Playing hookey from work… not as fun as you might think. Our week in pictures.

I was trying to post an update on Wednesday, but we went up to our friends’ lakehouse and I forgot my laptop charger… blergh!!  Then, when we got home, Kevin was still sick, I got in a funk, he got in a funk, and well, here we are Sunday morning, both of us finally starting to feel less “funky”.

We’ve been home from the hospital for about a week, and at this point after the last round, Kevin was feeling pretty good.  In fact, his whole week of recovery was almost, dare I say it, nice.  He mostly felt tired, and every day felt a little better.  We didn’t have the kids with us, and weren’t really missing them too badly yet.  We were able to go out when we wanted, sleep when we wanted, watch TV when we wanted.  We kind of felt like we were playing hookey from life, and it wasn’t all that bad!

This round, however, has most decidedly not been nice.  It’s not been relaxing, fun, or rejuvenating.  Kevin has had nausea every day since he’s been home, as well as constant fatigue mixed with sleeplessness.  That is really not a good combination for much of anything but getting depressed.

We have spent a large amount of our days right here, in front of the television.  Take note of the yak bucket next to Kevin’s side of the bed.

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I  have spent a lot of my time here, working on puzzles.

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Or doing mindless word games.

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Even when we went up to our friend’s lake, which was beautiful, and a wonderful escape, Kevin was too sick to do much more than lay around.  He didn’t really feel up to even going outside very  much, because sitting up was too exhausting for him or made him feel nauseous.  So, it was really just more of a change of scenery.  Good nonetheless, but not as great as I’d hoped.  I did manage to go down to the water and out on the kayak once, and that was amazing, but for the most part, Kevin wanted me near him.

Kevin has never struggled with depression in his life, and has often questioned me about how it feels, because it’s so outside of his realm of understanding.  We are coming up on a year now that Kevin has been sick for probably 75% of the time, and the exhaustion is definitely taking its toll emotionally.  He is starting to understand depression.  When you don’t feel like getting out of bed, but you can’t really sleep, but you don’t really want to watch another television show, you start to get depressed.  And he’s really tired of feeling crummy all the time.

I try to be his cheerleader, encouraging him to get up, take a shower, get dressed, sit outside, read a book, take a walk, etc.  But if you feel like total crap, sometimes a cheerleader can be really annoying.  So I try to find the balance.  And that gets hard for me too.

Sometimes, I curl up in bed with him, and we enjoy a marathon of a few episodes of The West Wing.

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Sometimes, I sit in the recliner next to our bed and try to read, or simply watch him sleep.

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Often, I’m running up and down the stairs making him breakfast that he may or may not feel like eating.

First I try this:

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Okay, that didn’t go over so well, how about this?

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Or bringing him medicine that may or may not make him feel better.

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A lot of the time, I find myself ambling around the house, not really knowing what to do.

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I have all this time.

Sort of.

I don’t have the kids with me, so my day is soooo much less full, but Kevin is awake/asleep/well/sick at unpredictable times.  I find it hard to get started on a project, not knowing when I will need to stop.  I also, frankly, find it hard to get motivated on much.  I mean, really, would you feel like cleaning your house if your husband was upstairs sick from cancer treatment?  Plus, I really miss my kids.

It’s been a rough week, even with the lake vacation.  I’m starting to realize something that I’d never really considered.  As much as we all love to have a vacation here and there, we as God’s creatures were created to work.  Now that doesn’t mean we must work like dogs from morning until night.  Margin is good.  Space is good.  Rest is good.  But without meaningful work and rhythm to our days, we fall into a funk and depression sets in.  We find it hard to do much of anything and it becomes even harder to pull out of that funk.   Kevin is on “vacation” from his job when he is home sick.  I am on “vacation” from mine with the kids out in Cali.  Both of us feel awkward and out of our element.  We are ready for a return to normalcy.  Oh, what we both wouldn’t give to just have our life back.

Kevin starts back to work tomorrow, but he’s not exactly looking forward to it.  He’s feeling kind of overwhelmed and worried that he will continue to be sick.  But he also wants to work because he’s hoping it will help to break the cycle we’ve fallen into.  Plus, work is good for the bank account, and that motivates him.  But the biggest thing for both of us is finding a new rhythm and balance each week to avoid falling into this funk again.

Question for any of you my dear friends…  How you find rhythm or a sense of purpose to your days when there is no obvious one imposed on you?

4 thoughts on “Playing hookey from work… not as fun as you might think. Our week in pictures.

  1. Hi Guys,

    My solution was to stay busy helping others, doing things with others, volunteering, getting a part time job, lunch dates, movie dates with friends. I looked for those in my life who needed my help. That helped me keep my thoughts off of my own issues. Don’t know how much of that is doable for you, but maybe there are some ideas that can help, or at least give you some ideas of your own.

    love and hugs to you both,
    Aunt Susie

  2. Sounds to me a bit like “retirement/old age”!
    RETIREMENT:
    – no job to go to
    – empty house – kids are gone
    – no purpose
    – sit and watch TV all day
    – end up in a “nursing home” – too “tired” to move around

    OLD AGE:
    – aches and pains (often arthritis) that you know will never leave you
    – not able to move around – aches too much
    – friends are dying – so why bother
    – never did like Bingo

    IRENE:
    – I have a regular daily schedule that suits my needs
    – rise at 6:30 – 7:00 am – whether I like it or not
    – prayer for 15 minutes
    – make my bed – step outside and get the newspaper
    – exercise for one hour – including tredmill – too hot outside to walk
    – breakfast
    – read newspaper
    – check internet for news – email etc.
    By then it is almost noon….. more or less.
    Afternoons can vary depending on appointments – errands – grocery shopping
    Evenings are my relaxing time. I like the evening news at 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm
    Dinner time and PBS news at 7:00 pm etc….
    I am usually in bed by 10:00 and ready for sleep.

    Of course I don’t have two little kids and a sick husband. After all I am 77!

    Discipline is actually “delayed satisfaction”. Planning our day with satisfaction
    every day is the secret. Too often we want satisfaction all day and this leads
    to depression.

  3. P.S. I love your photos – I could eat those eggs right now! Your home is
    so spacious and inviting. Hope Kevin is “well enough” to appreciate what
    you have done to create such a lovely “home”.

  4. Rachel!
    1) I love your blog
    2) I love that you love lists, haha
    3) My rhythm helper right now is the motivated mom’s cleaning checklist I told you about. I actually get excited about doing that ever changing hour long list of chores to keep the house tidy, and then there is the feeling of satisfaction that I’m sort of staying on top of things…and I’m already planning my “path” through the house for the morning-time-no-thinking rhythm you told me about:)

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