Friday, November 11, 2011

Where did the magic go?

As Halloween approached this year I just couldn't get into it at all. I tried decorating but only the fall decorations made me happy...nothing Halloween at all. I couldn't figure it out. Usually Halloween is the first of the holidays each year that I actually go all out with on the decorations. Halloween came and went and that day all I wanted was for the day to be over. I had an uneasy feeling the entire day and I couldn't put my finger on it.


I was sitting here this morning catching up on some past posts when suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. 2 years ago on Halloween my husband was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with diabetes. Even though he was released from the hospital a few days later and he didn't pass away until the end of February, I think that somewhere in my subconscious thoughts I have labeled that day as being the beginning of the end. The day he was diagnosed with the disease that would eventually lead to that blood clot that took him away from me.

The holiday season used to mean so much to me and I can already feel myself backing away from the idea of Thanksgiving too. I have received 4 invitations to different places for Thanksgiving and I haven't been able to accept any of them. Last year I expected to have a hard time through the holidays because they were my first without him. But this year, I thought that I would be able to let myself feel the magic again and I am disappointed to find that it seems the magic died the day Wayne did.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I got in trouble yesterday...

To preface this post, I first have to explain about something that has been going on that you aren't aware of because I haven't been blogging.  I've mentioned it in passing before, but never in great detail.  About 8 years ago I started loosing my hair.  It was only in small quantities and I didn't really notice it too much.  I knew that my hair was getting thinner, but it wasn't bad enough to bother me all that much.  Over the past 2 years this has gotten extremely worse and when pictures are taken of me now, my hair is so thin and my hairline is so far receded that it looks like I have practically no hair at all. In an effort to try and stop the hair loss process and potentially even reverse it my doctor referred me to my very first endocrinologist.  I saw her for the first time about 3 months ago and she did a bunch of tests.  I was re-diagnosed with PCOS. She changed all of my medications and wanted to immediately refer me for weight loss surgery but I talked her into giving me some more time to try to lose it on my own.  I don't have the money for the surgery and my insurance won't cover it. It was a far from pleasant experience let me tell you. Yesterday was my follow up appointment...and I haven't even started losing yet.

Yesterday I was told that I am killing myself.  I was told that in a matter of months I will be a full blown diabetic.  I was told that my risk of complications is much greater than that of others.  I was told that there is no pill that will fix my problems and unless I decide to do something about it, I will basically kill myself.

So, I guess now is about the time that I have to start pulling some of those things off of the back burner.  The problem is that I just don't know where to start.  The obvious place would be to start with the weight loss, but I don't have the foggiest clue how to do it.  It seems like I have tried everything but I can never stick to it.  I just don't have the strength or the will power to stick it out.  I don't want to do this but I can't just not do it either.  I don't want to fail again.

I'm scared.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Back Burner

You have probably noticed that I tend to post a lot for a while and then I disappear for months at a time.  I know that this is really bad blogging etiquette but yet I still do it over and over again.  For a long time I have asked myself why I do this and the only answer I could come up with was to say that there wasn't really anything going on in my life worth writing about during those times.  I never once asked myself why I didn't have anything to write about, I just accepted it and let the blog sit there untouched until something came up that I decided was worth writing about.  That is until last week. 

I got this new digital scrapbooking software and I really wanted to try creating my own blog header.  I was working so hard on this new header when I finally asked myself why I was doing this when my blog is dormant.  Why bother?  I asked myself why it was dormant and gave myself the typical answer that there isn't anything going on in my life worth writing about.  But this time I didn't stop there; I kept asking "why?" until I got down to the root. I discovered a cycle that I tend to repeat no matter what is going on in my life.  As I face new challenges in my life I just tend to add them to the cycle.

The cycle begins with me coming to a decision that I need to "deal" with my challenges.  I list them all out and make goals for myself.  I generally start blogging at this point because I need a place to write these goals out, track them, vent, etc.  I dig down deep and really try with all my might to get through these challenges and to make some progress.  I psycho evaluate myself (yes I realize that even now this is exactly what I am doing) and tell myself all these stories about why this time it is going to be different.  Eventually the stress and emotional tole of all my issues starts to get to me and I start bundling them all up and putting them away.  The challenges don't go away I just choose not to deal with them anymore.  I "put them on the back burner" and just let them simmer.  I go into a form of hibernation where I get up, I go to work, I go home, and I go to sleep.  I don't have anything to write about because I'm IGNORING my life.  I am choosing not to deal with it.  Even if something does happen that I would normally write about I don't because the blog in and of itself is a reminder of those things that I am currently trying to ignore.  Then, eventually, something will happen which will trigger a sudden desire to pull everything out and try again.

Now that I have discovered the problem I am still not quite sure what to do about it.  I know that logically I should try just pulling out one or two of my dormant issues and deal with them completely before moving on to the next.  But, I just don't work that way.  Everything always seems so intricately bound together.  I can start just about anywhere in my list and link everything together in a giant circle.  My weight, infertility, being a widow, depression, loneliness, lack of social skills, deeply rooted insecurities, my weight...see, I told you.  I feel like I need to deal with everything as a whole but at the same time I know from 30 years of experience that working on it as a whole doesn't work.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I just don't understand

A friend said something to me last night that really made me start thinking.  It left me literally at a loss for words.  I have heard people talk about similar experiences but I was actually really surprised by my thought process as a result.

Last night we were watching a TV show about weddings and she made a comment about how if I ever got married again she would never let me wear a pink dress or a white one for that matter.  As a result our conversation kind of shifted to whether I would be open to getting married again or not (the answer to that is a whole different post).  She then made the comment that litterally left me speachless for a good time.  She said "If you do get married again it will have to be to another Mormon, because in the eyes of any other Christian you are going to hell."

Even writing about this now is bringing tears to my eyes.  Not so much tears of hurt (okay maybe a couple of those too), but mostly tears of sadness for all of the people out there who seem to think that this line of thinking is okay.  Maybe it is because I was raised in a church where I was NEVER taught this principal, but it leaves me heart broken that someone would believe this.  I can't imagine ever joining a church where it is taught that it doesn't matter how good a person is or what good deeds they do in life, they will still be sentensed to an eternity in hell just because they weren't able to filter through all of the religions out there and find the "one true church."

I just don't understand how someone can go through life and just unconditionally accept the idea that all of the good hearted people that they come into contact with will be thrown into a pit of hell, fire, and damnation just because they don't believe in one specific religion.  I don't understand how anyone would be willing to just accept this and not question it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Definition of Being Alone

I've only ever had one person in my life that I could honestly tell everything without having to sensor myself or think twice before opening my mouth.  I knew that he wouldn't judge me and that he would listen with a loving heart.  He would help hold me up when I was weak.  I could literally tell him anything, no matter how bad of a person those things may have made me seem and he wouldn't hold it against me.  He would just be there for me and help me work through those challenges and problems I was facing.

Lately I have been struggling with a few things...and I mean really struggling.  I actually found myself calling his name last night; reaching out for that lifeline that I so desperately need...but he wasn't there.  He never will be there again.  It's been over a year and I still miss him more than ever sometimes.  Making it even worse is that I can almost guarantee that if he WERE here...I wouldn't be struggling with these specific issues in the first place.

Being alone just really sucks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hair Today...Bald Tomorrow

I know that it may sound vain, but my hair loss has really started to get to me.  It has been getting increasingly worse over the past few months and I am afraid that I am not going to have any left within the next year if I don't get it slowed down.  So, I finally broke down and talked to my doctor about it.  She actually said that she noticed a difference since I saw her last...only three weeks before.

We came up with a timid plan on how to get the hair loss to stop.  From the research I have done, I have found that I may even be able to get some regrowth.  The first step is for me to get back on my meds.  I am back on track with them and doing my very best not to miss any.  It seems like I usually do really well for a week or two and then I fall off the wagon and the next thing I know it is months later and I haven't taken a single dose.  I know that this isn't good for me and that I need to start really taking some initiative in this area.  I still haven't really figured out how I am going to prevent the cycle from repeating itself yet, but I hope to figure something out before it does.

The second step is that she is increasing my Metformin to the maximum dosage.  I'm not really looking forward to this part.  This medication really upsets my stomach for at least a couple of weeks each time that I get back on track with it and that was with the lower dose.  I think I am in for some major tummy troubles for the next little while.  I guess all I can do is warn everyone around me to stay out of my way when I stand up and run and ask them to pardon my grumpiness as I try to get through it.  Sometimes I think that the meds they give us that are supposed to make us better, are really worse than the original problem.

The third step is that she is sending me to a dermatologist.  A dermatologist is probably the last person I would have thought of when talking about hair loss.  I'm not sure why, but I just never made that kind of connection.  They are going to do a blood panel tomorrow to check for any things that would give them an indication of what is causing the majority of the hair loss and then my appointment with dermatology is in about 5 weeks (that is how far they are booked out).

Overall, I just really hope they are able to pin down the cause and help me out.  The idea of loosing all of my hair really scares me.  My hair used to be the only part of my outward appearance that I could honestly say looked pretty, now I don't even have that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

No More Waiting...

I have spent my entire life letting other people save me, protect me, and take care of me.  I lived with my mom until after I was 19.  When I left her home I moved in with my brother for a few months. Seeking some freedom I then moved into my own apartment...epic fail.  I got involved in stuff that I had no business getting involved with.  I wasn't smart with my money and immediately got behind on my bills and dropped out of college.  As the going started to get tough and I was beginning to start wondering what I was going to do I met Wayne.  He swept into my life and he made everything better.  We still had problems on and off throughout our marriage.  There were money issues and life challenges that we faced but he always held me up and helped me through.

After Wayne passed away, I moved up to the Layton area to be close to his family.  Even though I got an apartment of my own, I still relied on them a lot to help get me through emotionally.  His parents even helped some financially.  Even though I felt like I had suddenly found myself out in the world alone, I wasn't.  My family was still supporting me, protecting me, and taking care of me.

Then, I moved out here to Indiana.  I suddenly didn't have anyone that I could lean on other than myself.  Sure, I can call family and they will still bail me out of trouble if I need them too.  But, more than ever before, I am having to depend on myself.  I have to stand on my own two feet.  I came to the realization this weekend that I have been, not so much rebelling against this fact, but I haven't been doing it either.  Instead of growing and learning how to take care of myself, I have been sitting here waiting for someone to come and take care of me.  I have been doing the basic things needed for survival, but as much as I have talked about the Butterfly Project and other things, in reality I have failed those things because I was waiting for someone to come along that would help me.  I didn't/don't know how to do it on my own.  I've never before had to take care of myself.  I guess it is about time that I put on my big girl pants and learned...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Morning Walk

The Pond at Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, IN

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Glimmers of a Plan

There has been a lot going through my mind lately.  So much that I haven't really known where to even start in regards to trying to figure everything out.  Last night I tossed and turned all night long.  I guess in a way it was my brain's way of telling me that it was time.  So, when I woke up at 4 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep, I let my mind wander through all of the problems and issues and wouldn't you know...I found a place to start.

Lately, I have been considering moving back to Utah...a lot.  I miss my family so much that it hurts sometimes.  I feel like I am missing out on all the wonderful things going on in their lives.  I told everyone that I would be making my decision in July, but I think everyone kind of suspects that the decision has already been made.  I guess in some ways, I kind of thought the decision had been made as well, I just didn't want to announce anything.

I am glad that I followed my instinct not to make any announcements because I finally got the answer to my prayers this morning and it isn't what I was planning on.  I will be staying in Indiana for a while longer.  There is a reason why I have been separated from my family for this time in my life.  This is a time that has been set aside for me to learn some very valuable lessons in life.  I have been fighting these lessons, just waiting for the chance to run back home.  I need to learn how to embrace these challenges and lessons.  Only then will I truly be ready to go back. And if I have learned the lessons properly I won't actually be running anymore, I will be returning with a purpose and a plan.

With the decision made to stay here in Indiana, all of  my problems and issues have started to lay themselves out before me.  I can actually see where they are all connected and how working on the first will automatically start helping with the second and so on.  I haven't been able to see this pattern before and now that I have a plan is starting to take form.  And wouldn't you know...it all still fits in with my discarded Butterfly Project.  I started that project with good intentions but my follow through was severely lacking and the project fell by the wayside and I regressed right back to where I was when I started.

It is time to pick myself back up for real this time and get moving again.  The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I get to go back to Utah.  And yes...I do realize that that sentence in and of itself proves that I'm not ready to go back yet and that I have a lot of work to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dusting Myself Off

I fell off the wagon again.  I have recently awoken to the knowledge that once again I allowed myself to fall into the trap of "eat, sleep, work."  My room is a disaster, I haven't lost any weight, I have lost more hair that I care to admit to, and I have been called "sir" so many times in the past few weeks that I am beginning to really wonder...

I think the combination of PCOS, grief and stress has taken it's toll on me over the past year. My PCOS has gone into overdrive.  I was loosing my hair before but not like I am now.  I have also gotten to the point where I have to shave my beard and mustache off ever flippin' morning where before I only had to do it once or twice a week.  I look in the mirror and see someone who has aged a good 10+ years over the past 12 months.  Something has got to give; I can't keep living like this.

In an effort to pick myself up and dust myself off I gave myself a pedicure last night. Painted my toenails and everything. Then, I couldn't just let it go at that so I had to pain my fingernails too. I also found a really cute pair of sandals that I can wear to work or on the weekend. Decidedly girlie.


Tomorrow I plan to start doing my makeup again and I will get back on track with my medications. With any luck the hair loss isn't permanent and I can reverse it, otherwise I may just have to go wig shopping before too long...oh how I wish I was joking.

I really miss Wayne.  I took him for granted in a lot of ways that I am only now beginning to see.  I miss the way that I never had to dress up or do my make up in order to feel pretty or feminine when he was around.  All I had to do was look into his eyes as he looked at me and I automatically felt loved, adored, wanted...beautiful. He treated me and made me feel like a woman. No one ever called me "sir" when I was with him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

What does it all mean?

The night before last I had a dream that I have been unable to shake.  It was so unsettling and I keep thinking that there is something in it that I was supposed to learn or to hear.  I can't figure out if it is my subconscious trying to tell me about something that I am repressing or if it was Wayne himself trying to tell me something through a dream.  Maybe it really was nothing, but it sure doesn't feel like nothing.

Wayne came to visit me here in Indy.  I don't remember what he came for; I almost think it was a funeral.  But he came to be with me and to support me.  The morning that he was supposed to leave he missed his flight.  I was so worried about him not getting back home. We got in the car and drove to a place where he could see if they would let him change his ticket for another flight the same day.  He went into the store and I stayed in the car, parked across the street.  I saw him come out and he called me on my cell phone.  He told me that they had given him a ticket for a flight that left in 30 minutes.  I told him that I couldn't get him to the airport in time so he needed to go back and ask for something different.  I could see him standing on the corner, but for some reason I drove away and went to another place to try and figure something out so that I could get him back home.  After I had talked to the lady at the new place I called him.  He was so sad and hurt that I had left him.  He told me that he had just decided to walk.  But not only that; the place he had walked to was the condo where we lived at the time he passed away.  I remember asking him how he got in because it has been sold and he told me that someone was there that let him in.  I was suddenly overcome with such sadness and guilt for leaving him standing on that corner all alone.  I remember pleading with him over the phone asking him to forgive me.  Then I told him that I loved him....and he didn't reply...the line just went dead.

The only thing that I can think of is that either I am feeling like I have abandoned him or he thinks I have.  Either way it is definitely something that I need to work though; I just don't know how...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Year

Exactly one year ago tonight I went to bed with my husband curled up by my side, without the slightest indication that my life would change forever in a matter of hours.

Tonight part of me just wants to curl up under the covers, close my eyes, and get this night over with.  While another part, keeps holding on to the hope that somehow, some way, he will find a way to let me know that he is with me tonight.  If I stay up just a little bit longer, maybe I will feel his touch or hear his voice just one more time. 

I have so many friends and family members who have given me their love and support over this past year, yet there is still only one pair of arms that I crave.  One pair of arms that, if wrapped around me, would make all of my fears and sadness go away.  One pair of arms that I miss more than anything.  The one pair of arms that I can no longer have.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flashbacks - Part 3 of 3

Early Tuesday Morning


I followed the firemen and Wayne down the stairs. As they got him onto the stretcher and started to load him up into the ambulance I called Wayne’s parents. I didn’t want to worry them too much because after what the firemen had said, I figured that this would just be a trip to the E.R. for a breathing treatment or two and then we would be back home. They wanted to come to the E.R. anyway, so I told them how to get to the hospital and they started their 1 hour trip to the hospital.

The bishop said goodbye and headed home as I got into my car. I drove to the hospital alone. As I was pulling into the parking lot, so did the ambulance that carried Wayne. They had him stable enough so it wasn’t a lights and sirens type of occasion. As the ambulance drove over to their entrance, I parked and entered through the other E.R. entrance where admitting is. When I walked in, there was a man and a couple of other people sitting in the waiting area. The nurses desk was empty. As I stood at the desk waiting, I heard someone call for a repertory team to the E.R. over the intercom. It was almost like a voice in my head, clearly said that it was for Wayne. I still wasn’t too worried. Maybe it was a bit more serious than we had thought, but it would probably just be a day or two in the hospital and everything would be fine.

I am guessing that at this point, the man in the waiting area could tell I was getting a bit anxious and he told me that the nurse had gone down the hall to the patient admitting desk. I walked down there and found her working on Wayne’s paperwork. She was really nice and said that she understood that I wanted to get this done quickly so that I could get back to Wayne. We quickly went over our insurance information and I paid the $100 copay for the E.R. visit. She then told me what room Wayne was in and started to walk me through and point me in the right direction. As I walked down the hall, I noticed that there was quite a commotion going on in one of the rooms. Suddenly a security guard came running out of the room, put his hand up and said “she can’t come in here.” The nurse from the desk said “this is his wife.” The security guard looked and me and said “you can’t come in here, wait right there.” It was only then that it dawned on me; the commotion was coming from Wayne’s room.

I stood there in the hallway, rooted to the floor. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to think. After what seemed like an eternity, but I am sure it was only a matter of a minute or two, the same security guard came over and took an office chair from the trauma nurses desk. He pushed the chair up against the wall across from the desk and asked me to sit down. I sat there in a kind of daze, only half aware of all the noise coming from Wayne’s room. I just stared straight in front of me…in a sort of trance…watching the bleep bleep bleep of the heart monitors on the trauma desk. Then I noticed that one of those heart monitors didn’t look right. Just as I noticed that it was different than the others, it flat lined, and the words “Time of Death” appeared above it. My stomach hit the floor…had I just watched someone die? Then the line started moving again and the words disappeared.

I just sat there staring at this person’s life weaving in and out. Then my brain started working in over drive. It was like there was something there that I needed to know, that I should know but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I counted the heart monitors. There were 4. I looked up and started to count the rooms lined up in front of the desk: 1,2,3,4. It was monitor 1 that had flatlined…Wayne was in the 1st room.

While the reality of the situation began to sink in, I was still in complete denial. I immediately had thoughts of going into his room after everything was okay again and holding him while I told him how close we had been to losing him. It never occurred to me at that point that he might not make it. I was scared enough to call his parents again. I called and asked how close they were. Wayne’s mom told me where they were and then asked why. I couldn’t tell her what I had just seen. The words “Time of Death” just kept flashing through my mind. I told her that I would tell them when they got there. She started to cry and I followed up with “I just don’t want to be here by myself anymore.”

Almost as soon as I hung up the phone, a doctor came out of Wayne’s room and walked up to me. She said that as they were taking Wayne out of the ambulance his heart had stopped and he had stopped breathing. She said that they were doing everything they could and that she would be back out to give me more information as soon as she could. Suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off of that heart monitor. I just kept willing his heart to keep beating. The sounds coming from his room were suddenly so clear it was almost as though I were in the room. I heard them calling for X-Rays, and blood transfusions, and things that I had only before heard on hospital drama television shows. I had to be dreaming right? I was still in my bed with my husband sleeping nearby…it was just a nightmare. I had to wake up.

Wayne’s parents got there and ran up to me asking where he was. I pointed to the room and tried to tell them that they wouldn’t let us in. Wayne’s dad barreled down the hall. No one was going to tell him he couldn’t see his son. The security guard stopped him. They started a vigil next to me. I think I tried telling them what I knew, but it is all pretty much a blur. It is like at that point I no longer had to carry the burden alone so it was finally okay for me to go somewhere else in my mind for a few minutes and try to get away. I know that at some point someone got a chair for Wayne’s mom and she sat next to me. I remember staring at that heart monitor; all the bells and alarms that kept going off every time that his heart stopped. I began to be able to tell the difference between his heart actually beating on its own and when they were doing CPR. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I got up and went to the bathroom. When I got there I just wanted to cry or to throw up or something…but I couldn’t do anything other than sit there and stare at the blank wall. So, I went back to my post, watching the heart monitor.

The doctor came back out to talk to us. She said that they had done everything they could and that it just wasn’t taking. She said that they would get his heart started again and then it would just stop and they would have to start over again. She said that they would try one more time, but if he didn’t pull through this time, she was going to call it. Wayne’s dad asked the doctor what she meant. She looked at him straight and said “We don’t think he is going to make it.” She told us that if we wanted, she would let us in the room with him this time. She warned us that it was pretty ugly in there and that we would have to stay back. I couldn’t do it. As much as I wanted to be with him, I just couldn’t bear the thought of seeing him like that. Wayne’s mom couldn’t either. Wayne’s dad went in to the room, and didn’t leave his side as far as I am aware.

I called my sister. I told her where I was and that they didn’t think Wayne was going to make it. It was when I finally allowed myself to say the words out loud that the tears started. She said that they would come and I told her how to get there. A few minutes later the hospital chaplain came and took us to a waiting room. It didn’t seem like it was much longer after that when they came in to tell us that Wayne was gone. Somewhere in the midst of this Wayne’s brother and sister came. I don’t remember if they got there before or after the doctor called it. I remember my sister, her husband, and my mom coming in shortly after I had been told Wayne was gone. I looked at them and asked them if someone had told them. They said no. I had to tell them that Wayne was gone. My brother came shortly after that. I called my bishop and told him; he was in shock. I called my boss to tell him that I wouldn’t be in to work for a while.

After that it was like we all just sat together in stunned silence. Eventually they moved us to a bigger waiting room because our group had gotten so big. I looked around the room and realized amidst all the grief that I was truly blessed. Within an hour or two, I had gone from sitting alone in an office chair in a brightly lit hospital hallway watching my husband’s heart stop over and over again to being surrounded by so many people who loved both me and my husband.

I did cry a lot while I was at the hospital but I tried not to cry too much. I didn’t want to hurt Wayne’s family more by letting them see how much pain I was in when they were already hurting so much themselves. But, most of all I was afraid that if I lost control that I wouldn’t be able to stop. People started asking me questions about funeral homes and arrangements and I couldn’t even think. I had no money to bury my husband with. I didn’t know what to do. Wayne’s parents said that they would take care of the cost, but they still wanted me to make the majority of the arrangements and I was completely at a loss. I was only 29. I didn’t know what to do. My sister stepped in and helped make arrangements for a funeral home to come and pick him up. At that point, I just wanted to go home.

Everyone kept trying to get me to go somewhere other than the house, but I needed to go. They didn’t understand that I needed a few hours to allow myself to grieve alone. I finally talked them in to letting me go home for a few hours by myself and pack a bag before I would go up and stay with Wayne’s parents for a while.

I went home and put on one of Wayne’s favorite sweatshirts that hadn’t been washed since he had worn it last. I walked down the hall and saw his cane still on the floor where he had tried to use it to stand up. The bowl I had held for him lay forgotten on the bathroom floor along with one of the washcloths I had held to the back of his neck. All of them sitting there like ghosts in the morning.

I crawled into bed and cried like I have never cried before. I called out Wayne’s name and begged him not to leave me like this. I told him that I didn’t know what I was going to do without him. I told him that I loved him and that I was so sorry that I hadn’t done more for him. I yelled out for him. And then I fell asleep.

Flashbacks - Part 2 of 3

Tuesday....ish


I woke up to a loud crash down the hall. The room was pitch black in darkness. I reached over to Wayne's side of the bed and it was empty. As my eyes started to adjust to the darkness I could see our bedroom door was open and there was light coming out from under the bathroom door down the hall. My heart began to race and I got a sick feeling in my throat. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to the bathroom door. I couldn't hear anything. I knocked lightly on the door and called Wayne's name and he didn't answer. I tried again...silence. I grabbed the door knob and tried to open the door, but it was locked....he never locks the door. I knocked a bit louder this time, and called to him...nothing. My heart started to beat faster and harder and fear started to grip me right to my middle.

Suddenly I heard a gagging noise coming from the other side of the door, followed by a cough. I called Wayne's name again and was answered by a moaning noise. With each breath that he took, he let out this horrible moaning/wheezing sound. I asked if he was okay, and through the moaning I heard him reply "I don't know." I asked him if he fell and replied "I don't know." I asked if he could unlock the door. I heard something slide across the floor and the locked clicked.

I opened the door to find him huddled in a ball on the bathroom floor. He was covered in sweat and his skin felt like it was on fire. I grabbed a washcloth, got it wet with really cold water from the sink and placed it on his forehead. I put my hand to one of his cheeks and made him look at me. His face was pale and wet, and his eyes....as he looked at me with those eyes....I have never felt so helpless in my life. I kept taking the washcloth and getting it cold again. His skin was so hot that the cloth was hot all the way through mere moments after I placed it on his skin. After 4 or 10 minutes he was finally able to get up into a sitting position but he couldn’t stand and he couldn’t talk. I started putting the cloth on the back of his neck. I knew that I had to get him to the E.R. but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. He didn’t want me to call 911. I sat there on the floor with him, stroking his hair, and telling him that I loved him…I didn’t know what else to do. Finally he looked at me and put his hand on top of his head. He wanted a blessing.

Now I had a purpose; something I could do. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the phone and dialed the number of one of our home teachers. He just so happened to live in the same building as us; we shared a common wall. No answer. I tried again, no answer. I grabbed some slippers and ran to his front door. I knocked and knocked again…no answer. I ran back to my house and called the bishop…no answer. I started to feel helpless again. I didn’t know what to do. Then the phone in my hand rang, it was the bishop calling me back. He didn’t really want to come out at midnight. He hesitated and asked me if I was sure it couldn’t wait until morning. When I insisted that I needed his help, he agreed to come.

As we waited, I never left Wayne’s side. I started asking him questions, just to keep him with me. Through his whispered answers I was able to piece a little bit together and figure out what had happened. He had woken up in the middle of the night and needed to use the restroom. He said that he remembered walking into the bathroom and turning to close the door, and then everything went black until he heard me asking him to unlock the door. Apparently he had fainted as he turned to close the door. When he blacked out, his body slumped against the door, causing it to slam which is what woke me up.

About 10 minutes after my call, the bishop knocked on the door wearing his suit and tie. He hadn’t been able to get anyone else so he had come alone. He followed me up stairs to the bathroom where my husband still sat on the floor. As we entered the room Wayne started to gag. I grabbed a bowl and got back to him just as the vomiting started. Uncontrollable vomiting. The bishop had to go out into the hall because he couldn’t stomach it. Under any other circumstances I wouldn’t have been able to stomach it either, but something came over me that night. I held the bowl for him. I continued to stroke his hair and rub his back while repeating over and over again that I loved him. It was all I could do. I felt so helpless.

Finally there was a lull in the vomiting episode and the bishop came in and gave Wayne a blessing. When the blessing was over, we knew that we had to get Wayne to the E.R. The bishop coaxed Wayne into trying to scoot instead of walk. Wayne made it about 3 feet, into the hallway, before he couldn’t go any further. The bishop asked him if he wanted to just lie on the floor and take a nap first. I immediately panicked at the suggestion and told Wayne that if he lay down on the floor I was calling 911. I knew in my heart that if he laid down he was never going to get back up again, and I wasn’t going to let him give up. The bishop saw my fear and he let it go. After about 10 more minutes, we knew that there was no way that we were going to be able to get Wayne to my car by ourselves. We needed an ambulance, so I picked up the phone and did something I should have done the moment after I woke up to the sound of him passing out against the bathroom door…I called 911.

The fire department was there in a matter of minutes. They hooked him up to a couple of machines and they kept telling him that he needed to take some deep breaths because his oxygen was low. They seemed to think that it was the low oxygen that was causing all of the problems (in a round about way they were correct). They put an oxygen mask on him and that seemed to help a bit. I felt so alone while they worked on him. Before they had gotten there, I had barely left Wayne’s side and I wasn’t able to be there with him while they were working on him. Besides, they kept asking me questions and needed me elsewhere. They then told him that due to the layout of our condo, they couldn’t take him out on a stretcher. He was going to have to walk down the stairs. It took them a little bit of time, but they were finally able to get him up, with one of them on each side. As they started walking him down the stairs, Wayne turned and said “My Phone.” It was the clearest thing he had said all night and I replied telling him that I had it. With those two words I knew that he was telling me to call his parents. What I didn't know was that those were the last two words that I would ever hear him speak, and that would also be the last time I ever saw him alive.

Flashbacks - Part 1 of 3

Right after Wayne passed away, I used to have flashbacks all of the time. They would occur pretty much anytime things were quiet and I didn't have anything else for my mind to think about. I used to hate driving because almost as soon as the engine started I would be back in my bed, waking to a loud crash down the hall. Over time the flashbacks got further and further apart. They stopped all together a few months ago....until the night before last. It is almost as though I am right back in those days right after he died....every time there is a quite moment I am back there...reliving the worst nightmare of my life. This morning as I woke up with the remnants of a very bright hospital hallway still lingering in my mind, I thought that maybe it is time that I finally write it down and let go of the details that I have been holding in for a year.

Friday

It was just like any other Friday afternoon at work. Things were busy but starting to wind down. Wayne was at work that day too, which was a place he hadn't been for quite a while. He had been picking up contracts after being laid off almost a year prior, and the contract he was currently working was one that they wanted him in the office for.

My cell phone rang and it was Wayne. I remember looking at the clock thinking it was a bit odd because it was 1pm. I could normally tell you exactly what time it was by Wayne's phone calls. He would always call me at 11:30am when he went to lunch and then he would call me again at 4pm when he was leaving work and heading home. Even after he go laid off, he kept the same schedule with the phone calls...habit I guess.

I answered the phone and my concern increased. He sounded worried; almost scared. He told me that he had gone downstairs at the office to use the restroom and when he got back upstairs he couldn't breath. He said that no matter how hard he tried he just couldn't catch his breath and he didn't feel very well either. I asked him if he wanted me to come get him and he said no. He said that he was going to just head home and rest for a while. I asked him if he wanted me to go home early and sit with him and he said no to that as well. I told him to make sure to call me when he got home and he said that he would.

About an hour later he called and said that he was at home. I asked him again if he wanted me to come home as well and he told me not too. He said that he was starting to feel better all ready and it was no big deal. I translated that to mean that it was Friday and he just didn't want to work anymore so he had come up with a reason to go home...men, right?

That night I got home and he seemed okay. He was tired and looked kind of warn out but he really did look okay. Maybe he was coming down with the flu?

Saturday

We got up on Saturday and Wayne said that he was feeling great. It must have been just a little bug or something. The doctor had told him last week that he was clear to start exercising so he wanted to go over to the clubhouse in our neighborhood and workout for a while. We got dressed and I grabbed my MP3 player with a walking program on it and we headed over. I jumped on the treadmill and started my program while he kind of walked around the room for a minute trying to decide what he wanted to do. He decided that the elliptical would be good and jumped up on it. About 2 minutes in he was off again. He said that it hurt his foot and it kind of made his chest hurt so he switched over to the stationary bike and started on that. 3 minutes later and he had stopped that too. He said that he was having a hard time breathing again. I asked him if he wanted to go back over to the house and he told me to finish my walk. In all honesty, I got kind of frustrated with him. I figured that he had just decided that he didn't want to work out after all. So, he sat there on the bike and watched me finish my 30 minutes on the treadmill.

When I was done, we walked back over to the house and went in. He struggled a little bit with the stairs, but not too much. He said that he just wanted to rest. Over then next hour or two he seemed to get better again. He said that as long as he didn't exert too much effort that he felt fine. So, we stayed in for the rest of the day and let him get some rest.

Sunday

Wayne wasn't feeling very well when we got up on Sunday morning. He said that he was having a hard time breathing when ever he got up to use the restroom. I decided that it was time to get him to a doctor. I looked up the local urgent care center and found that it opened at 10 or 11, I can't remember now. We were there when it opened and he was the first patient the doctor saw. The doctor checked his foot for additional infection just in case and said that it was fine. They took a couple of chest X-Rays. I remember that while we were waiting for the doctor, Wayne kept looking at me with this helpless look on his face. I kept joking with him, telling him not to look at me that way. The doctor ended up diagnosing him with Bronchitis. He sent him home with a couple of inhalers and said that he would be good as new in a few days.

That night, I started to feel like I was coming down with something as well. I felt like I had been running a marathon. I didn't feel like I couldn't breath; I just felt tired.

Monday

I woke up on Monday still feeling run down. Wayne was worse. He couldn't even shift positions on the couch without getting completely winded. I called in sick to work that day. As we sat on the couch watching TV, Wayne started giving me that look again...the one he had been giving me at the doctor's office. It was like he was begging me to do something. I knew in my gut that something was really wrong. I called his doctor as soon as they opened and got him an apt for the same day.

His doctor ran a few more tests; took some more X-rays. They gave him a breathing treatment which seemed to help a little bit. The doctor confirmed the previous diagnosis of Bronchitis and sent him home again. I spent the rest of the day doing everything I could to make Wayne comfortable. I made sure that he had his meds, and that he ate. The only times he got up from the couch were to go to the restroom and then when we went to bed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It was really me all along

Over the past year I have been very blessed to have become acquainted with many other women and men who have also lost their spouses.  While I will forever be grateful for all of their love and support, I have to admit that after speaking with them or reading their blogs I often find myself wondering what is wrong with me. 

Everyone who has experienced a great loss no matter what that loss is will tell you that everyone grieves differently. They say that you can't compare your grief to that experienced by others. While I have seen that this is true beyond a doubt, there are some experiences that they all seem to share.  They all talk about experiencing physical pain of some sort.  They talk about periods of uncontrollable tears.  The amount of time that they each experience these things is different, but they all seem to say that they have experienced it at one point or another during their grieving process.  I never have.

The experience I have had with my grief seems so mild compared to everyone else who has walked this road.  I often find myself asking if I didn't love him enough.  I often feel guilty for not grieving for him as much as I feel I should; as much as I feel he deserves to be grieved for.  Every time that someone tells me how they can't believe how "strong" I have been through all of this, my guilt increases.

I remember saying multiple times after Wayne passed away that I felt like I had completely lost my sense of identity.  The things that I used to love doing didn't even remotely appeal to me anymore.  I felt lost almost all of the time and I began to question whether I had ever really had my own identity.  I started to think that I had created my identity around Wayne and that I hadn't actually ever taken the time to figure out who I was as an individual.  I set out trying to figure out who I was.  I felt that I needed to create an identity for myself. 

Over the past few weeks, I have really started to finally settle in o my new life here in Indiana.  I have made some new friends and I have gotten into a routine.  I also started my Butterfly Project which I am still really excited about.    This morning as I was going about my Saturday, I experienced a moment of clarity.  If I look back over these past few weeks, there are multiple instances where I can see the person that I used to be before Wayne passed away.  As hard as I have tried over the past year to create my new identity, now that I have started to feel comfortable living with my new life, my "false" identity that I had lost when Wayne died has decided to reappear.

The person that I was when Wayne was alive, was really me all along.....I have just been grieving.....in my own way. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I got call "Sir"....again

I am beginning to think that this is much more than a coincidence.  Over the past 3 months I have been called "sir" no less than 5 times by 4 different people.  The first time kind of annoyed me.  The second time really ticked me off because that was the person who did it twice (she called me sir, took it back and called me ma'am, then shook her head and called me sir again).  I was offended the third time.  I wanted to cry this last time.

I don't know why they can't seem to figure out that I am a girl.  I wear heals.  This last time I was wearing makeup. My shirts usually always have some sort of very feminine design and or sparkle on them.  Don't forget the fact that I have to large lumps that protrude from the upper part of my chest too (sorry but it is true). I don't get it!  Has my PCOS really gotten so bad that I am giving off dude pheromones???? Is that even possible???

Infertility Never Goes Away

While I was redesigning my blog I did a lot of soul searching and I really considered taking out the subject of infertility all together. Over the past year I have thought of this on occasion.  In all reality, infertility should no longer be one of my issues.  It may come up again in the future if I were to ever consider remarriage, but for now with my husband being gone so should the issue of infertility right?  Wrong. 

I have connected with and followed many women over the years who are dealing with infertility.  Eventually, many of them do finally succeed in having a child or two.  Sometimes it is through fertility treatments and other times through adoption (or both).  I have heard a few of these women say that even after they have their children, infertility still doesn't go away.  While it may get pushed aside for a while it is still there and they are often reminded of it.  It is part of what made them who they are.

My situation may be very different from the women I mentioned but the result is still the same.  Infertility is still there and I still suffer from it.  It no longer comes up on a daily basis, but it is there in the back of my mind and it always will be.  I spent almost 8 years of my life trying to have a child and it never happened.  An experience like that leaves a mark that never goes away.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Before Shots

Since I am starting my butterfly project I thought that it was time to give my blog a face lift.  I also thought that I should post a new "before: shot.  The ones that I posted about a year and a half ago were focused completely on weight loss and that isn't necessarily my only goal this time around.  This time the transformation I am going for goes much deeper than that.  So, here is my before shot:


Okay, so I would never really go out in public looking like this.  But seriously, I really do feel like this on the inside sometimes.  Here is my real before shot:


I'm not going to do the full body pictures this time.  In all honesty they just feel degrading and that would go against everything that I am trying to accomplish with this project.  I am hoping that over the next few months and even years that I will be able to take new head shots and really see a difference.  Not just a physical difference but I spiritual one as well.  Maybe a real smile, and not just a fake one for the camera.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Answers

The night that Wayne passed away I called the bishop over to our house to give him a blessing.  In the blessing the bishop clearly stated that the doctors hands would be blessed and that Wayne would heal over the next few weeks.  Shortly after that, we called 911 and the ambulance came and picked him up.  He stopped breathing and his heart stopped as they were unloading him from the ambulance at the hospital and he never regained consciousness.

In time I was able to feel some peace with why he had to go.  I was given little messages that let me know he was needed on the other side and that it had been his time to go.  But, I have really struggled on and off wondering why our Heavenly Father had lied to us both in that blessing.  I have been told that there are many interpretations of blessings and we often hear what we want to hear rather than what the true meaning is, but this blessing was so clear and precise that no matter how hard I tried I hadn't been able to come up with a single interpretation other than the obvious one....he had lied.

For the most part, I have been able to put this out of my mind.  I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and Wayne and that if he lied he had a very good reason to do it.  But, every once in a while the thoughts creep out of my mind and I have to examine them once again before I can put them away for the next time.  One of these times happened this morning while I was getting ready for work....only this time instead of having to hide it away again I was blessed with an answer to my question.

When Wayne was given that blessing, he already knew that he wasn't going to make it.  He already knew that he was being called home.  I think in some ways he asked for that blessing more for my sake than his own.  He was so sick that he couldn't speak and he couldn't tell me what I needed to know. He didn't want to leave me or his family.  He wanted to stay and it broke his heart that he was being asked to leave even though he knew that there were great blessing waiting for him on the other side. 

The doctors hands were blessed.  They worked so hard to help him and just because they weren't able to bring him back doesn't mean that they failed in doing what they were meant to do.  And he did heal over the next few weeks, only in a different way than I had interpreted the blessing to mean.  It took time for him to come to terms with the fact that he had to leave us all behind and move on without us.  He didn't want to see his family hurting and it hurt him to have to stand by and watch as we struggled through our loss and not be able to hold us and tell us that it would all be okay.  He was grieving just as much as we were, if not more.  We only lost one member of our family...he lost us all.  But he has come to terms with his loss and he is working really hard on the other side of the veil, waiting for the day when we can all be together again.

That blessing was 100% truth...Heavenly Father doesn't lie.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Eternal Butterfly

Shortly after my husband passed away I started to feel like I was losing control of everything in my life.  During one of my very hard days, I was given this image of a butterfly.  The image brought with it the idea that through my trials I was being turned into an Eternal Butterfly.  I embraced this image, as you can see from the title of my blog, and have used it as a sort of life line.

Over the past year, the idea that came with the image of the Eternal Butterfly, has evolved.  I have come to realize that my Heavenly Father is not himself turning me into the butterfly, he is only providing me with the tools I need in order to change myself into the butterfly.  It was a foreign concept to me and I am only just beginning to realize how I am supposed to start going about it.

Throughout my life, I have always been told that it isn't what is on the outside that matters, it is what is on the inside that counts.  While I am still a firm believer that this is true, I am beginning to understand that both the inside and the outside have a direct impact on each other.  The people who are most successful in life are the ones who are able to merge the two and become one.  The process is very much like the creation of a butterfly.  You first have the caterpillar (the inside) and the cocoon (the outside).  When the circumstances are just right, these two things together create the butterfly.

I have begun to realize that I have focused the majority of my life's efforts on the caterpillar and not much on the cocoon.  The caterpillar is getting extremely anxious and is ready to go, but the cocoon is much too weak to turn the caterpillar into a butterfly.  So, for the next little while I will be focusing much more attention on the cocoon.  Some of the things I do for the cocoon may seem fairly silly to people on the outside (like starting to wear makeup which I have never been really that much into), but if those things make the caterpillar happy, then who am I to deny it one of those simple little pleasures?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Humble Pie

Last year, when 2010 started, there were several times throughout January and February that I would write the date as 2011 on accident. I would joke around and say "apparently 2010 is going to suck, and I am just trying to skip it."  It was all fun and games until my life was turned completely upside down at the end of February.

As everything in my life started falling apart, I developed a very close relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I could feel his spirit and his presence around me all of the time.  I could feel his promptings so clearly that it was almost like I could hear his voice.  I developed a very clear knowledge of what it is like to have a prayer in your heart all of the time.

As the days following Wayne's death turned into weeks, and weeks into months, I was still being dealt blow after blow.  I lost my home, my car, my job, and I had to move across the country leaving my family and the majority of my possessions behind.  Somewhere in there, I also lost that really close relationship with my Heavenly Father that I grown to treasure more than anything else.  I thought that he was stepping back and forcing me to stand on my own two feet, proving to me that I really did have the strength to endure. I resented it and I grew very hateful toward the year 2010 and I couldn't wait for 2011 to finally get here.

I stopped living and started just breathing.  Day after day I would get up, go to work, come home and go to bed.  I had no motivation to do anything else.  I would occasionally try to break out and do something different, but I kept falling back into the same old routine; sleep...work...sleep...work.  I just kept telling myself that if I could make it to 2011 I would be fine.

Yesterday, I woke up to 2011 and I had a new energy in my step.  I looked around my room and said "holy cow, I haven't even finished getting unpacked from when I moved here."  I looked in the mirror and said "holy cow, what have you done to yourself."  I look like I have aged 5 or 10 years in the past 6 months.  I felt like an old furnace that was just kicking in after having it's pilot light re-lit.

This morning, I woke up and thanked 2011 for bringing me back to life.  I started to gain hope for my future.  I felt like 2011 was the key; that this year is going to be so much better.  I opened up my computer and started to write this post about my new hope.  But, every time that I started to write, it just felt wrong.  I would delete and start again.  And then it happened.  It started as a little nagging thought in the back of my head that grew and grew until it was a fully formed realization....I had removed my faith from my Heavenly Father and placed it in the beginning of a new year.  Somewhere along the way I stopped leaning on him and asking him to help me and I started hanging on to the notion that 2011 would be my saving grace.  My Heavenly Father didn't leave me to learn to fight my trials on my own like I had thought, I had pushed him away.  I turned my back on him.

The next realization that I had was that this feeling I am having right now...that feeling of hope and awakening... was offered to me months ago;  I just never accepted it.  I was so focused on 2011 bringing me happiness that I didn't even notice that it was being handed to me on a silver platter, all I had to do was partake and it was mine.  I never took into account that Heavenly Father's time line doesn't work the same way that ours does.  He doesn't dole out blessings or his love based on the calendar year.  My trials had nothing to do with 2010 or 2011. 

So I now sit here eating my humble pie, and in a few minutes I will be on my knees.  Who would have thought that the calender could become a false idol?