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Born in the 50s

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Members: 738
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Discussion Forum

Dating

Started by Mike. Last reply by Alysoun Nov 30, 2018. 24 Replies

Buying A House

Started by Tekwriter. Last reply by Tekwriter Oct 6, 2018. 13 Replies

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Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on December 11, 2018 at 3:26am

Lots of talk here about "Why am I still here?  What's the point?"  I've been thinking about this lately.  I am only 63, but I left my job in January, and while I have a good life with many friends and good times, and I'm enjoying the slack, I find myself often looking back and looking forward to try and determine what my path is.  I will think "What's my purpose?"  And I came to the realization that I have already fulfilled my purpose.  My purpose was the save my husband from the self-destructive spiral he was in when we met.  Oh, he was functional; he went to work every day and he was jolly and fun.  But like many people in the 1980s, he was a regular cocaine user, and I think he would have died by the time he was 30 if I hadn't come along.  I didn't do anything to "straighten him out", even though his father gave me credit for doing so.  All I did was love him and accept him, and that enabled him to straighten himself out.  He never really lost the self-loathing that I didn't know he had until a few months before he died, but he was able to live a normal, satisfying life.  I think that was my purpose, and now?  Well, I don't know.

I suspect it has something to do with feeding people.  I am at my happiest when I am cooking something or making food for people. It can be exhausting.  I had a potluck on Thanksgiving, my friends helped with dishes and such, and still it took me two days to recover.  But it was a good kind of tired.  I help prepare a dinner for a womens shelter once a month and I take a lot of satisfation in that.

Some of us will remarry and perhaps that will be our new purpose.  Others of us won't, and we will have to find that purpose on our own.  But even if it's just preparing a meal every now and then, or getting your dog certified for pet therapy, or whatever -- something that gives us an answer, no matter how small, to "Why am I still here?" is important for us to find.

Comment by Melissa on December 10, 2018 at 11:00pm

Riet, the day after tomorrow is my husband's birthday, too.

You have people to help you when you get home, don't you? I wish you a speedy healing.

People are strange. Every night I pray not to wake up in the morning, but every day I take my vitamins and put on sunscreen. I don't get it.

All the best to you.

Comment by riet on December 10, 2018 at 10:21pm

A person is very strange. In the last few months I have often thought: "Let me leave, I can not do without my love". And when I broke my hip on last Tuesday, I just felt: I hope they can do something for me, because I do not want to die yet.
Today I can leave the clinic. A few months of recovery await me. And that without him.
The day after tomorrow is his birthday. How can I do all that?
And yet: it seems that I want to live.

Comment by shelley on December 10, 2018 at 5:52pm

Yes, Melissa.  It felt peculiar to rationally consider how to best maintain my health when I constantly ask John to take me with him.   

Comment by Tekwriter on December 10, 2018 at 12:15pm

When my husband had his two brain surgeries I spent almost every night in the hospital with him. Two nights I stayed at home. The first I had been up 36 hours and they said he would remain sedated all night, and the second I was familiar with the nurses.  It is sad to think we need someone there. My cancer treatment was cutting edge and very aggressive. I would hate to do it again. Specially since my Oncologist moved over to Hematology completely.

Comment by Melissa on December 10, 2018 at 12:10pm

That's such a good decision, Shelley. I wouldn't have had the presence of mind to think it through like that. 

Comment by shelley on December 10, 2018 at 9:52am

Harvard, MD Anderson & Mayo Clinic maintain a database of 7 million cancer patients with 28 kinds of cancer.  A woman named Joan DelFattore, herself a cancer survivor, researched 59 studies from this database and found that single women (divorced, widowed or never married) received less aggressive treatment options from their oncologists.  Sometimes doctors assume that single women do not have the support system needed to help with the side effects of aggressive treatments.  Assume being the operative word.  Even if the women list friends, relatives, etc as support people.  Doctors assume the single women will not be able to deal with/handle it.  

I know the importance of being vigilant in the hospital.  The first night that my husband entered the hospital, I waited until he fell asleep for the night and went home.  Mostly to grasp what was happening.  I spent every night thereafter in the hospital and was appalled but not surprised by the care.  Hospitalized friends and relatives have had various enlightening experiences.  Funny, though, I never thought of myself as the one hospitalized/seriously ill.  Always the caretaker, I guess.  

My decision to create a new home base in San Francisco was certainly an intellectual performance.  Emotionally, I would prefer to stay in our Santa Cruz bed for as much as my life as possible.  But it does feel good to emerge from the fog even briefly.  

Thank you all.     

Comment by irishlady (jan) on December 10, 2018 at 9:22am

Garys wife..I totally agree with your post. I learned that lesson the hard way. That is the main reason I recently moved up nearer my daughter because she is the one who always handles everything with me...her brothers always pass it off to her. And luckily for me, I have driven this point home that if I am ever hospitalized to always have someone there with me.And she is a "pitbull" so know nothing will happen..

Comment by Gary'swife on December 10, 2018 at 7:56am

Shelley - you make some excellent points about medical care.   I have found that if someone is in the hospital and no one comes to check on them in person, (and can ask some questions), they might not receive as good of medical care.

My former boss lived in lower NYC.  He was German, but lived in Brazil for many years, and had been transferred to the U.S. for maybe 1 year.  He had a mild heart attack, was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  His wife was there, but she was unfamiliar with the U.S. medical system. When I spoke with her the next day to find out where he was, she said he was just inside the doors of the hospital ..which did not make any sense to me.  So I went to see him, and he was still in the emergency room!.  There were absolutely no medical staff around, so I went to the nurses station, picked up the phone, and told the operator I wanted to know who the attending physician was for this patient.   Within 3 minutes there were  3 Drs. at his bedside.   He told me later he was ready to check himself out if not for my actions.  He ended up being transferred to another (better) hospital and had a stent put in. 

 After this, I always made a point of going to see people in the hospital (like the grandmother of a friend who lived out of town), just so the medical staff saw there was someone around who cared out this person.  Of course, not sure who will show up when I am in the hospital!  I have several close friends who will, but not so sure about my family.

Comment by CarLady on December 10, 2018 at 7:28am

Congratulations Shelley on using your critical thinking skills to assess your current situation, feelings and determine your future needs both physically and emotionally. It’s great that you had a friend to discuss this with and act as a sounding board.  I’m sure you feel better after going through the process and putting a name to concerns and feelings that had probably been weighing you down.  I hope you enjoy the holidays with a lighter heart. Please stay safe on those long commutes and hopefully you won’t have to do it too long.  

 

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