicits the happy, pleased sounds.
Grief is being unable to carry on an adult conversation with her due to her (very frustrating to us both) inability to speak or write in words.
Grief is being emotionally and physically tired more often than I thought possible.
Joy is knowing that I got that way from fulfilling my wedding vows and that I am getting stronger by these efforts.
Joy is being married and growing old together.
Grief is being older than you realized sooner than you thought possible.