Tired and on edge, I was worried by rumblings from my husband Brad’s doctors that they might send him home soon. At the time of the bat incident, he had been hospitalized for nearly four months in the wake of a stem cell transplant. The transplant saved his life from aggressive lymphoma, but it also nearly killed him with complications. He had lost his ability to eat, as well as his vision, and he would come home (a few weeks later, as it turned out) severely immune compromised and needing round-the-clock care.
By that time, Brad had been severely ill for more than a year. I was exhausted by the rounds of caregiving, of attending at the hospital and shuttling back and forth fuzzy socks and laundry and the homemade broth that was the only thing he could eat. I was also worn out by solo parenting and coordinating everything in our lives.
Coordinating most things wasn’t new for me. I didn’t realize how much more I was doing in terms of life maintenance until Brad was unable to do anything at all.
I can’t. I can’t do this anymore, I say to myself, my mantra, my cantra, the same thing I said when he first needed a wheelchair, when he first...