Brief, but needed
Today’s scene with Steve was much shorter than usual; we kept it to a lengthy hand spanking OTK, no implements. Since I’m heading to Vegas on Thursday for four days of play, I needed to keep it on the lighter side today. But it was timely. I needed some stress release.
I have not been talking much about John lately, just bits and pieces here and there. But it’s been rough for him the past few months. And rough for me, witnessing it.
On Friday when he went to the periodontist for his dental implant, the doc refused to do it, because John’s blood pressure was alarmingly high. Not the systolic, but the diastolic (the lower number). This may not sound like much, but it is for him. John has never had high BP. In fact, his runs rather low.
As his heart valve continues to deteriorate, the rest of his body is struggling and straining to keep him functioning. Hence the higher BP, and the shortness of breath. The man who used to cycle for miles effortlessly now puffs and pants after he wipes down the shower walls. His ankles swell.
But even worse than the heart condition is the recent development — sleep apnea. His is bad. He really doesn’t sleep anymore; he catnaps. Sometimes he can sleep sitting up propped on pillows, other times not. He gets so tired that he catnaps with his head down on his desk at work, on breaks. When he does sleep, he snorts and gasps and makes horrible noises.
So why isn’t he seeing to this? Because his HMO is dragging its heels. They want to put him on a CPAP, but he hates the CPAP. They put one on him during the sleep study and he found it intolerable. Instead, he wants to go the alternate route: a dental device (called MAD, or mandibular advancement device). But he’d have to go out of network for that, and the @#$%ing HMO isn’t cooperating. Sure, he could have his dentist make one for him on his own… his dentist actually specializes in sleep apnea treatment. But that would cost $3500.
Therefore, the apnea thing has been on hold for weeks, months, while he battles this out and waits to hear from this doctor and that one. And meanwhile, I’m watching him grow slowly but steadily worse. Sleep deprivation is one of the most damaging things for the body. And there’s no way he could recover from open-heart surgery if he can’t sleep. Resolving this issue is crucial.
After his dental procedure was cancelled last Friday, I was truly frightened. I told him maybe he shouldn’t go to Vegas. He insists he will be fine, but I have my doubts. He says we both need this trip. I agree — I know I sure as hell do. But I honestly don’t know if I can put my fears aside enough to relax and enjoy for a few days.
I didn’t realize just how stressed out I was until Steve arrived this morning. He asked if I was excited, and I said no, I was nervous and worried. Why?? he wanted to know. And I started crying.
Steve was a wonderful, calming voice of reason. I told him that nagging at John, insisting he take care of certain things, was not an option. That just brings on an argument and more stress. So I need to get control of my own emotions, take a couple of steps back, and determine what’s really real and what I’m horrible-izing. I have visions of being stuck in Vegas and John having heart failure or a stroke and my not knowing what the hell to do. The odds are highly against that; he’s gone this long, and it will basically be a stress-free few days. I worry about his lifting the luggage and stuff. He never lets me help. This time, he will have to. And as for everything else, he’s a big boy. He needs to step up for his own health. I can’t do it for him. And driving myself crazy won’t help anything.
So. I have two assignments. The first is to make sure John carries the power-of-attorney document with us to Vegas, so that if God forbid anything does happen, I’ll be able to show proof that I can make decisions. And then the second is to relax and have fun.
After that, we had our scene. And of course, I wept more. But it was good for me. I was like a pressure cooker ready to blow. Sorry, no pictures this time. Just wasn’t in that state of mind.
Thursday morning, John and I will hit the road. And it will be good. I am going to play to my heart’s content, but even more important, I’m going to see friends. I’m going to get hugs and cuddles and love and laughs. John will have a few days off and can retreat to our room whenever he needs to. I will take a day at a time and do my best to stay in the moment.
Thank you, Steve, my top, my rock. And please, please take good care of yourself. I have two wonderful men in my life, but I need at least one of them to be healthy, or I will lose what’s left of my mind!
Thanks for reading. There will be fun and playful entries in the near future!