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losing faith — Part III

The First Loss


(But our faith in medicine continued.)

We entered our second year lease one year and three months after mom was given one year — maximum — to live.  She was very ill.  She received chemotherapy that was dangerous in and of itself.  Before the move she was taken to the hospital for dehydration and elevated blood sugar.  The family came in.  We thought it was the end.  We were wrong.

The therapy continued.  It turned her skin into tissue paper.  She suffered fevers, deliriums, hallucinations, vomiting, and diarrhea.  I was her cook, maid, and nurse.  I took total care of all house duties and managed her business affairs.

Twice she fell and taken to the emergency room with lacerations to her face, neck, and head.  She fell other times too.  Once she fell while with two of her brothers who stupidly allowed her to walk up a concrete pathway without assistance.  She broke her arm.

The guilt for letting her out of my sight was tremendous.  Only I knew enough about her capabilities. No one else knew or cared to learn what the dangers to her life and health were.

I was not working for a wage.  Taking care of mom was a 24/7 proposition — without relief.  I started drinking again.  This certainly didn’t help my mental or emotional state.  When intoxicated I had a tendency to verbally lash out at the two major targets of my resentments — my sisters.  This did nothing to endear me to them, but their own resentment of me began even before mom got sick or my marriage ended.

I have since worked very hard to shed all my resentments for all they did to me and to mom.  Their spiteful actions toward me had the side effect of hurting mom horribly — worse than it could have hurt me by itself.  I honestly believe the point was to hurt me by intentionally hurting her, knowing what it would do to me — and this to one’s own mother who had never done anything but show love and forgiveness to them.  This was a hard thing to forgive, but I did.

Then, I had to take responsibility for my own stupid reactions to them.  I had to realize that the sword cut in both directions.  When I finally got sober again 5 years ago, an important order of business was to make my amends to them.  This I finally completed last summer.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

Where was I?  Oh yeah . . . I was talking about mom and her health crisis, but I was finished for the time being on that point . . .

I needed help — desperately.  I asked for it, but was told “no way.”  Locked as I was in a situation isolated from human affection and caring I turned to paths that would lead me into certain destruction.  I continued to drink and it became heavier.  I went to the Internet to find female companionship.  I had a few dates with women I met in dating sites, but they all ended after one or two dates.

Viewing my past situation objectively, I hardly blame anyone for wanting to get hooked up with a guy like me.

When the dating sites failed, I turned to a site that dealt with relationships concentrating on sex.  I didn’t have success there either, but I found where I could belong to a group through Bulletin Board discussions. I was introduced to Blogging.

I stayed strictly away from casual sex and participated in conversation based on every form of sociability.  Sex was discussed, also current events and topics of general interest.  I became very popular and even formed a group of my own.  I made several friends.

I met a woman there and we communicated by I.M. and telephone.  She lived in Colorado — 1,700 miles away. We became romantically involved.  Let’s call her “Stella.”

Life progressed and things were, for the most part, stable.  The end of our second year in the apartment neared and, wonders never ceasing, mom’s health improved.  Her cancer went into remission.  The doctor’s threw their hands in the air and admitted cluelessness.

Now that mom’s health was improved that she could take care of herself with minimal oversight, my sisters were amenable to having her visit.  I took a one week vacation and flew to Colorado Springs to visit Stella.

I felt Stella and I made a connection and that things were hopeful for a long term relationship.  Little did I realize I was being set up by a Black Widow.

When I got back home things continued as usual, except for one thing.

I had a heart attack.

Years of physical abuse caught up with me.  I was rushed to the hospital, stabilized, and my severely occluded coronary arteries were stinted.  Mom was left at home by herself.  I called my sister and asked if someone could go pick her up or at least to go stay with her until I could be released.  She refused.  Mom didn’t even have a way to come see me in CCU.

Two days after being catheterized and stinted, I signed myself out of CCU against medical advice and went home.

After two years of living in a luxury apartment the money was running out.  Fifty thousand dollars had been given away as pre-death inheritance.  My own share of that had been used to satisfy old debts and their was no way I could repay it.  I can’t speak for my sisters on that score.  Social Security couldn’t support two people in such an environment.  Now that mom had been declared in complete remission, my sisters agreed to care for her as long as she was able to care for herself.

Do you see the contradiction in that last statement.  They would care for her as long as they didn’t have to care for her.  But, they would give her a shelter and take her to the doctor when she needed to go.  With her health so much improved, I was no longer needed to be her housekeeper and maid.

In late Spring of 2006, I packed all my belongings in three trunks, tearfully kissed mom goodbye, and boarded a train for Colorado Springs.

(To Be Continued)

click to continue reading part v