Really raw

And I’m not talking about meat.  I’m talking about my soul.  Don’t read if you don’t want a negative post.  This one is really honest. 

I’m sick.  I caught a chest cold and it’s kicking my bottom.  If I lie down, my nose gets all stuffed up, I am stifling coughs because if I cough my muscles take a long time to relax and I can’t breathe.  So for two nights, I have slept in Rocinante, and they have not been pleasant nights.  So last night Joey and Andrew came to set up the hospital bed, so maybe I could elevate my head and get sleep. IMG_0703

Well, we tried it.  And I found it difficult to inhale, so I kept signaling up, up.  But when I got up, I found that my head would flop to one side and I couldn’t move it.  I started panicking, and I am ashamed to say I was yelling at Melanie to fix me, but she couldn’t understand me.  Then I couldn’t move around in the bed because it is too slippery.  Nothing to dig my heels in to, I couldn’t even roll without fear of falling off.  It was total helplessness.

See, when I lie down, my tongue won’t work. I can’t move it. So asking for any help is a chore, but when I start panicking it quadruples the disconnect.  Poor Mel got the worst of it.

I should also explain, I have to sleep on my side in our regular bed, because I can’t control the saliva going down my throat if I lie on my back, nor my tongue blocking the windpipe.  This goes for sitting upright too.  So I sleep in the wheelchair with my head hanging down to the left so that if I drool it will not choke me.  And After three nights in the wheelchair, unable to move my arms and leaving my head hanging down, I hurt.


So the confluence of all this is that I witnessed my coming death, in my mind.  Do you ever think about how you are going to die?  Because for me it was flashing through my head all night, and I am terrified.  I want to go to heaven, yeah, but we tend to not talk about the death part.  I started wondering, will I drown?  Will I suffocate?  Will it happen when I am totally immobile, and unable to tell someone that I need help?  Will I cough so hard that I can’t breathe afterwards?  Will I fall off the chair or bed?  You know we probably all think we will die peacefully in our sleep, but I know the probable way I will die.  It’s terrifying.

I am not so bold as to pretend I offered it up, or that was at peace with it.  And I was crying tears of fear all night.  It hurts, the kind of death I’m describing, and I know because I have experienced it.  And I tried to offer it up, and I am not strong enough.  No amount of prayers that I was saying calmed my soul.

So, I refer back to Fr Al, and his discussion of the Garden of Gethsemane.  Boy, I can relate in the smallest of ways to Jesus!  Foreseeing His Passion, and even asking for it to be taken away.  But He is God, and I am not.  My own prayer of “not my will” was so hollow that you could drive a truck through it.  And even worse, I don’t know how to do anything else! IMG_0704

Here I am complaining about a sore neck when a woman who broke her neck and miraculously survived is praying for me!  A friend of mine has been in the hospital for two weeks and in and out of surgery.  And I have family and friends doing favors for me but I whine about having a cold.  I don’t know how to offer it up!  Especially when I am having trouble breathing and not choking!  I DONT KNOW HOW!

Yes, I am scared every night to go to sleep.  I’m no role model. I’m just begging for this cup to pass from me. Please pray for me.


16 thoughts on “Really raw”

  1. Joe, you are in my prayers as you face the terror of the night. May God bring you comfort and send his angels to fill your room and pray for your peace and comfort and a good night sleep.


  2. Joe…thank-you for your raw honesty. You have allowed us to look into a topic some never have the courage to. You know the two definitions of FEAR; In my eyes you are still the man I knew who kept me on my toes, but now – one with more life experiences and insight to inner self that you have the courage to share with us. It is extremely humbling to have you share your life challenges with us and KNOW that you and your family are in all of our thoughts and prayers. May you find peace and comfort all hours of the day!


  3. We mention you specifically in our night prayers every night!

    “God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength, but with every trial , He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13

    Please be assured of our continued prayers!
    The Hambleton family


  4. Joe, for you a cold is not a simple thing. It is a huge cross. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us, because we need to know how to pray for you and how to help others who are carrying similar crosses. I am praying for you (as I have been all along) and I am grateful for your honesty as you follow in the footsteps of Jesus. You bring the Via Dolorosa to us all, and we need to understand that you and so many others we encounter every day are on that difficult journey.

    I’m praying for your peace of mind tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was really raw, How and I’m glad you wrote it – thought provoking and ALWAYS ask for prayer – you got it from the Rogers! In Christ, Mrs. Rogers



  6. My heart aches, dear friend, at your great anguish and suffering. I continue to storm heaven on your behalf. Dear Mama Mary please grant comfort to your beloved Joe. Wrap him in your mantle and hold him gently.


  7. Joe. You are in my thoughts and prayers 🙏.. I hope you have a peaceful night with Mary and Joseph looking over you. Much love to you and your family.


  8. Awful, Joe! I once read a quote from a saint who said, “ all the sufferings on earth are as a gentle breeze compared to the sufferings of purgatory!”
    So, keep the faith – realizing that those pearly gates await!!!!! After all of this it’s obvious , God wants you with Him.


  9. Joe – my heart does ache for you and the situation you are living in everyday. I do pray for peace for you and for your body to be touched and this cold to go away. I can not understand what fear your living in but God is able. He is able to bring comfort and healing and just when we are unable to offer words he knows our thoughts. He is with you and he provides for you in many ways, through the help of loved ones and friends, through people praying for you and the list goes on. Keep strong and please know you have MANY people praying for you and your family.


  10. We are praying for you!! Just about to start the family rosary – and it’s for you.
    Raw? Chaffing! Your suffering is intense, and you continue to be a gift for all of us…no, we aren’t canonizing you over here – just extremely grateful to know you. Thank you for continuing to write.


  11. Joe, praying for you. I can think of no words of comfort, just tears for your suffering. This is selfish, but please may I request that some of what you are enduring be offered for the conversion of my son? He is in such a pit of darkness. And I will offer my sorrow for you.


    1. Joe, I am still praying for you.
      I don’t know if it will help, but at a time when I went through a near fatal health crisis, unbidden came a repeated thought: “I want to go home.” This confused me, because I was almost always already resting at home when the thought came to me. But it wasn’t that “home” to which my thought referred. It was more the childhood plea to return to that place of comfort, of welcoming warmth and peace. It helped me to dwell on those remembered feelings. I hope that it might also help you. 🙏


  12. I will pray for you tonight Joe. I will also start praying for a peaceful death. That sounds dismal but hey we are all going to die right? May the arms of our Blessed Mother wrap you in love and comfort. “Be not afraid” is easy to say but tough to live through. May grace continue to sustain you. Don’t beat yourself up about the fear of not breathing. It is in our instincts to have extreme fear in those instances. That gives us the fight or flight response to keep going. You survived another day! May the blessing of each new day outweigh the struggle of each night. Also cold viruses suck. Make sure to get your flu shot!!!


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