Adrift in this sea called life

via Daily Prompt: Adrift

Today the storm has swelled. I am overwhelmed with the very thought of taking care of my family, my husband in particular. With tears in my eyes, I’ve watched him struggle all day. The dementia washes over him deeply today and he doesn’t understand what’s going on. It’s like he’s adrift at sea, tossed by the thoughts that have no rhyme or reason. Where will he land? Will tomorrow see the storm calmed? I can see him drowning and there’s no life preserver in sight. I’m losing him and there’s nothing I can do.

He asked when middle son had to leave for prom. Middle son is homeschooled. There is no prom. He is so lost and I don’t know what I can do to help him. He asks when eldest is getting home as he takes the 2 hour old dinner from the microwave and starts to toss it in the trash because he thinks it’s left over from last night. Eldest is in her room, talking to middle and hasn’t left the house all day. It’s 8 P.M. He thinks it’s morning. He doesn’t realise it’s the youngest child’s dinner, keeping warm till he awakens from his slumber.

I try to get him to go back to the bed he’s lain in all day. He argues and fusses that he’s not tired. He stumbles from the kitchen as I make him scrambled eggs and hash browns with a bit of bacon chopped up in it. I give him his plate and he spills half on the floor.  He tries to clean it up but the dogs beat him to it. They have grown accustomed to cleaning up after him I think.

I wonder, briefly, if he’s had a stroke as I watch him eat. He chokes, momentarily, on the food and my breath catches. Will I have to put him in the hospital again with aspiration pneumonia or should I just let him go? I have to walk away, feigning a bathroom break, so I can allow the tears to stream freely down my cheeks for a few minutes. Waves of grief wash over me as I’m tossed about, emotionally, like driftwood in a hurricane.

I’m adrift on the sea of emotion. Alone in my torment. I have noone to talk to. The one person I had to talk to is adrift in a different part of the storm. Lost to me. Drowning.

 

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After 15 years…

Today marks the first day of a new life.

I have struggled with my oral health for over 20 years. Tooth decay, broken teeth after being tortured and raped for three weeks, bad eating habits and NO dental intervention as a child.

In June, I was accepted into a program which finds dental professionals who are willing to work with disabled people by making dentures and doing dental work for free. In November I had dentures made.

The day before Christmas I was told that they had found an oral surgeon who was willing and able to do the work. On my birthday I called them and set up my appointment. Last week was the initial consult and today…. This is the day!

I’m excitedly terrified. Excited because I’ve waited so long for this day and it’s finally here. The day that I no longer have constant pain. The day that my sinus pain from my teeth stops. This is the first day of my life!!

I know, I’m being overly dramatic but, if you had to live with constant pain, throbbing, infections and the inability to eat, you’d understand. It’s been hell.

This is the perfect example of the problem with healthcare in this country, especially for disabled and elderly poor. We are given Medicaid by the state but not all Medicaid covers dental for adults. Most don’t in fact. Glasses are another issue. Some states cover them, some don’t.

Poor people in America are told “Go to the dentist” but when the dental care you NEED is going to cost you the same as your food budget for a month (or in my case 5!!) then you make sacrifices. Usually to the tune of poor health.

When you can’t chew, you can’t eat properly. We are told, especially when we are fat “eat healthier. Eat fresh veggies and fruit” Um, HELLO, I have no usable teeth! YOU try eating kale without teeth. Or an apple, pear, carrot…. Yeah right. I’ve had to juice my food for three years. I can eat solid food, IF it’s soft, like sandwiches and eggs. I’ve had to be creative with my eating AND my childrens diets. It hasn’t been easy.

Today, that all ends.

I know I’ll be sore for a while and the dentures will take some time to get used to but you know what? I’m ecstatic that it’s going to be done!

Namaste my friends 🙂