Has anyone seen my spouse? He is the good-looking hunk who hangs around our house. He is the one who tends to our gardens, does all our laundry, and cuts coupons to match them with sales that we frequently save 40% or more on our weekly groceries.
He is the one who puts up with a lot of crazy things I do, from entertaining hundreds of seniors on Thanksgiving each year to spending a lot of time caring for others, remodeling homes, and being a wonky community activist.
My spouse is the guy who…
…has supported me through a number of trials that occurred in my life, from nursing me through recovery from injuries and surgeries to being my rock when my Mom died unexpectedly. And a rock again when those for whom I provided care passed away, too. Just recently, he steadfastly assisted me as I recovered from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash and regained his confidence to drive his own car again to help me.
My spouse is the guy who joined me for thousands of miles of joy two-up on my Harley back in the day… with many fond memories of our travels astride my iron horse both local as well as cross-country. He also accompanied me during many travels to Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Austria, and most provinces of Canada. Oh how I loved having him with me and have so much fun on worldly adventures.
My spouse is the guy who answered, “of course, silly!” when I asked him to marry me.
My silly-lovin-cuddly-adorable spouse is somewhere inside the body of a man I do not recognize.
That vacant stare of brain fog, the lack of awareness of present day or time, the moving through the motions of basic body functions, the need for assistance in walking, and worse — that awful stare of, “I should know you… but I can’t remember right now.”
I have celebrated moments when my spouse returns briefly to reality. I feed him my special home-made chicken soup made from the recipe of a favorite uncle. He needs nutrition and for now, is not able to eat much without developing nausea from extreme dizziness. Seems that the chicken soup’s hydration and nutrition reduces the brain fog for a little while.
We sit and I hold his hand. I stroke his arm lovingly, not knowing what else to do. I change the linens on his bed, clean the bathroom, empty the bedside urinal, and prepare simple meals for him to nibble during the day when he wakes from many cat-naps.
During brief periods of cognizance, my spouse insists that he is okay, safe at home in bed… just needs to rest. He demands that I go to work and try to continue my life’s usual routine.
But this infection is relentless, and I am fighting my spouse’s battles for him and to get medical care. Next week — soonest available — we are seeing two (new) doctors, a lab for blood work and another lab for a specialty test. I reviewed the medical treatment protocol that he was on when this particular infection was diagnosed and treated 26 months ago. We have the antibiotics on-hand to which he responded, so he has restarted those meds to try to beat back this infection.
My routine remains being the primary caregiver of the man with whom I feel in love one warm Spring day more than 23 years ago, and who married me with great joy when our home state approved same-sex marriage by popular vote (overturning a negative-nabob hateful referendum), and the man with whom I exchanged vows with great conviction,
I, [name], take you, [name], to be my partner on our life’s journey. I promise to stand with you in celebration and sadness, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I pledge my love, devotion, faith, and honor to you for now and evermore.
If you find my husband, please bring him back. Thank you.
Life is short: show those you love how you love them each and every moment of every day.