Monday, March 11, 2013

Chapter 33

Gary was slowly losing the ability to move, feed himself and so on.  Soon he was in a wheelchair, but he was still not able to be moved from the Psych unit.  I went in one day and it was very obvious that he needed to be bathed.  So I got the needed supplies, clean pajama's and took him into the shower room.

It was just one small room with a hand held hose and a drain in the middle of the floor.  Trying to get him on his feet, undressed and showered was a big chore, considering he didn't want to be even washed!  Eventually one of the male nurses came in to help me.  When we finally got him back to his room I was soaked and exhausted!

Over the months there he needed his hair cut a few times.  I had always cut his hair at home but now Elizabeth wanted to try.  She thought she had done a good job until Gary turned away from me and I noticed a bald spot right in the middle of his head!  She put her hand over her mouth and looked horrified, I just chuckled.  He never found out and the next time she did a much better job.

Eventually he was not able to get out of bed and then he couldn't feed himself.  The nurses on that unit weren't use to dealing with physical problems and didn't have the time to feed him every meal.  So I started going in for both lunch and supper each day to feed him.  There were times he couldn't even chew.

Then one day I got a call and was told that he was in ambulatory care and not breathing very well.  A few days later he was moved to ICU because of blood clots that had developed in his lungs.  He was there for about a week.  I wasn't sure what was going on and why he was like this.  I finally was able to track a doctor down and get some answers.  Apparently he had been refusing to take his medication, not only the ones for his mental illness but also his Parkinson's pills.

An appointment was made with his neurologist in Halifax.  On that day he was taken to Halifax by ambulance and Alice and I met them at the hospital where he was to be seen.  One of the nurses from the Psych unit had gone along as well to talk to the doctor.  The neurologist was astonished to see him in the condition he was and as a result a much closer communication was set up between the psychiatrist and neurologist.  I started insisting each time I was there for him to take his pills, at times even becoming angry and pushy so that he would swallow them.  After a few weeks he was back on his feet and doing better.

Outwardly I was doing all the wifely duties, but inwardly I was becoming more bitter and angry about everything.  Two things were especially bothering me.  I was increasingly jealous watching husbands in church.  Their love for their wives was obvious.  I wanted to be cherished and cared for, and treated like I mattered to hurt.  The second thing bothering me was hearing people pray that Gary would be "Restored to his family"!  Well I didn't want him "restored" ever!  I didn't want him to come back, I knew that I could not go back to that life again.

Alice and I had many tearful discussions about this and she kept telling me that I needed to speak to the Pastor, but I didn't want to.  Despite how helpful he had been I was still uneasy around him.  But in the end I knew I had to.

We set up a time and I got very nervous.  When I pulled into the parking lot beside the parsonage that day I turned off the van and just sat there.  I wasn't sure if I really had the nerve to go in or if I was going to just go back home.  I made myself go in.

Pastor joked around for a few minutes, I knew he was trying to make me relax but it wasn't working.  I took a deep breath and just plunged in.  I didn't like to hear praying like that and I didn't want Gary to ever come home again.  He looked at me and half laughed and said that it sounded like I thought he would kill me.  I thought to myself, "If only you really knew!", but I said nothing.

He then said that this wasn't really the problem, that it went a lot deeper than this and that the root of the problem was probably quite a ways in the past!  He then looked at me and asked it we'd had improper relations before marriage!  I looked away and felt heat spreading like a wild-fire through me whole did he know?  I didn't know what to say.  This was the one thing I had never told anyone, it felt like my heart was being ripped open.  I finally shook my head yes, then almost in a whisper I added, "It wasn't my choice."  I felt like I couldn't breathe...I had actually just told someone this awful secret that had been buried away so deep and had done so much damage to my soul.  He asked me if I had said no, and I said yes.

I remember him saying that he couldn't tell others what to pray, although from this time on I never heard Pastor pray that way ever again.  All I knew was that he hadn't dismissed me!  He hadn't waved me off as not being important...he had believed me.  He believed me and for the very first time I felt a crack start in that heavy burden of guilt that I had carried inside for so long.

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