We’ve been together 17-years. The thought of losing him was almost too much.
We built a house and moved in with each other after two years together. Four months later, it was Christmas time and he started falling apart. Degenerative disc disease and five spine surgeries later was only the beginning.
By the time we got married, on our 8th anniversary, he had also come down with a blood clotting disorder having suffered two bouts of pulmonary embolisms. Adding to that list would be having cardiomyopathy and pulmonary sarcoidosis.
I remember the emergency room doctor telling me that it was a good thing I didn’t call and wait for an ambulance as he would not have made it. She said I made the right call in rushing him to the hospital myself.
Since then, it seemed as though every year brought with it more ailments than any one man should have to endure. Then in 2015 it happened; THE BIG ONE!
Doctors have nicknamed it ‘suicide pain’ but it’s actually called Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). It’s the most painful condition known to medicine, so much so, that every patient gets the neurologist personal cell phone number to be reached before they blow their brains out.
Patients take an anti-seizure medicine which gradually goes up on the dose until it becomes ineffective. At that point, brain surgery is required. This upcoming surgery scared him!
His medicine worked for 13 months and then he went under the knife with success. IT WORKED! However, as you might have guessed by now, he doesn’t have the best of luck.
He was only given 9 months of relief before he became one of the unlucky 1% to have a reoccurrence. Yes, it was back and with a vengeance on September 5, 2017. The episode lasted an unheard of 90 minutes.
A quick ten o’clock at night phone call to the neurologist resulted in directions to put him right back on the medication. What gave relief for 13 months before worked for only 40 days this time.
It was too quick and there was not enough time before everything could be set into motion. He was having to go ‘off-label’ and taking more medication than allowed. With that comes all sorts of bad side effects; nausea, dizziness, falling down, loud ‘drive you nuts’ ringing in his head, etc.
Surgery got scheduled for December 13, 2017 at 7:30AM. The surgeon advised he may elect to do an additional procedure (neurolysis) while he’s in there this time.
This added procedure involves separating the strands of the trigeminal nerve to better isolate them from a possible repeat of this entire ordeal. However, he tells us, your heart will likely stop in the middle of surgery.
“WHAT???” “Yeah, he may flat line but we have atropine standing by to get him restarted.” Oh, well what a comfort! (That would be sarcasm)
It’s now 8:53am on December 13, 2017. I’m sitting in the surgery waiting room and he’s in surgery, his tenth; all of which he’s had since we’ve been together.
I rarely mix my two lives together revealing who I really am. My name is David McLendon. However, I go by M. H. “Michael” Sebastian professionally as I write gay romance novels.
One man can only take so much of playing nurse 24/7. One person can only give 101% until you’re exhausted. One soul can only bear a tremendous burden for so long.
As you might imagine, my writing has become my escape. Since my personal life is fraught with so much that is ‘lacking,’ romantic writing allows me to live my life vicariously through the characters I create.
It was 4 ½ hours later when we finally heard from the surgeon; twice as long as we’d expected. However, something finally went right. His heart didn’t stop. It did get down to 26 beats per minute while I sat on pins and needles.
If you’ve walked in my shoes, God bless you! If you haven’t, I’m here to tell you that there’s no greater agony in this world than watching someone you love hurt while knowing there’s nothing you can do to help them.
The F’ing conservative politicians want to blame gay people for certain declines in our society such as any declines in marriage. Sorry folks, but straight people messed that one up all on their own.
They say there’s this whole ‘family values’ issue as if we don’t understand family and what’s important. Oh… I get it; like leaving someone you’re supposed to love because things get a little tough. Really? I wouldn’t know a thing about that!!!
We took vows just like straight people do and it’s supposed to mean something. “For Better or Worse!” I think I’ve become an authority on the concept!