I wonder if there is a study out that that measures the impact of losing a spouse. Not just earnings but life years of the remaining spouse. Quality of life. That kind of thing.
I went to my friendly family doctor-friend on Friday. I wanted to discuss the sundry list of issues that have been plaguing me for the last few months. The weight gain, restlessness, the feeling of being held down, lack of energy, feeling ragey-cagey, short fuse…vague. Like Ferris Bueller “When I’m wailing and moaning, I lick my palms. I know it’s childish and stupid but, then again, so is high school.” It’s all about the vague symptoms.
I had the blood work so I know that, biologically, I am in good shape. I just feel like I’m not whole. Will I ever be? That’s rhetorical. Nobody knows the answer; we do not possess a crystal ball or the ability to time travel.
Two years ago, Stephen was in the hospital. He had a high fever, no immune system and a stupidly high heart rate. Also kind of vague. He didn’t feel poorly (relatively of course) but he was put in the hospital and spent three days there. It was at this particular hospital visit that I got my first ipod, discovered the first two works of Jen Lancaster and had a heart to heart with him about how he is polite to everyone at the hospital and was treating me like crap. Demanding, almost.
I remember knowing that he wasn’t going to survive but, if he did, he totally owed me.
What I didn’t know, going into all this, was that it didn’t end with the end of his life. There is no just getting on with life. I didn’t know that this would have such a profound effect on me. Or am I allowing it affect me in destructive ways? Am I dwelling on that which I cannot change? Am I flailing around, waiting to wake up? Am I looking to get rescued?
There is no answer.
All I know is that my meds got doubled and I got a refill on my precious, precious xanax. Mmmm…xanax. Lest ye judge, the last prescription lasted me 15 months. It’s just nice to have when I really, really need it.
When I left, I got a handshake and a sheet to give to the receptionist. On the bottom, there are lines where the doctor writes the diagnosis. My diagnosis? Major Depression.
And there you have it. You knew it. I knew it. And now my insurance company knows it.
The disease died with him but the damage is further reaching that I ever anticipated, eating at my insides as sure as a tumor crowds out good tissue and gets in the way of what my body and my mind need to do.