Monday, December 24, 2007

The Stress of Christmas

I'm probably more tired than I realize. It is, after all, 2AM here on the East Coast. More than that, though, is the number of orders I received from my website at "Unprecedented" hardly describes it. I might also try "phenomenal".

Still, filling these orders has left me drained and tired. Now that it is the day before christmas, orders have slowed drastically, but they are still trickling in by those who either want honey for coughs and colds, or those who, like me, did not get a chance to shop until the last minute.

Now during all this, I am trying to make certain my husband is still keeping a watchful eye on the toddler. One day, I walked in to find the two of them watching TV at 11AM. I do not believe in using the TV as a babysitter, and I firmly believe that Rowan needs more exercise than she is currently getting, so I ask him to turn off the TV and find something else to do.

I walk in later to find Rowan asleep in her room, but Dave watching TV and playing online poker at the same time. I ask him to stop both, since there were things that needed to be done around the house, and naptime was a great time to get some of them done. Like laundry. I had not had clean underwear in a week, and I was on my last pair of pants. Although I might enjoy running around buck naked once in a while, I try not to do so in the office. So, Dave turns off the TV and the computer.

Once again, I come back later to find Rowan watching TV, and Dave playing poker online. He informs me that it is ok, because she just woke up. And, he had decided what he wanted to do for a living - he wanted to be a full-time poker player.

I went ballistic. I made Dave take a long, long drive around the countryside, for several hours, so I could cool down. He wanted to take Rowan, and I made him leave her with me. I took the afternoon off so I could watch her. It was NOT ok for him to use the TV as a babysitter, it was NOT ok for him to watch TV and play on the computer when the house was a wreck and I was on the verge of taking a bath with my clothes on, and it certainly was not ok for him to play online poker BECAUSE Rowan had just woken up!

He only left because I threatened to otherwise go find a hotel room for Rowan and I, and that I would come in during the day to work in the office.

I love my husband dearly. Sometimes, he almost seems like his old self. But when things like this happen.....

While he was gone, I checked his computer. He was only playing free games - he had not uploaded any actual money to the site. Then I packed up his computer and hid it. It's not that I have anything against poker, or my husband playing poker. He is good at the free online games, but he doesn't understand that the money games are played differently. And, the one time he tried an actual live poker room, he could not understand the table talk, and the low buzz of noise from the players and TV sets were too distracting for him to concentrate. Most importantly, he doesn't need to play when he is supposed to be watching a child.

When he returned, I firmly told him that this was not going to be the example that Rowan was going to see growing up. That he needed to change his ways, or else I would help him find an apartment that his social security check would pay for, and he could watch tv and play games all day there. Told him that my parents had already offered to purchase his half of the house if we were to get a divorce, and that if he kept on his current track, it would be a strong possibility of actually happening.

He keeps saying that when his father was on disability, his dad would just sit around the house all day and watch TV, drink, and sleep, and at least he wasn't drinking. Which is true. But I asked him if he would want his daughter to marry someone who sat around the house all day watching TV and playing on the computer. Did he want to set that example for his little girl? Doesn't he want something more for her?

This is not the first time that it happens -- one time, I kicked him out of the house for an entire week so that he could gain a better appreciation of what it takes to live without all the help I and my parents have given him. (The straw that broke the camel's back was when he told me I could work myself to the bone if I wanted to, but that his SS check was his contribution to household income, so he was going to watch tv and play on the computer all day. That was the day I decided that Rowan was NOT going to have that as a male role model, even if it means divorcing Dave.) I get very, very frustrated when he is like this. At least he seems to have taken my words seriously this time -- until the next time the TV catches his eye...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

End of year worries

With the end of the year coming up, my mind keeps racing over some of the "problems" I'm facing.

First of all, Dave and I always kept enough life insurance on ourselves such that if one of us were to pass away, the house would be paid for. Well, neither of us passed away. Dave's company carried his life insurance for a bit, buy once they terminated him, we no longer had the option. Now, I can't imagine that he would qualify for any kind of life insurance, anywhere. He is only 43, and uninsurable.

Couple that with the recent realization I have been having that yes, we survived this stroke. But, Dave is six years older than me, has already had one stroke, is a bit overweight, and is a diet-controlled diabetic. Now, I realize that many stroke patients live for years, if not decades, without another incident. Dave's great-aunt was like that - she had a stroke in her 50's, and lived well into her 80's. But one day, it hit me like a runaway train - statistically speaking, Dave is going to predecease me, and it could quite likely be sooner rather than later.

Then there was the Christmas party that his stroke club/support group had the other day. I and our daughter were invited, and I figured it would be fun to get away from the business and the house for a few hours. Instead, I found myself looking at all these stroke patients, working so hard to overcome their individual obstacles, seeing how it has affected more than one life in so many cases - and I saw clearly that the problems we are having now, we will continue to have for years to come. I hope it is not being too selfish, but I felt a great wave of self-pity for most of that party, and kept trying to hide my tears.

Well, I just wanted to get that down on paper, and there it is. Now that it is off my mind, I can get back to work. Merry Christmas, one and all.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dave has posted in his blog!

Yea! Dave has finally taken the big plunge and published in his blog! This makes me so proud of him!

I think he has been nervous about a public view of his current writing ability. He worked on his blog posting for weeks, and I finally had to tell him that it might not be perfect English, but that if we waited that long, he would never post.

His first post is describing (in part) his stroke and who he is/was. If you have a moment, please view his blog, and perhaps even leave a note for him. Thanks!

On an unrelated note - has anyone viewed the movie "picturing aphasia"? I came across this description, I'm wondering if it is worth the effort of finding it.

In response to a recent email question I had, you might look at the following article about a woman who ended up divorcing her husband after he was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia. He actually asked for the divorce, and it has been an emotional rollercoaster for her. The article explains it a bit, as well as her road to self-realization: