Wednesday, March 24, 2010

But before I can move on, I need to tell you what was going on in my personal life between 1990 and 1997. It was pretty full, specifically 1993.

Sometime in February, Dan finally said he wanted a divorce. Our marriage had been – well – pretty much a joke for years, just two people living together. He contributed his paycheck, but not much else. He moved out sometime in March.

My dad had started showing signs of Alzheimer’s years before and by 1993 he was getting to be quite a handful for my mom. Finally the end of April she put him in the nursing home. It happened to be the same weekend that the state medical assistant’s convention was being held in Rhinelander and I was in charge of it. As usual, no stress in my life.

I went home from the convention Sunday afternoon, turned off the phone, and crawled in bed. I don’t remember where the kids were. Just as I had attained REM sleep, my sister Pat was suddenly at my bedside. “Get up. Dad’s not doing well and Mom’s freaking out.”

So, she and I took off for the nursing home, where Dad had choked on some food while eating the day before and had come down with aspiration pneumonia. The doctor was insisting that Mom consent to put in a feeding tube, stating that that was the only thing anyone could do for him. We all agreed with her that Dad would not like that and we just wanted to do what would keep him comfortable.

Thursday evening, shortly after I had gotten to the hospital after work, Dad gave in, with Mom and me at his side. When you get to the point where you aren’t able to live your life on this earth, when you don’t know who you are or who your family is or even how to swallow, it is time to go onto your next life.

But that wasn’t all for 1993. The end of August Pat went into the ER with bad abdominal pain. An ultrasound showed a large fibroid in her uterus and the doctors had to perform an emergency hysterectomy. A week later the pathology report came back showing that it was a cancer, leiomyosarcoma to be exact. Look that up on line – you won’t find much good news.

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