In Sickness & in Health, ‘til DEATH, translated…
My husband died the evening before New Year’s Eve. Back then, I’d called up my best friend, and, she’d spoken in a congratulatory voice: “Congratulations, you and him are both, consoling someone who’d just lost her husband? Hollering out in ecstasy, as one hears the news of the death of someone else’s spouse?
Although my husband was bedridden for eight, nine years, from the moment that his illness attacked, we’d prepared ourselves, that life and death, would be, separating us. I’d even rehearsed it many times over in my mind, but, as the moment came, I’d still, panicked.
From when he’d become limp at the start, to becoming totally bedridden, then, difficulty swallowing, can no longer breathe on his own, and can only, lie stiff, and relied on the respirator to breathe for him. I’d stayed closed by, watched over him day and night, several times, he’d told me, with what weakening breath he had, that it was, hard, for him, to keep on living like this, but, I’d, chosen to ignore, stubbornly, asked him, to stay here, for my sake, time and time again, I’d, pulled him back to life, from death’s grips. And I thought, that this time would be no different, but, he’d took the time when I wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t watching, tossed in the towels, game over!
The over three thousand days of illness surely wasn’t easy, each and every evening, I couldn’t sleep, felt ill-at-ease, couldn’t eat any food, my stomach tied up in knots. I’d given up on everything, just, focused on caring for him, every three hours, I’d, fed him through the food tube, the nutritionist gave me the recipes, and I’d, shopped for the groceries and cooked the foods myself. To keep him from getting the bedsores, I’d flipped him over by the clock, couldn’t even relax one bit. Because he couldn’t go to the bathrooms by himself, I’d needed to, get everything that’s inside his colons out by hand every other day, to the point, that my fingers cramped up, and couldn’t hold my chopsticks to eat. Every week I’d bathed him, I’d carried him onto the toilet myself, and, even if I’d used ALL my strengths, I still couldn’t manage to get him to the seats by one try, and, we’d often both, fallen, and, I’d felt stressed and helpless, then, I’d had to, wipe his tears first, then my own.
not my photo…
Later on, I’d hired a nurse’s aide, but, a lot of the things, I’d still needed to do myself. In the middle of the nights, the nurse’s aide was sound asleep, couldn’t wake up, but I, who’s, right by his side, couldn’t just wait, I’d immediately leapt up, sometimes, it was, a strand of hair that’s, fallen onto his necks, and he was, itching because of it; sometimes, he was lying on his sides, and his knees bumped into each other, and he’d hurt, and needed to switch to another position to sleep.
Once I was awake, it was, hard for me to fall asleep again, and so, for these eight years, I’d rarely been able to, sleep through the entire night. And the results of not sleeping enough, looking like a panda is the least of my worries, I’d started becoming hormonal imbalanced, and had a ton of other health problems because of it, started dozing off a lot, when I’m walking down the streets, I’d, tripped and fallen, what was worse was, I’d, passed out, cold a lot.
“You should take good care of yourself, then, take care of him.” All of my friends’ advice became, wind through my ears, I’d decided, to stay beside my husband, and if he couldn’t get better, then, I shall, fall down beside him.
Every doctor I saw was confused, “You’re retired, aren’t you? How come you’re under so much pressure?” “Is it that difficult, to get a full night’s sleep?” Yup, it is, very difficult. Think about it, in the trios from the motors of the respirator, the bed, and the oxygen tanks pumping, how do I, fall asleep soundly? Besides, I’m always, ready, for combat, because I’d needed to be. It is, truly, taxing, for the caretakers’ body, mind, soul, and heart, but, unless you’d played the part personally, you wouldn’t understand it, only because, he was my mate, someone whom I’d loved and kept watch over for forty years, and that, was why I was, willing, to give him everything now.
And now he’s gone, without any pains, anything that’s kept his mind tied in the world, it’s just, that he’s everywhere in the house, how do I, live here, alone? How many moments we’d shared, all came back up, thinking about the past, I have only, tears. “Congrats, both you and him are, free now!”, I’m sure, that my friend wasn’t gloating, certainly, my husband had not wanted to, torture me longer, that, was why, he’d, swallowed his final and last breath; everything is over now, but, the world still turns just the same, the love we shared, had been, terminated, and, even if I didn’t want to let go, I’d still had to!
the love they shared…NOT my photograph…
This, is the caretaker’s experience, of taking care of someone she’d loved, and they shared a life together, so, it wasn’t, easy, for this woman, to let go of her husband, despite how much he was, suffering, and yet, after she’d cared for him on her own, and weathered through the trials of the hardships of life brought on by him being bedridden, she’d, still not wanted to, let her husband go, and, you can see, how deeply, this woman loved her husband from this.