For a Moment, I Need to Wail

Just for a moment, I need to wail a bit. I need to wallow. I need to tell you that patience sometimes comes hard to me. I need to say that I understand husband is in pain, that life is exceedingly difficult for him right now. I understand that, I really do. But right now, this night, at this time, I am weary of being patient, I am weary of being there, I am weary of fixing meals at odd hours because he has slept through dinnertime and I am weary of fixing meals at any time to be told what I should have/could have done with whatever it was I cooked. I am weary of his having lost the ability to put dishes in the dishwasher, to put his trash in the trash, to maybe even wash a dish or two now and then. I am weary of needing to be available, to be at his beck and call, ready to do for him.

I am weary of being strong. I am weary of carrying that stiff upper lip around, of trying to look past the fact that he no longer walks – now he shuffles. I am weary of worrying when he goes out to his shop, his haven, and stays there late into the night. I am weary of being afraid that he may have fallen and not be able to get up because sometimes when he needs to step up he does not lift his foot as high as it should go and he is unsteady at the best of times.

I wonder. I wonder how much a favor we do to the aged, the infirm, those suffering with advanced cancer, as he is. The treatments, the medications our physicians provide to extend life – is this a good thing? Who are we doing this for? For them – the aged, the infirm, the suffering? Or for their loved ones, those of us who are not ready to give them up? He is now a shell of the man he was and I do not kid myself that he is not aware of this. I do not for a moment doubt the agony he went through in working through that knowledge, in learning to live with life as it is now for him. I know how it was. I was here. I lived through it with him.

Because I know this, I understand and I know I need to be strong. I need to be patient. I need to carry that stiff upper lip around for as long as it is necessary. I know this. I know this. But there are moments when I would like to come first, when a pat on the back, a hug of appreciation, a hoorah “you’re a champ!” would be good. Okay, maybe I don’t need to be a champ. I do need to feel I matter too.

I think it must be time for a massage and a pedicure. It must be time for some me pampering. I think I will see if I can arrange that for early this week. Because. Just because. Loreal says it well: I deserve it!

So now that I have wailed and I have tested your patience, I feel better. Now I would like to share with you the cat wars (all in good fun, I’m quite certain) that I witnessed as I had my coffee this morning. The Lily cat and the Twiggy cat were in rare form.

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Maybe Twiggy also needed to wail, to be number one, to lash out. You think?

Thank you all for being there, for listening. I hope you hear the words as they were intended and understand these feelings come and go and sometimes they need to be released.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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28 Responses to For a Moment, I Need to Wail

  1. Dear Carol,
    You are a champ! And a hero. And I am sending you virtual hugs. You are allowed to express your frustration. In fact, it is probably a good thing to get it out of your system.
    I nursed my mom through the last months of her life as cancer ate away at the woman she was. It is hard, hard, hard, and you are always exhausted, physically and mentally, and then you feel guilty because you can never do enough. You do need to get some sort of respite. In order to take better care of your husband you need to take better care of yourself. My sister and I had a nurse from Hospice come in once a week to bathe Mom, while we ran to the pharmacy and pick up groceries and prescriptions. Even that little bit helped. Sending both of you (and the girls) good thoughts.

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    • Carol says:

      Thank you, Naomi. You certainly are in a position to realize how heavy the world can get some days. Fortunately, he is able still to be left alone when I go out with friends for a few hours, or run errands, but still the worry is there as you well know. But life is what life is, and we do the est we can with it.

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  2. Sending you good thoughts from far away. Sometimes the effect on our mental health is as much as the physical impact. Coping with irreversible change is so hard. The cat photos are lovely, if only life were so simple – and even they have their problems.

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  3. Hi Carol, I’m glad you’re able to share your feelings of frustration. I can’t imagine how hard it must be, especially the fact that you had to deal with cancer yourself and now have to watch your husband waste away. It must be extremely difficult. My heart goes out to you. Treat yourself, love yourself, and be happy that you’re doing what you can do. Don’t expect yourself to be superhuman! Blessings! ~ Cathy

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    • Carol says:

      Thank you Cathy. It’s a bit like a steam engine I think – things build and build and then the feelings start racing around in my head until that steam vent is opened and they can be released. It is a saving grace that people are kind, generous and understanding.

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      • I understand perfectly. And I admire your courage to talk about it with the world and your blogging community. Good for you! I like people that are honest and open and not afraid to share what’s in their hearts!

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  4. Madhu says:

    I hear you Carol. My mother and mother in law succumbed to cancer and it was hard even with my husband and siblings taking turns. I can imagine how much harder it must be for you. Wailing is allowed. And treating yourself. Take care.

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  5. suzicate says:

    You do need a massage, and perhaps a friend could stay with him another take you out for dinner…you know a break and a listening ear. I can’t imagine how difficult this time is for you, Carol. I am sending you hugs and prayers from this far distance.

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    • Carol says:

      Thank you, Suzicate. Fortunately he can be left alone as long as it’s not for a long period, and my neighborhood “girl” friends and I have our days out – they’re a great support system too. Thank you, and thank Karma, for your hugs.

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  6. Karma says:

    {{HUGS!!}}
    Thanks for sharing the kitty wars!

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  7. Carol – Please consider yourself “Zipped in the Pod” http://holessence.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/zipped-in-the-pod/

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  8. Sheri says:

    Carol, I trust you read the article in “This Week” about the mom with dementia. Know you are not alone in your thoughts and frustrations. You are an amazing woman and you and hubby are in our thoughts and prayers.

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  9. I can’t imagine what it feels to be you … but I do know those feelings of being the only “rock” for someone who is totally dependant on me. I understand the bubbling of emotions, the build up of the pressure cooker, and the suffocation that comes with not being able to walk away. Feel free to wail whenever you like. The appeal of blogging is the ability to vent frustrations to an audience of compassionate readers without the invasive feeling that you actually know any of these people. So wail away, and good wishes to you x

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  10. pegbur7 says:

    Oh Carol…. {{{{{Carol}}}}}. I know this has got to be an extraordinarily difficult time for you both. So many times we focus on the ill and forget about how hard it is to be the caregiver. To be the one there watching, helplessly, as our loved ones face their final journey. It’s so hard to be that one, to be the rock, to try to be all it is that they need because it’s also extremely tiring and debillitating to our own health. Take care of yourself and know even though there may not be much we can do from afar, at least we can be here to listen and and be “HEAR” for you. Bless you and just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you can’t anymore. We are here for you when you need to vent. Love, hugs, kisses, prayers and positive thoughts sent your way.

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  11. Carol says:

    I want to thank each and every one of you for your words of support. Today is much better, the venting allowed me to go to sleep without stewing about the irritations and the weariness as I am wont to do. Your kind words are warming to the heart – in your busy lives, I appreciate the moments you spent sending them my way.

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  12. Kathy says:

    I think it’s OK to wail sometimes. Otherwise it can all stay inside and churn and hurt much more. Glad you let it out and glad you feel better. Blessings, Carol, in your strength and your vulnerability.

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  13. Heather says:

    Love and hugs and comfort your way! I’m glad you’re comfortable enough will your blogosphere to share your tough times. I can only imagine how hard it must be to try to constantly carry the stiff upper lip. Sometimes unloading the burden briefly makes it easier to bear a while more.
    Also – so happy you have the girls to keep you company. Pets can be so helpful in that way. Cheers to feeling better, moving forward, and future moments of happiness.

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    • Carol says:

      Thank you, Heather. The girls are very tolerant of my moods, as long as they get fed on time. And taken out, and played with – they do have their routines. But they are a joy.

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  14. Lynne Ayers says:

    So often we ask, “how is he doing?” and forget, “how are you doing?” Wailing is allowed. It seems to have helped a bit – the actual venting and thenthe warm response from your followers. But you’ve also done all of us a service – by letting us know that others wail too, that it is not a selfish act but an act of depletion, weariness and emotional desperation. 🙂 and a ()

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    • Carol says:

      We have ongoing discussions, my friends here and I, about who suffers the most, the afflicted or the caregiver. I think the afflicted, but I have my moments and then it’s either vent or lie awake all night and stew. It is so nice to have friends, here and in my blog world, who understand, accept and do not pass judgement.

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  15. I’m sorry I wasn’t by sooner to see this, but that wailing? Don’t we all have times when we need it, and the stiff upper lip is so weighty it brings us too low to pick ourselves up – much less those we love?

    You ask so many questions and with such raw honesty – the kind that most people are unwilling to reveal. I think you’re remarkable in what you do and how you bear it, and honorable – in a time when honor seems to be a thing of the past, or at least, lower on the priority list for many. I think you deserve to wail (and likely more often) because you feel it, and to release some of it surely will help.

    I wish I could send a virtual hug. Or a gorgeous piece of poetry or music. Something that would take you away for a time, even if only in your head.

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  16. Lisa says:

    Ditto BLW’s comments. Sending up prayers for strength and patience during this long haul. And maybe some chocolate and wine. Seriously, I’m in awe of how graceful you are in the face of such challenging circumstances (even when you need to wail every now the then).

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  17. Angelia Sims says:

    A little cat scramble never hurt anyone. I am so sorry! And I am sorry I am just now reading this (so late!). My mom-in-law had a brain aneurysm a week and a half before I married her son. She had two strokes while in the hospital as well. She stayed in a coma for two months. Two years later, she still can’t use or move her left arm. and has to use a cane to walk. It drives her insane. And I just can’t imagine what life is like for her, or her husband now. My heart goes out to you.

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  18. Pingback: Sharing Your World – Week 31 | Wanderings of an Elusive Mind

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