What a long week

Well, Reader-land, I owe you an explanation and apology for this week.  I am over my cold and my first outing will hopefully be mass tomorrow.

The last week has been one of recovery.  I slept in the bed again after Monday, using nasal spray to keep my nose clear.  Even so, I was up in the middle of the night several times to get into the wheelchair, because my nose was clogged.  It’s difficult to explain, but if my nose is stuffy, I expend a lot of energy into just breathing.  Like, any one of you could sniff or blow, but I can’t, so I am forcing air in and out using my diaphragm.  If I open my mouth to breathe, my tongue gets in the way.  It’s not ideal.

Side note, my sister Elena got me some breathe right nasal strips, and I have to say that I think they work!!  Thanks, Elena! IMG_0751

So I have been on nasal spray, that Tylenol cold, and antibiotics, just to make sure it doesn’t get worse.  And Mel has been the lifesaver in all of it, even putting up with me when I yelled at her.  She’s happy I’m sleeping too!  Plus, Jack has been around for me, if I need help he comes running, if I sound like I’m choking he’s there with the suction machine, he’s more than I deserve.  I feel so bad putting him through all this.

But, your prayers have gotten me through.  In a week when a friend died, and others going through much more than me, I feel really terrible about whining about a cold!  Then I have my friend Molly, who gave me the Shimmer and Shine sticker, praying to Our Lady to pray for me!  I’m overwhelmed, and am living proof that prayer works, and I am a whiner!  I’d like to thank Rachel and Molly for that, and for the BEAUTIFUL picture! IMG_0752

Another side note.  Last year in 2018, I finally consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary, the full thirty-three day bit.  Don’t think I don’t see the connection to how she cares for me!

In light of my terror, though, I really have to step up my spiritual life and checklist for death.  Let me explain why.  The next logical step for me to take would be a tracheotomy.  They would cut my neck, put in a tube, and I would breathe that way.  I’m pretty sure that means no more talking.  But, I asked Mel if it helped with saliva, my nemesis, and she said No!  So what would be the point, waiting for someone to suck out my lungs, just so I could hook up a breathing machine, and require full time, uncovered care?   So I’m not doing it.  This will shorten my life expectancy, and that is ok.  It means I need to have my stuff in order.  Things like, I don’t want a cheesy mass.  I want a baritone singer and I want the Dies Irae.  Maybe some polyphony, but nothing sappy.  And I want you to have a Bob Newhart party to celebrate.  I don’t care if you think that’s just sick!  I’m going to write all this down so you can just open up the word document to get your instructions! 70718214_10218056957209518_504447117255770112_n

Of course, there are serious thoughts.  I was thinking about dying, and then I wondered about purgatory.  I started thinking that if I keep taking painkillers here, my time in purgatory would be longer, with no painkillers.  Then I started panicking again.  Then there was a spark of hope.  The thought came to me that what if I was wrong about my Faith?  What if it was all an elaborate ruse?  Well, I thought, I haven’t lost anything by believing, and then God sent me consolation in that I KNEW it was True.  On a level I couldn’t imagine, how every church foundational moral belief is also grounded in the natural order of the world, yes, even the unpopular beliefs.  It was True.  Granted, that means I am a great sinner, and the panic started to come back.  I’m going to confession this week, Reader-land.

So, I was graced with small blessings and happy memories from my past, and cautions and reminders of my future.  I can’t possibly explain everything, just gratitude for your prayers, because you kept me going.  I was at my darkest this past weekend, and have been improving day by day.  And, I’m preparing for the real struggle, which hopefully I can offer up in a real way.

There was also some speculation about my death.  I’m sorry to say that my friend John passed away this week, and maybe that was a cause of some of the confusion.  He is a very Holy man, and I ask you all to pray for him and his family, as they need it in this trying time.

So with that, Reader-land, I leave you this strange week.  Did you enjoy the raw stuff or would you prefer the humor?  I mean, it’s my blog so you don’t really get a choice what I write, just what you read.  So there’s that…

8 thoughts on “What a long week”

  1. A Passy Muir valve on the trach allows for speech, but not sure if you’d be a candidate. Worth asking about, though. Lifting you and yours in prayer – may the Good Shepherd’s abundant love fill you with peace.

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  2. Thanks for this, Joe. I was feeling down about a few things (nothing major – the scandal in the Church, the Amazon synod, alcoholism – little stuff! Right.), but your posts make me think differently. We’re here in this crazy, awful time for a reason. God is here too. You remind me of that.

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  3. Lovin it Joe! Glad you got your spark back. Prayers continuing every single day. Happy Anniversary today. What a great feast day to get married on. Mary’s keeping you close to her.

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  4. Damn. Joe. So good of you to share this part of your life’s journey – these fears are a part of all of our journey. And it’s so rare to read real, in-the-moment truth and such a gift to us readers – so thanks. Warms my heart to read about your son being so helpful – I remember stories about him and how sweet he was when he was just a little fella. Mostly, upon reading that, I just want to say that if you are killing the bravery game with this illness. And it’s an inspiration. in those Moments when your fear is getting the best of you, try remember that fear of death is a shared human experience. You aren’t alone. I’ll be out here sending as much of my bravery across the airwaves to you as I can. And when the time comes for me to face death as directly as you are right now, I Believe I will be strengthened by the truth that you share here.

    This is a lot of words to say simply that when I read this, I felt you. I remember our conversations at NCE like they were yesterday- time is the tricky thing! So happy to see that the loving relationship that you invested in with your wife is serving you well. I am not surprised at all to see what a bad ass she has been through all of this.

    Nor, am I surprised to see what a badass you are. Wishing all the peace of the universe for you and your family as your life journey continues❤️

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