The Checklist

Casandra Porter

The Checklist

Casandra Porter
I love my husband.

This is a phrase I often repeat, out loud or to myself, doesn't matter. It's like the instructions for shampoo, rinse and repeat.

I love my husband.

And having said that... He is a total pain in the butt!

He is the funniest, most caring and loving person I have ever known but he doesn't take care of himself.

He loved working out. In fact, he was so in love with working out it was all he did before he got sick. His idea of a fun time was to lift weights while mine was to lift donuts. But he HATES to take medication. He hates talking about himself in terms of how he feels. Emotions, what are those? He has two settings: Whatever and Whatever Deluxe.

I remind my mom all the time, I don't have kids. Her response is, "Yes, you do, one big gigantic baby." And we laugh about it but deep down, I cringe. It's true. Yet, the reverse can be said when there are things I'd rather not do, like take that walk when I could be eating that delicious chocolate cake instead. And after being chastised by Marc about my begrudging behavior, I'd lace up my shoes and hit the pavement with him, whining the entire way.

And so since he begrudgingly does anything related to his health right now, I have created the dreaded checklist. After being at so many doctors appointments, I have learned how and what they check for and keep close eye on those things he could care less about.

Checklist with pen isolated on white

He's a very stoic person. I've seen him take some pretty hard hits and keep on going like it was just another day. And his favorite word when I ask him how he feels is "fine." FINE... What does that even mean?

So we start with... When was the last time you took your temperature? Have you taken your meds this morning? Did you eat with those meds? Come let me look at your eyes. Open them wide. Okay, let me feel your glands. Have you been coughing? Sneezing? Blowing your nose? Any headaches? On what side do you have them? Does your eye bother you? Is it hurting or itching or both? Do your ears bother you? Do you feel any pressure in your face, under your eyes, around your temples, in your forehead, on top of your head? Any chest pain? How's your breathing? Open your mouth and let me see your tongue. Any tingling sensations in your arms, feet, hands? Any pain any other places in your body?

He says I ask more questions than the doctors do.

This is not even half of the questions. We then go into neurological testing where I make him answer what most people seem to think are insane questions but since I know how he functions, they're really rather easy questions.

I do all of this and more because the last time he answered me with, "I feel fine" he ended up having a seizure at work and being hospitalized for a week in ICU, the first time.

Now, that we've moved and the insurance is in the ever pending stage with COBRA because apparently they can't take a payment over the phone and it takes weeks to process one by mail, I need to be extra cautious about what's going on.

Yet, even with the checklist it did not prepare me for the last couple days of him suffering from really bad tremors. He's shaking all the time, mostly when he's at rest. And we have a doctor appointment of Wednesday I am afraid they may not see him if the insurance doesn't finally backdate and make his COBRA coverage effective by then.

These are the things that have had me in a panic. And with these tremors, it could be nothing. He did have a recent increase in meds before we left Arizona. Or it can be something because it's only been since end of April when he had his brain biopsy and he was not supposed to be lifting more than five pounds which I know for a fact he has disobeyed recently. Thinking he was being helpful during the move but really just causing me undue stress.

So, I am worried that with everything on my checklist, I have missed something major and even so, I can't get him to a doctor like I want to. He is in desperate need of another MRI because of all the things he's been doing. Or I should say, I am in desperate need of him having that MRI to ease my conscience that he is okay.

Once we're back seeing the doctors regularly, I will be able to rest, relax a little and focus on what's next for him and for me.

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Casandra Porter

Thank you for the kind words, as always, @Pegi. It helps. It just sucks because I want to swoop in and say, \"Here, you're all healed!\" And have things be done with. I'm a control freak! But it's because I care.

Casandra Porter

I've called and discussed it when setting the appointment, they seemed very confused. So we can only see what happens when we get there. However, my mother told me that if they refuse to see him then go to the ER, tell them he needs the MRI, explain who is doctor is and that you are only there to get the MRI and then have it sent to his MDO and they can call us if they think he needs to be seen or if something is wrong. If I can explain it to them and get them to understand it then I will probably have that done if we have any issues getting into the appointment. I am sure everything is fine but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

ejourneys

I also agree with <a href='http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/members/trish/' rel=\"nofollow\">@Trish</a>'s suggestion to call, and I am so sorry for the nonsense with Cobra.\r\n\r\nI face many of the same issues with my partner, but in a slightly different way. She self-diagnoses and self-medicates, changes her dosages on her own, insists on doing things <i>her</i> way regardless of what a doctor says. Our checklist kicks in when she becomes distressed, and sometimes she learns from and corrects her own actions. It's touch and go whether and how much influence I have, but I am there when the messes need cleaning up. :-)\r\n\r\nI also agree with <a href='http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/members/worriedwife/' rel=\"nofollow\">@worriedwife</a> -- you are doing everything you can under very trying conditions; please be gentle with yourself. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well on Wednesday.

Casandra Porter

I know how guys process and I get it. We are here because I sat back and let him run the show for years. And I get it, he's an adult, he should make his own choices. But as he tells me, he is my investment. I have to take care of him. And he isn't angry about it. And even if he was, I wouldn't care because one random symptom that he is not careful of is life or death. These tremors could be nothing or they could mean his infection on his brain has spread. I don't know. What I do know is I'd rather him be alive and angry at me than to be dead and me be angry at myself for not doing what I could while I could. Call me the Great Nag of 2013 and I will wear the title proudly :)\r\n\r\nBut I definitely get what you are saying and as the doctors appointments start up again, I will happily back off. For now, he knows it's routine and is more willing to sit and take. Even coming back to me later reminding that I forgot to ask him something and giving me the info to make note of. This is a learning process for us both.

Denine

Wow, great post, honest and transparent. I'm such a rookie, am learning a lot for you guys. Thank you for sharing your heart so that others can process things better in the future.