Saturday, March 1, 2014

On Winter and Spring

Shout out to my writing group friends. 
I have a confession, y'all.

It will not be a surprise for those of you who are regulars around these parts.
I am burned out and uninspired.
I need a new spark.

Since just before Christmas, I've been in this place where I barely have anything to say. I can barely even think. I just think and write the same thing over and over.

You know why?
Because I'm hiding something.

I don't like to be a Debbie-downer.
I was the captain of the cheerleaders in high school, y'all.

But here's the deal.
It's getting better now - but it was rough.

One of the main things I like to do with this blog is to reach out to other wives/girlfriends of guys in wheelchairs, because I want you to know you're not alone. I want you to know that I am here, too. That I warrior on with you and beside you.

I think of all of you other wheelchair-pushers out there. All of you husband-transferers. All of you bread-winning, dinner-cooking, hard-working, list-making, allen-wrench rocking, van-driving, ramp checkers. I know you are with me. I know I am not alone.

And yet, I let myself feel that way.
It got dark.

There was the pressure sore.
And the UTIs.
And the broken wheelchair.
And the broken van.
And the home health aides that disappeared.

I was on duty full-time for about two months.
The same two months my dad was fighting for his life.
I remember saying to my husband when my dad went into the hospital, "The less I have to worry about you during this time, the better."

Boy, did things not work out the easy way.

It was Groundhog day.
Caregiving and working and cooking grocery shopping and cleaning and visiting my dad in the hospital. Over and over and over and over.

And I got so over it, I wondered (again) if I can do this forever. I cried many tears. I got madder at Michael that ever before and I said ugly things.

There are some of you sitting in my inbox that I haven't ever written back. You e-mailed me because you found this blog, and you are newly in love with a quadriplegic and you want to ask me questions about what life is like and what sex is like and how to have good wedding pictures with a wheelchair.

And all I wanted to do is to tell you to politely run away.

That if you don't, you'll be stressed out, strung out from sleepless nights filled with turning him in bed, and getting pills and cleaning up accidents and stretching the bank account, and maxing out credit cards so that you can get your van fixed. That you'll miss out on things because you can't get in. That your back will hurt all the time. That you'll miss your old life. That you'll wonder why you signed up for this in the first place. That you'll feel like no one in your life understands, even him. That you'll always feel like the things that have to do with you don't matter, because how can you not put him first?

I didn't write you back and I didn't say all of that because I know that there are seasons with this life.
Where I've been - that's Winter.

Where I am now, sitting across from him at a random Starbucks while he works on his web project, and I prop my feet up on his wheelchair, writing this blog post, this is Spring.

We have a reliable home health aide again.
My dad is doing better.
We got the van fixed.
The wheelchair has new tires, still has issues, but he's working on getting it fixed.
We have a plan for the pressure sore.
Three trips around the antibiotic sun, and I think the UTI is at bay.
Our budget is back to normal.
I feel like I belong in my own house, and in my own bed, pretty much.

We aren't fighting.
I can look at him on the other side of these two MacBook Pros, and see that guy I fell in love with.
I know I can do this.
I want to.
It IS worth fighting for.

And, so I will write you back.
I will tell you about the seasons, though. Because you'll definitely need to know about that. So you don't give up, just because it's Winter, and then miss Spring and Summer.

This post was a project for my little writing group. We are a group of women who are working together on our craft. This time, we chose a topic to all write about, and link up, so please check their posts out, and share!

Winter vs Spring Story by Laura Oliver

Winter Blues by Brayden Emerick

The Endless Winter by Stacey Michalak

The Spring of My Content by Stephanie Cooke

Seasons of Weight by Lauren Hope


Stephanie said...


Joy comes! Thanks for sharing. :)

Moya Gray said...

I'm so glad I'm not alone in our winters - thanks Ms Dana

Unknown said...

Dana this is very powerful because it is just so real. Thank you for being courageous with your honesty. You are a woman to be admired!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your brutal honesty is something that is not only brave, but desperately needed. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing this season with us. The people that are touched and will be touched by your seasons and how you navigate through them will be more than you could ever imagine. I am so blessed to know such a woman like you. :)

dong said...

I think of all of you other wheelchair-pushers out there. All of you husband-transferers. All of you bread-winning, dinner-cooking, hard-working, list-making, allen-wrench rocking, van-driving, ramp checkers. I know you are with me. I know I am not alone.
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