The light at the end of the tunnel…
Some of you may have noticed, others may not, but there has been a definite drought in my blogosphere. Again, some of you may have picked up on the occasional slip of the tongue, others may not, but Mr Point Five has been ill, at some points quite desperately, over the past 6 months. I haven’t wanted to put it all out there on here, as the questions from concerned town-folk were enough to spiral me around the rim of depression with no good news to report for months on end. I became a hermit, stopped attending casual get togethers, dreaded having my stall at the local markets, drove home from school drop-off in tears and on one occasion, crawled into bed for the day instead of going to work because I just couldn’t bear all the well minded questions. I hated what our “normal” had become; loathed it and I became dangerously close to sinking into depression.
Without going into too many details this has been our past six months. Thursday February 23rd Mr Point Five came home early from work, feeling queasy and light headed. Said he felt like he was getting a cold. We nursed it over the weekend but by Sunday night I had made him an appointment for 4pm the next day with the doctor as he was going steadily downhill, barely able to stand; we both thought it was a bad cold that might need some antibiotics to kick it. You can imagine my surprise and stress when he rang me from the doctors and asked me to pack him a bag and that the ambulance was on its way to take him to our nearest airport where he would be airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Perth. I dropped in his bag, kids with me; he was already on the stretcher with iv drips in his arm and a medical gown on, looking so very pale. There was talk of sepsis, as his blood oxygen level was critically low. Once home I googled sepsis; daft idea. REALLY daft. Scared the crap out of myself, home alone with the boys whilst my husband was potentially taking his last breath without me. Dramatic I know but I was truly scared.
He spent a week up in Perth in the hospital, with his parents parked at his bedside, and after MRI scans, CT scans and all sorts of blood tests, was eventually discharged with no diagnosis, assuming he would improve from whatever mystery “virus” he had contracted. Good news was that sepsis was ruled out. His dad drove him the six hour drive home; he stepped out of the car and looked exactly as I had left him a week earlier, pale and unsteady. That was March 8th, G Mans 9th birthday. He tried to return to work the following week but it was soon clear that he was unable to work and he convalesced at home with no idea of what he had; just lots of visits to the doctor and trials with various pain medication with symptoms of a relentless migraine that would not move. Just before Easter he went into the kitchen to get a cup of tea and just about collapsed on the floor. I booked him in to the doctor again the next day, and when he arrived he was once again sent by ambulance to our nearest regional town, about 3.5 hours away for a lumbar puncture to try to figure out what the hell he had. Another week in hospital, away from us and his parents. No results from the lumbar puncture but he was sent home with a vague diagnosis of New Daily Persistent Headache. Whatever the hell that was.
His parents drove down to be with the boys and once they arrived I drove 3.5 hours to pick him up from hospital on Easter Monday, returning home Easter Tuesday; a very worrisome Easter this year, just the three of us.
The drugs that were prescribed by the hospital did nothing, he was in excruciating daily pain with no relief; after a month or so it was back to the doctor for a referral to a neurologist. Hurry up and wait and finally an appointment up in Perth in June. His Dad drove drove the 6 hours down to pick him up, 6 hours back up to Perth. Then 3 days later drove him home 6 hours and then drove back to Perth, another 6 hours. God love his parents. The neurologist agreed with the second hospital diagnosis.
Since then we have been experimenting with whatever the neurologist has been giving him. There is no quick relief so it seems as it is such a new diagnosis; not much is set in stone for “fixing” it. We realised that it may not get “better” before he could start work and that it might become something that would need to be “managed” at work as well as home before it finally got better. After nearly 5 months off work and 5 months of me being peppered with fruitless questions from relatives, friends and concerned town-folk, he finally went back to work, albeit 4 hours a day. I finally had something positive to report to neverending queries! At least it was a start as I was going slowly mad with him at home 24/7 and being more than useless; sleeping 12 hours at night and in crippling pain during the day. I organised his dad to come down for two weeks to look after him whilst I escaped the monotony with the boys and took them to Perth for some much needed fun after the previous sad and uncertain April school holidays. You will remember my fun July school holiday photos and none had Mr Point Five in them.
So he started working 4 hours a day for a month and then stepped it up to 6 hours a day a month ago now. He is still in constant pain but it is being managed. Even when it is being managed, any light causes the pain to ramp up substantially so he has been gracing our dinner table in sunglasses every night; very classy The photophobia has also prevented him from going outside at all in the day; no trips to the shops, no beach walks with kids, no walking the dogs, no going out together as a family on the weekend. MasterJ started Nippers footy this year for the first time and Mr Point Five missed every game, even the final where his son kicked six goals. It was very depressing for him; frustrating for me and upsetting for Master J.
Anyway, just wanted to celebrate with you that last night for the first time in over six months, we finally went out together as a family. We went to our local pub at night, for dinner, which we used to do on a fortnightly basis before February, and we enjoyed a “regular” night out. He wore his sunnies and despite a bit of discomfort we managed to get through the night. Yah!!! It is still a long road to go as this “thing” can last for a while but we are moving forward, however slowly. I no longer feel quite like a Police Wife fraud, as he is finally back at work. Its amazing how much we aquire our identity by what our spouse does for a job, especially being a police family. I didn’t feel justified blogging or commenting as a Police Wife as my husband was helpless at home, or office-bound, unable to work in the field. Its an odd feeling how intertwined and connected ourprofessional lives are. Im not sure who I would be if he wasnt a Police Officer; I mean I would, don’t get me wrong, I have a very fulfilling job in this town, but it has become a badge that the whole family wears, something we breathe and a code we live by. Being behind the blue line is where we stand as a family and I am so glad we are on the road back to it full-time. Call me crazy, but I cannot wait for that work phone to go at 2am and for him to be able to attend a job to help someone, save someone or comfort someone. Pretty sure that will wear off, but for now I cannot wait!