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Thursday, September 25, 2008

All Too Familiar

Tonight I (Jim) am sitting in bed, Ginger is laying by my side, dark goggles on to shield her eyes from any light, she grimaces in pain, unable to sleep, I have found myself in the all too familiar role of caregiver.

It started when we went to the doctor's office. Now I know that having PRK is elective and not life threatening but the surroundings were all too familiar. Sitting together in the waiting room, going back together to talk to the doctor, me sitting in the corner holding my wife's personal belongings and a doctor in scrubs talking to Ginger. Soon it was time to take off Ginger's shoes and put on the hospital booties and hat. I watched them led Ginger to the procedure room leaving me outside looking in. Ginger laying the table with the machine over her reminded me of the radiation treatment or the countless CT scans Andrea had. I would stand outside the room separated from Andrea and place my hand flat against the door and pray for her, pray for healing, pray this would be the scan that would revel God's miracle that never came. It was all too familiar, holding my wife unable to relieve her excruciating pain, managing her pills, and praying till exhausting relieves us both and we get a few hours of sleep.

Today was a flashback to a time that is still a little to close, and it was all too familiar. I found taking care of Ginger tonight was all to easy as if I had never missed a beat, I fell back into the role I had mastered. But it also brings a feeling of helplessness that is difficult as a husband. I had sworn to love and protect Andrea yet I found I could do nothing as cancer attacked her. It was as if I stood by as she was beaten and killed and all I could offer was my prayers which sadly seemed to be falling on deaf ears. It is incredible helpless feeling to not be able to protect your wife. To see her hurt so bad and there was nothing you can do, but hold her and tell her it will be alright. The sadness of those words are not lost in this moment.

Now I have once again gave my word to protect my wife and once again I find myself offering up prayers in hopes God will have mercy on her. All I can do is hold Ginger's hands so she can squeeze it when the pain becomes unbearable. Earlier Ginger wanted to hear some music so I put on my ipod and played a play list I listened to a thousand times while Andrea was sick. Many of the songs are on this blog site and as I massaged Ginger feet and sang those familiar songs I was strangely in a very familiar place, and it was a little too much just a little too familiar.

Maybe I did get a prayer through as Ginger has just fallen asleep. It is almost midnight and the end of a long day. I pray she will sleep til the alarm goes off at 6:15, but I know if she makes it until 1am when it is time for her to take her pain meds that will be a victory and an answer to a prayer. Once again it is the smallest of victories I seek. I know this will pass and it is just a matter of time until Ginger returns to her happy self, and is able to see clearly without her glasses, and so I'm comforted in that thought, yet in the darkness of our bedroom, hearing my wife cry in pain is just a little too familiar.

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