things left unsaid

March 5, 2014 at 6:42 am (end stage congestive heart failure, how does it feel to die, living with dying, the dr. says) ()

there were many things left unsaid in my last post. at times i just want to write as though the bear is not beside me, waiting for me. that is dishonest and i strive for honesty in all things, except when it will cause harm to others.

let me begin with the truth that i am not supposed to fly, period, not ever.  we gave much thought to how my flying would affect others if i had an emergency.  we obviously decided to take that chance and hope that people would not hold it against me if we had to make an emergency stop. we discussed how he would handle the situation. who he would need to call for support. the funny thing is he can be very organized in an emergency or he can be completely lost. we have experienced both in our time together.

one way he accommodated our friend (my heart) was to fly first class. this way i could move around more easily and hopefully avoid deep vein thrombosis which can happen even to a young healthy person.  dvt can also be known as blood clots.  if you are sedentary for an extended period of time, such as a long flight, you may develop a blood clot and not know it.  it can travel to your heat and then to your lungs, it can kill you.

just packing for this trip resulted in exhaustion and angina pain.  by the time we were on the plan i felt nauseated and started to wonder if i should be going to the emergency room rather than this trip.  knowing how important this was for all of us (my sister included), i just had to be positive and believe that i would be ok once i had some rest. gratefully that is what happened.

we arrived at the airport in sacramento and it was strange to be back.  it was all so familiar and home again.  although this is an international airport and considered large by some residents we had to laugh. compared to the atlanta airport it was tiny.

so here we are back home. or are we? i drove us to our hotel downtown and there was some frustration with the valet parking , that smoothed out we head to the front desk.  we are soon in our room and looking out over downtown sacramento.  there is no view like the one we had in atlanta. slightly disappointed i head for the bed.  in spite of the support stockings purchased to prevent my legs from swelling and to promote better circulation my whole body is swollen with the fluid that accumulates due to the congestive heart failure.  it is miserable.  he gently helps me remove the hose from my grossly swollen legs and feet.  he guides my lower body on to the bed. he asks if i need anything,  am i hungry? he goes for ice and fixes me a glass of ice water.

although we hoped some rest with my legs elevated would reduce the swelling that wasn’t to be the case.  i encourage him to go an explore. go to old town which we used to enjoy when we lived here.  i was in and out of sleep for several more hours.  he brought me hot tea and a croissant from the starbucks in the lobby.  this is where he is going when not in the room reading and watching me.  he wants to be close enough to know that i am still here.  still with him.

i am awake and know i have to get up and get ready for our dinner with friends. i love these people and want to see them very much.  moving about is tiresome.  the angina pain has returned.  i don’t tell him.  what is the point in doing that? i want him to enjoy our time here. i want to enjoy our time here. i know once i am there at the dinner all will be forgotten. my focus will be on reunion with those we  have traveled 2 thousand miles to see.

as expected once we are hugging our friends and reconnecting the only thing that matters is them and the joy we are both experiencing. i look at him, sitting beside me, the little crinkles of joy around his eyes. oh i love that crinkle.  it warms my heart and reminds me how much this means to him.  tonight it is about him. that is ok. it is more than ok, it is my hearts desire.

afterward i am drained and back to bed. tomorrow we are driving 6 hours to our next destination yosemite.  i will endeavor to include both parts of my journey in my the next post.  somehow it seems easier to separate them. we will see……


  1. jmgoyder said,

    I do not know how you do it, Sandra – your courage is awe-inspiring, and you are such a wonderful example of love and fortitude and faith. I tried to find FB photos but no luck – will try again tomorrow. In the meantime please know how much I adore you and yours! Jxxx

    • s blake callahan said,

      you know exactly how i do it julie! the same as you:) i am in awe of you and how you manage an ill husband, a sometimes cranky young man and though you love her an aging mother. add to that the “family” who treats you with disrespect yet you refrain from telling them all where they can go (they won’t be needing a sweater). love and hugs my friend

  2. tersiaburger said,

    My brave friend – how I love you. Your bravery so reminds me of Vic. I hope you have a wonderful time. Hugs and wellness wishes.

  3. prenin said,

    Love and hugs Sandy! 🙂

    You got Superwoman beat!!! 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  4. Judy said,

    Sandra, I hung on every word you wrote. I don’t think I appreciated enough what you went through to make that trip to Yosemite. It is unbelievable to me that you did it! That beautiful place and experience really touched me in ways you cannot imagine. I was able to firsthand see the crinkle in Chris’s eyes as he looked at you with love. You inspire me so much.

    • s blake callahan said,

      judy you are always so sweet and generous with your support. it was a very difficult trip but well worth it. i am glad we were able to meet and spend some time together. don’t dismiss how you over come your own mountains on a daily basis.

  5. appletonavenue said,

    I look forward to hearing more about this epic trip. So glad you were able to make the dinner with friends. I’m sure it meant a lot to all of your friends to see you laughing and posing for pictures.

    • s blake callahan said,

      although i was the one taking the pics it was great fun. we had traveled a long way to have this dinner so there was no way i was going to miss it. most of us step up when we really need to.

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