I have decided to post up some excerpts from my journal. This is the first couple from when I was released from hospital.
Friday 7th December 2007
I”m a little excited and fearful about coming home today. I have been in hospital for 52 days and I’m not sure how I will cope with my disability at home. I am also excited that the family will be back together again and will not have to do so much travelling back and forth.
The hospital has given me all my paperwork, medical records, next doctor’s appointments etc.
Sat 8th Decemember 2007.
It has been an interesting experience coming home. I was super tired and had a long soak in the bath. Its interesting being in a different environment without having the hustle and bustle of the hospital going on around me.
R and I had a arguement yesterday on the way home about the hospital wanting me to have a shower chair to shower in. She reckons we can’t afford it and said that a real man doesn’t have to sit on a chair to have a shower. The cost of the chair is only $65 and while things are tight, I don’t think its that tight we can’t afford it.
I’m not sure how I feel about her comment about being a real man. Lord help me to forgive and not carry any hurt or resentment.
Tuesday 11th Decemember
Margarete the hospital physio came out for a visit today. She sat down with R and myself to talk about energy management, self care, and to check the house out for any changes that may be needed to be changed. Such as step rails etc. She asked if I had a shower chair how I was coping with bathing etc and left some more info about it and other equipment.
She also asked about what plans we had to manage Christmas and the festivities, saying that if I go out shopping to use a wheel chair to conserve energy.
Friday 13th December
I don’t know what to think. Yesterday we made plans to go Christmas shopping. I asked R if I could have some money to buy some Christmas presents. She snapped at me…more like snarled… “I have organised everything, look at you…a real man wouldn’t beg his wife for money… a real man would be out working earning his own money rather then laying on his back in hospital for 2 months. …
This cut me to the bone inside and I could barely contain my tears. I turned away and prayed, Lord you heard all of this, I don’t know what to think. All I want to do is buy some presents for the kids, can you give me some money so I can do that.
An amazing thing happened. At the shopping centre Anthony a guy from church came up to me saying. Craig, I’m glad I ran into you. I have been carrying this in my pocket for you, I felt the Lord prompt me to give it to you. And he handed me $100.
Wow, I started to cry and he gave me a slap on the back and went off. Thank you God for answering my prayer. When R heard about it, she wanted me to give it to her, saying that I didn’t deserve to have any money. I said no, I was going to use this money to bless the boys during the school holidays.
Thursday 27th December
Christmas was interesting. I didn’t get a present from R or the kids. She said we couldn’t afford to buy each other presents this year and wasn’t interested in the vase I gave her. We had Christmas lunch at my mums place and I slept most of the day.
I’m not sleeping the best. I keep waking up of a night dreaming that I’m paralysed on the ground once again, calling out for help and no one coming to help me. I don’t have a lot of strength. I trie easy and its frustrating not being able to do the things that I once took for granted.
The thing that gets me is that we can afford presents. Our house mortgage is only $532 a month at the moment. The church has been very generous with us and had taken up 2 offerings for us that amounted to a large sum of money. Two of the older step sons are working and paying a small amount of board.
Wednesday 2nd January
I was reading through one of my old journals and was reminded how often I had written I would like to write a book. I started to get excited about the prospect and spoke to the kids about it and they got pretty excited about it also. I thought it was a brilliant idea to keep myself occupied and felt like I could do something useful again.
I can’t believe it. I spoke to Rose about it and she shot me down. Who did I think I was to write a book. Your just a nobody. No one is interested in anything you write.
I can’t believe it. One minute she is being nice to me and then shoots me down. I can’t do nothing right.
Thursday 9th of Jan.
Yesterday was R’s birthday. It was funny how she gave me some money to take the boys shopping for her present.
Thursday 10th Jan
We went and saw a movie today. I saw Dr Ho yesterday and shared about my dreams of when I first collapsed on the farm. He asked me if I was depressed and put me on some anti depressant tablets. She went off her nut at me saying she wasn’t going to have me sit at home depressed while she was out working.
I had to see centrelink also. The lady there was really nice.,..when she was talking to me about my illness and experience, and I was sharing about what it did to me, I couldn’t help crying. The centrelink lady said that she was going to give me a 6 month reprieve from having to return any information to centrelink regarding my having to return back to work. I can’t go on a disability pension as you have to be incapacited for 2 years or more and the docs don’t think that will be my case… they are expecting a full recovery… only time will tell.
Mon 21st Jan.
I have decided to go off the anti depressant tablets. They leave a horrible taste in my mouth. Yesterday Anthony at church took me aside asking how I was going. I started to cry when I told him I was having night mares about my collapse at work . That I was depressed and frustrated about not being able to freely walk, run., do the things I used to take for granted such as drive a car.
I found it was really good. He just listened and said he would be depressed also if he went through what I was going through. I couldn’t tell him about the things R was saying to me. This was too hurtful and I didn’t think he would understand.
I am finding it hard at church at the moment. The music levels are really loud and I am finding the full service tiring. I’m thinking whether I should go back to a more reflective quieter church. I find its so noisy in the morning tea area at the end of the service. The noise is confusing as I can’t really understand what is being said to me. The problem is I have made some good friends at church and the level of care and concern is terrific. One of the things I might do is to go every 2nd or 3rd week. Or perhaps skip the first 30 minutes of worship and get there for the sermon and announcements and the worship after the sermon. Lord give me wisdom to do what is right.
2nd of Feb
Today I drove the car for the first time since I collapsed. I only went around the block in it. I’t’s lucky we live in a quiet area and don’t have much traffic here. I am not sure about going to the shops yet which is only a few blocks away. I’m not sure about my ability to cross the main road. The doctor was good allowing me to keep my licence on the condition I didn’t try to drive till I was ready. It’s been 5 months now. I need some more time I think to get my confidence back.
7th of Feb
Its my birthday tomorrow. R needs some stuff at the hardware and I have a specialists appointment at Campbelltown Hospital this week. I must say I’m a little nervous about it. Some of the things I need to discuss with her are,
- When I walk in open places I tend to veer towards the right instead of walking straight ahead.
- I find it easy to walk along paths with a clearly defined pathway, but the other day I came across some crazy paving which made me a little anxious.
- When we went shopping my wife dropped me at the front of the shop to find parking. She found a spot 2 places away from the front door. When walking to the car, there was a large square drain with a grate over the top beside the car. I had a lot of trouble walking over it, trusting it.
- After I do a bit of work I tend to get shaky.
- My memory problems, I have trouble with both long term and short term memory. Some of this could be a result of depression, yet not all of it will be. It does get embarrassing at times to admit that you have no idea at times what a person is talking about, when it is obvious that I was there at the time…
- Not sleeping well, am tired most of the time, yet find it hard to sleep.
. R says to me I can choose a birthday present at the hardware if I really want one. I though a bench grinder would be nice. When we went to pay for it, there wasn’t enough money in that account and we couldn’t get it. She laughed at me saying this is what happens when you are not a real man who is not out working earning his own money.
8th of Febuary 2008
It’s my birthday today. Mum gave me a card with $25 and a lottery ticket in it, and some undies and socks. Thanks mum. I got nothing from R or the kids. What a birthday. This afternoon R told me that I was no longer useful to her. She told me that unless I got off my arse and started to work again she was going to the kids away and leave me. She reckons its embarressing that I don’t bring any money into the house and she has to do it all.
When I mentioned that my centerlink payment went into her account she sneered at me saying, that little amount. I’d be better off without that and you. Fuck me. She hasn’t gone out to work since we got married in 1997. She thinks its embarressing that she has to work, doing some of the jobs I had left over from my cleaning business. I was working two jobs when I collapsed and doing some part time study.
What does she want from me? I was working on a dairy farm. I become sick, had a high temp, threw up, collapsed on the ground paralysed on the right side. Was found near two hours later. Ambos called, had a high temp 40.9 c, and got put into hospital for for 52 days. There I had to relearn to walk, talk, mobilise, have some level of amensia, find it hard to concentrate and remember lists. I don’t have the energy or strength to work. What does she want me to do?