If you can't be kind, begone.
Practical advice on how to deal with his recovery is appreciated. In don't need lectures on how you'd be handling all of this so much better than I without ever being even close to my situation--don't dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back. I was widowed 30 years ago; he died of heart problems. I lost our oldest cat a week ago. More stress. ANd then there's my dysfunctional in-laws who think the way to handle PTSD is to "just let it go; it's in the past" and everything will b just fine. Since they have 9 divorces between the two sisters and MiL, you can see how well that works in reality. And if you think this is inappropriate material for a political blog--you're wrong. We are a community. We stand together and help each other in crisis. And Markos has made it clear that this sense of community is what it makes iut work. He summed it up neatly when someone whined about the cat diaries: "Don't fuck with pootie people." Don't like this diary? Consider the topic beneath you? Fine. Please don't read it. But don't be cruel or snide here--I have enough on my plate without peo0ple telling me how I should breathe.
Today I had had enough. I told MiL very clearly that I both wanted and needed to see Ben. Did she call me today to see if I was interested in going?
I learned from my husband (she was there when I called , natch, so we talked in code without mentioning names. The bad news is he has a blood clot in his left leg (not the one they took the veins from). And he learned the hear way that Percocet makes him hallucinate.
I cannot rely on MiL for info. I can't decide if she doesn't know what questions to ask or prefers to ignore bad news--and even whether she would have told me this if I hadn't gotten it from him. I suspect not. As I said to Ben, I don't believe in fluffy pink unicorns, and the pixie who lends me the pixie dust is more like the Real Tink in the play(who is a profane, jealous little thing, not some Disneyfied winged doll). He laughed and said that my unicorn was called Shining Spear of Death, a reference to an Esther Friesner novel, and my pixie was name Thorn. I got the name of Ben's nurse.
And then I called to the nurse's station and introduced myself. I made it clear that in an emergency I am the one to be contacted--that the only reason MiL's name was on the list as secondary contact was that we'd had some issues with our phone. I made it clear that they knew I am the next of kin and any decisions, should they become necessary, should be made by me. She got it. I also said that one reason I'd not been there was I had developed some stress-related health issues and needed to rest to be able to be useful.
And I told her that I had been relying on MiL for info and suspect that she's been feeding me half truths, not out of malice but because she tends ignore anything negative, which really isn't helpful in this situation. I asked her if he improving at all, or whether he was just stabilized but not getting any better. SHe said it waslow but steady. I asked her to be honest with me, and she said she understood. I then inquired about the clot--was it a deep vein thrombosis which is really dangerous, or a small clot.
It is a small clot which is painful and makes walking difficult but is being treated with blood thinners. I doubt MiL would even have known the term "deep vein thrombosis" let alone the disastrous effects it can have. She is a smart woman, but her knowledge of many things is sparse. She when she gives me reports, they are either highly edited ("pretend it isn't happening") or incomplete because she doesn't know the right questions to ask. And she likes the people who make me absolutely crazy and thinks I am awful for disliking their saccharine manner because they are only trying to be kind. The only doctors I have liked down her when I've had to see a specialist are the ones my GP's office warns me are not very likeable, kinds dry and not friendly. Guess what? They weren't from here originally, and they are upfront with a very dry sense of humor. We got along fine. The gynie who got glowing reviews ? I felt like Aunt PittyPat was going to my gynie exam, and once I met her, I yold her thanks but no thanks.
Since Ben's having trouble with Percocet and having hallucinations (I suspect they weren't the fun kind but more to do with his foray into Iraq), I told his nurse he has PTSD. She said she had wondered about that.
So today I took back some of the power from MiL. I didn't want to be mean, but if the wrst happens, the hospital; needs to know who to call and who has final say. Ben and I have talked about the memorials we want. I want a lot of Irish whiskey with Irish music, the last song to be played being "The Parting Glass"--and no priest, except Wiccan priests and priestesses. There's a place in ME I want them scattered. He wants cremation also and he wants to have the Navy take his ashes and scatter them in the deep ocean. I think MiL was horrified when I told her we'd discussed this, including what I was supposed to do if he didn't make it. That whole "don't have negative thoughts" thing. Both he and I prefer to face the worst and plan for it. It won't come to that now, but better to know what to do.
I am now the one officially on the record as his next of kin if any decisions have to be made if he can't make them himself. And Ben told her I not only wanted or needed to see him, so she agreed to bring me. It likely sounds petty of me to do this--but I feel like I've been marginalized. I did what had to be done.