Embracing A Terrifying Anniversary

Valentine’s Day

One year ago this day, at approximately 10 p.m., I rushed Jacquelynn to Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati with a kidney infection so severe that, mathematically, it should have killed her.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while (or have gone back through the archives and caught yourselves up) know what has happened since, but in shorthand, two bouts of “Severe Sepsis With Acute Kidney Damage”, a number of terrifying “psychotic episodes”, and a diagnosis of Acute Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Dementia.

Today, twelve months to the day later, we celebrated our 19th Valentine’s Day together as a couple, and our first as man and wife.   I’m more than thrilled to tell you that there is more of Jacquelynn present and interacting with me each and every day than there had been for nearly a year prior to last year’s cascading events.

Jacquelynn awoke to another Valentine’s Day card (she’s gotten a card or gift every day for the last week, which I’ve been doing for many years) and we were on the go for quite a while afterward. Amid our errands, she got to spend some time catching up with a dear friend and is still talking about it.

Karen was a terrific sounding board for her. Sympathetic and understanding, she, like us, wants only to see her friend recovered and vital once again. With the exception of that conversation, the subject of Jacquelynn’s illness didn’t enter into discussion a single time today. Of course, I administered her meds and supplements as necessary and fed her only the clean, organic and unprocessed foods she’s allowed, but these things are quite ordinary now, and occur without any overt need to discuss them.

This was 100% by design, by the way. I began this day with a silent commitment to purposely avoid any mention of Alzheimer’s, recovery, or doctors at all unless I absolutely had to.   Catching up with Karen aside, I wanted for her a Valentine’s Day as close to normal as I could possibly arrange: we’d stick to our regimen of meals, supplements, meds, exercise, and meditation same as always, but all talk would be uplifting and without dread, tears, or fear. I figured if I could manage this for one day, just one day, then I could maybe manage two. And if I do actually manage two, then I figure the sky’s the limit.

And it was a terrific day on all accounts. Romantic, relaxed, and quiet, we adhered to her regimen, but watched television, cuddled, and napped as well. And, as we prepare to call it a night while trying to pry ourselves away from a compelling documentary, she’ll tell you that it’s been a great day, and she feels blessed, happy, and blissfully sleepy. She’ll also tell you that she feels wonderful; healthier and more robust than she has in a long time. She knows that there is far yet to go, but she’s 100% committed to her path and her health.

Health and healing are made possible by the heart and mind, after all.   Yes, medications and professional medical input are essential, but if the mind and the heart aren’t 100% committed and aligned in their purpose, if fear and dread rule the day, if the focus is the disease and not life, then no amount of medicine, nutrition, exercise, or “Doctor’s Orders” have a hope in hell of healing you.

Only you can make your own healing possible.

Only Jacquelynn, albeit with all the help I can muster, can make her own return to full health possible.

And By God, I’m going to do everything in my power to enable her to do just that. With her strength and focus, nothing, and I mean NOTHING can stop her.

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