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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bat Goddess BS: Commitments...we all got'em (9) RE: BS: Commitments...we all got'em 02 Jan 19

I saw Tom (Mudcat's Curmudgeon) through major heart surgery (valve replacement, etc.), vocal cord cancer (loss of his voice), and blindness (severe vascular disease...not enough blood to the eyes) which meant he couldn't drive or do a lot of things he had formerly been able to, all while I was working a full-time, high stress job. When he broke his ankle, I tried to continue to work full time until I noted that I could collect as much Social Security as I was earning at the job (but without the aggravation and stress), so I could devote all my time to caring for Tom.

I had hoped to hold out until I was at least 66, but I took SS at 63.

I took a caregiver's course, never got any respite time, did basically everything Tom couldn't do including taking him to medical appointments, tried to apply for some assistance through Medicaid but, after submitting an incredible amount of paperwork were denied because we were married (which they'd known from the first inquiring phone call -- plus copy of our marriage license in that stack of paperwork)... Oh, and continued the Press Room sessions which Tom had founded, getting him and his wheelchair into and out of a building that was decidedly NOT handicapped accessible, and running the session when he couldn't. But that was necessary to keeping my sanity and I don't know what I would have done without the music and friends and their support.

I really could have used some respite in the couple months before Tom died. I don't think I truly realized at the time how physically and emotionally drained I was -- I had absolutely no reserves left.

But this is what you do, put your own life on hold and push your own medical issues to the back burner, and take care of the love of your life.

I'm glad that Tom was comparatively healthy when I needed his care when I broke my arm twelve years ago. And so grateful that he hadn't yet lost his eyesight and could not only wait on me hand and foot, but drive me to medical appointments and rehab.

But that's LIFE. No matter how well you plan, Life has a mind of its own.


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