There is a vulnerability that Caregivers don’t care to think about.  What happens when they are not well?  The needs remain.

Today was a good news bad news sort of day.  Neither the good nor the bad was very dramatic.  The good news was that while Mary Ann did have fainting episodes today, they seemed less often and less severe than the last few days.  Even after having a fainting episode that normally would result in a long nap, she chose to stay up. She didn’t nap until the afternoon.

I had an errand that would have needed outside help to accomplish on time had she napped in the morning.  She was able to head out in the car with me so that I could do the errand.  We picked up some Long John Silver’s fish and chicken for her while we were out, came back and she ate it at home.

The bad news was the recurrence of the occasional bouts I have with Esophageal Spasms.  They are very painful, come without warning, and last many hours.  They just happen.  There is not really much in the way of treatment for it.  They don’t come very often, a number of times a year, and they are not really dangerous.  As far as I know they don’t do any long term harm.  The just hurt very much.  The pain is in the center upper chest and comes in regular waves with each peristaltic movement.  I think I remember learning that those movements are about eight minutes apart.  I haven’t measured the time between waves of pain.

When the spasms come to spend time with me, it is pretty tough to focus on anything else.  Eating or drinking is not an option.  If I am free to do so, I raise the head of the bed, turn on the television in the bedroom and hope there is something interesting to provide a distraction.  Current circumstances don’t allow that option, at least not for very long.

While there were some painful times today, the spasms were not as painful as they have been in the past.  On a scale of one to ten, they can regularly move to eight or nine and flirt with ten.  Today was close on occasion, but not that intense most of the time.

When those spasms come, the experience reminds me just how vulnerable we are and how fragile our system is.  A Caregiver does not have the option of saying, “I am not feeling well, so don’t need anything for a while.”

Actually, anyone who has served as the primary caretaker of their children knows exactly how this works.  When you have a cold or the flu, after the first wave of the kids wanting to do things for you, there is a return to constant demands from the kids for help, no matter how bad you feel.

I have to say that today went relatively well.  It was more just a reminder of how fragile our system is, how vulnerable we are should my health falter.

At least Mary Ann’s slight improvement today keeps alive the hope that this downturn is not permanent, or at least we may have bottomed out for the moment.  Again, tomorrow is another day.  We will see what it brings.

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