Tuesday - March 10, 2020

It was a normal day...Somewhat.

The doctor visit was at 3 this afternoon. Trey woke up...feeling okay. But that was the height of his energy level that day. He was tired, not feeling well at all, and today’s the day that the little blue ‘sick’ bag started going everywhere with us.

I asked if he wanted me to reschedule the dr. He did not...he said ‘it’s something we have to do’

I don’t remember any real details from that day. I just stayed home all day...I know we had chicken salad for lunch. This whole time period is like a big giant void. I know stuff is there, but I don’t know where it goes. Especially starting now it’s just a big mess. Up until today I was still doing therapy, going to made 2 move...had that recovery focus.

Today last year...everything, and I mean everything stopped. I hadn’t really been at work all year, but today that was all over. I know at some point I needed to transfer money for payroll - and that was a mess. But, thank god for Brenda, and runs to the bank. Other than that I was checked out of work. I could not focus on anything.

I do remember Treys nausea medicine was not working as well. And I remember at lunch asking him again if I should just cancel. Again, no. Trey didn’t want to put anything on his stomach, and I was feeling sick to my stomach.

The later the day got the worse it got. We had to drive clear to the edge of everything civilized to see the dr. and I must have asked him 20 times if I needed to reschedule. Trey wanted to know if he could just wear his pajamas.

I said ‘That’s perfectly fine...no one expects you to be dressed up’.

But, home just asking to go in his PJs had me on edge...Trey was a man that did not leave the house in anything but full dress. In a dire emergency he may leave in an un-ironed shirt, and flip flops...but that was RARE. Trey always took great pride in the way he looked...me, I wore the same shorts, and shirts. Always. He always called me a rag-a-muffin, or Homer Simpson-same outfit everyday. So when he wanted to go in his pajamas I knew. I remember thinking....oh shit. I am not ready for this....

We rode forever across mt pleasant. Quietly. I asked a couple times if we should just turn around. All he would say was Mom and Dad are probably already there...and we needed to get the genetic testing.

I don’t know how to describe what I was feeling. Lost, helpless, scared out of my mind, alone, mad, desperate...re-reading this I think the best way to describe the way I was feeling is - I felt absolutely defeated. Like I had lost everything, the battle, the war...everything that I fought for and believed in. It felt like everything was my fault...why had I not made Trey go everywhere possible? Why had I not thrown fits and forced everything? Why did I not realize any of this sooner?

I felt like the world was pointing at me and saying ‘we told you so‘. I feel like a failure...I let Trey decide everything, I let him make all of his choices...and I should have been that nag that never stopped. I should have never relaxed, and I should have been there always - this was all my fault because of the stroke...

I remember pulling in, I still had my walker. We were getting all situated, and I remember seeing Brenda.

All I remember is Brenda saying

‘Thomas-we don’t have to do this’

I’ll be honest. Hearing and seeing her say that right there outside the office made me want to beat the ever loving poop out of someone. It wasn’t her saying that, at all...It was just the fact that she could see what I had seen all day. It just made it all the more real. That second in the parking lot everything ended.

I had wanted to see dr Orcutt because I wanted him to fix Trey. I wanted him to see him and suddenly remember something and be like...oh yeah...take two of these, and it’s all good.

I needed him to see that we were NOT at this point. I needed to see him so he could end all of this.

This was NOT happening.

Walking into that office was just like walking in that very first time. Walking into the great unknown...even though this time we knew what the answer was, just walking in there was awful.

Why I felt like I needed to be there I do not know.

We were called back into the exam room. It was surreal. EVERYONE went back. My mom had stayed home....Benton had driven Trey and I. Brenda and Tommy met us there. Walking into that exam room was like the worlds worst slow motion parade. I just remember thinking everyone that we had ever worked with was standing there waving to us. Quinn said Dr Orcutt will be right in...and closed the door. I sat on my walker. We were all crowded in there. Trey wanted to lay down. Nobody said anything. I just remember uncomfortable silence. I wanted to leave so badly. I know it was my idea to come. But, bump that. Let’s go.

I feel like we waited and waited and waited. In pure silence. No one knew what to say. No one wanted to say anything.

I don’t have a clue what the doctor said. All I remember is he was going to have hospice meet us at the house as soon as we got home.

When we walked out I was crying...and Trey had to use my walker to walk out.

I saw Quinn, and Eliza-Dr Orcutts Nurse, and Physicians Assistant. Trey told them both ‘Thank You’ as he walked past. I saw the tears pour out of their eyes.

I don’t know what happened in the two days since Trey told hospice they weren’t needed. Everything changed.

I didn‘t know what was happening. Why was Trey using my walker? Why did I have a walker to use? WHAT WAS GOING ON. Nothing made any sense. We had been doing so well...

Brenda asked if we could handle everything at the house.


...but I was thinking...

(NO!!! I can’t handle anything. What is going on right now??? I have failed at everything)

We rode home in silence. Total silence. Got home, and Trey inside. In the time we went to the Dr Office I had lost my walker, I no longer needed it. Trey did. I got him Situated, and in bed. He fell asleep right away.

April and Jennifer were here when we got home. I remember that...I remember Crescent Home Care/Hospice coming in. I remember her talking at me. I don’t have a clue what she was saying. I remember getting everything filled out the way Trey wanted it, waking him up to make sure...and then he signed it.

I remember telling her I always kept a log of his medicines. And I remember showing her the log, and telling her all the meds he ever took. I remember getting emotional. I remember feeling so scared, and so alone. I did not want to make these decisions, I did not want to have this conversation. I wanted this lady to leave. This was a cruel joke. I was supposed to be home celebrating my release from the hospital. This was not right, this was not fair.

Trey had worked so hard to get me out of trident, and into Roper. He was so focused on me getting better, and out of the hospital. This is not the way anything is supposed to happen.

Trey was a very private person. He never wanted to be seen while sick. That wall came down real quick.

Just days before...he had texted April thanking her for everything, and telling her things had changed. He wasn’t ready to see her, or anyone just yet though. After the hospice nurse left he knew April and Jennifer were here, and asked to see them.

A year later this all hurts the same as it did that day...I don’t even know how I survived that day.

It’s hard to remember the Thomas before all of this. It sounds extremely weird to say...but the Thomas pre-stroke would not have survived this. It would have absolutely broken me. Having that stroke when I did...there was a reason. I’ve come out a completely different person. That doesn’t make any of this easier, at all. But, I’m just thankful for Trident, Trey, and Roper...without those three I probably wouldn’t be here. Without those three...nothing.

Seeing April in taking to Trey was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see, and accept.

Trey hired April 9/10 years ago. Who knows why...her hair was like neon pink, or some nonsense...her fingernails were yellow. She looked a hot mess(that never changed) but, Trey loved her. He used to text me when he got to the office early, and she had died her hair...he would say ‘oh we’re purple now’ or whatever color of the week she was....the best though ‘oh we’re a normal color now, she most want a raise’

April could do no wrong. I remember the day of her evaluation......Trey was so excited, he was going to offer her a substantial raise, and he had bought her a phone to put on our plan. He loved April. Her response .... and I’m not kidding....

‘I quit. Jesus has called on me to move to Thailand’

Trey was just like ummmm what. Here’s a phone anyhow. I remember yelling at him ‘why’d you give her the phone???’ He didn’t know what to do. She moved to Thailand...did the April world massage tour (sanctioned by Jesus) and came home. We had no use for her so she got a job somewhere. But then the office girl up and quit the day benton started. I called Trey and said maybe April? He was headed to Sandler - so it was a Tuesday. She said heck yes, quit, and started that afternoon.

Trey and April always got along for some reason...not me. I told her day 1 that I didn’t need any friends, and that meant her. She was just the employee. So when she got to hold my hand in the hospital (I couldn’t move) she felt special.

Seeing her in there talking to Trey was too much to handle. I don’t even know what I was thinking. I just wanted everyone out. I wanted this all to go away. Somebody had messed up, this could not be happening.

The hospice team had offered a bed, walker, wheelchair everything...and I was like NO. We need none of this stuff. Fools. Get out.

The rules they had. They wanted all meds logged a certain way...so that someone else could give meds. I refused. I wanted things to stay my way. Everything had to be my way. They talked about replacing his nausea meds with morphine...I about lost it. Who were these people, and they would not be changing anything without a prescription from Dr Orcutt. I would not budge, he had to tell me that was okay.

It was not a good night. It all was unreal...still is

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