What I Learn From Marty
- Waco, Texas,
- March 30
- I am the chief caregiver for Marty, my wife of 30+ years. In our previous lives Marty was an Educational Psychologist, I was a call center manager. Marty has had two strokes since 2005 which have caused critical physical and cognitive deficits. We are both in our mid-50's and have two adult children.
I would never confuse myself with a professional writer, I do this to document our journey and as an act of self discovery. This is what I have learned over the last years, this is our life.
MY RECENT POSTS
- The Only Choice
July 21, 2014 01:04PM
- I'm Okay with the Mundane
July 13, 2014 02:18PM
- A Story in Pictures
July 05, 2014 11:35AM
- Labels...It's Complicated
June 21, 2014 12:28PM
- Bad to the Bone
June 10, 2014 08:54PM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “It always seems the
birth rate goes up during a
moon....I wonder what
July 13, 2014 04:41PM
- “Crying alone...in a
to you and
July 13, 2014 03:58PM
- “As killing machines go
the guillotine is pretty
July 13, 2014 02:28PM
- “Glad to see you
back.....This tells a
June 22, 2014 04:24PM
- “The "go-to-granny-nanny"
..... perfect for on-line
June 12, 2014 10:42AM
- MY LINKS
I started writing this blog about three years ago. The premise was simple, I wanted to keep Marty’s friends and family apprised of her life and our journey. But, being something of a political junkie, radical moderate and uber-user of the medical community I wanted to inflict my pol… Read full post »
Marty and I are miles from where we started. Her progress, her improvement from the early days of the strokes is really amazing given our starting point.
When is enough, enough? When have things progressed as far as they can go, when do you arrive at “as good as… Read full post »
I met her in October of 1973 at Susie’s birthday party. It was a college birthday party with good, like-minded friends, you get the picture. She was going out with a friend of mine who was studying architecture, I was a free agent and we eventually found each other.
There is a very rare phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness, where under general anesthesia, during surgery, some patients wake up during the surgery and are aware of what is happening but because of the anesthesia can’t say anything to alert the medical staff that they are awake and aware.&n… Read full post »
I remember sitting in the waiting area of our new temporary home, St. Catherine Center, a sub-acute care center in Waco. It was adjacent to the hospital we had just left and was king of a way station for people too sick to go home, but not acute enough to be… Read full post »
I play at golf. I have no faith in my game. I hit the ball all over the place and when I address the ball I never know if the good Larry or the evil Larry is going to hit the ball. Lately, my golf game is kind of a metaphor… Read full post »
In April of 2005, as Marty lay in a coma in the ICU of Zale-Lipsy hospital, I sat beside her every day thinking of our past and looking forward to the day we would get out of the hospital and go home. I kept saying to her young doctor, his job… Read full post »
I send out an annual Christmas letter. Sorry, I know, I know, but it’s not really the narcissistic, four page, every things perfect kind of Christmas letter, we haven’t ever seen perfect. Mine is the, “I’m going to tell you some really basic stuff about our surviva… Read full post »
It was Christmas 1994. We were in a small village in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico with Marty’s family. Her parents had a wonderful home there that often served as respite from the Texas heat and flat geography. This Christmas, in Penderies, there was snow on th… Read full post »
Our minister stands at the front of the sanctuary every Sunday. He’s a tall man, thin, graying, in love with his work. He reaches into the water of the baptismal font, pulls hands dripping with water up and lets the water flow through his fingers back into the font and s… Read full post »
I have never been a graceful man. I always wanted to be, I have always wanted to move smoothly and nimbly with the grace of a well honed athlete. Instead I tend to move with the grace and skill of a pack mule, strong and steady, not graceful.
When I… Read full post »
It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally I look around, I think of Marty’s brokenness, I focus on what was and what is now and I get angry, I get pissed, I feel completely imprisoned by my life and I scream in my mind, “What the hell am I doing and… Read full post »
I do it every day, several times a day, it’s one of the dances Marty and I do.
I reach under both of her arms, get a secure hold, make sure she is anchored with her right leg on the floor and use my prodigious frame to pull her to… Read full post »
I am a west Texas born and bred male, raised on football, baseball, guns, church and hard work. In my mind men were tough, quiet, hard and loyal, we were not taught to be sensitive, caring or nurturing, we were the hard men meant to provide safety and comfort.
I sat in the parlor of our church listening and talking, mostly listening to the stories of the other family caregivers. We had gathered together to talk, to listen, to think, to find ways to help those who were providing care for loved ones.
There were women who had… Read full post »
Names. Marty Jean, daughter of Ethel Jean and Arty Jewell, you can see where they found her name. Larry Carlisle, son of Bettye Lou and Larry Carlisle Sr., I am a junior; it’s part of my heritage. My nickname, Ginger, is a part of our family lore. Our names don’t d… Read full post »
I have written before about the longest and as yet unresolved argument between Marty and me, who’s smarter. It’s a 35 year plus disagreement where we are both completely entrenched in our positions. We both really believe one of us is smarter we simply can’t agree on who… Read full post »
More often than not Marty was at the center, she was in the middle directing people, places and things. She was loud, brash, funny, incredibly smart and did I say loud? I shussed her once at some hoity toity museum in London and man did I pay for that little faux… Read full post »
I am a stream of consciousness kind of guy, full of random thoughts that spill out in no particular order. Marty was pretty much the same way, though a much more focused thinker. As I have not been able to write a coherent sentence for a few days I thought I… Read full post »
I am a fortunate man, I know that. I still have Marty, I can still reach down, hold her, hug her, feel her breath, listen to her beating heart when I lay my head on her chest. That she is still with me is a blessing. I miss intimacy; I miss… Read full post »
The act and art of physical therapy for a stroke patient should be part of any ongoing recovery strategy, it’s not, but it should be. We have had the great good fortune to have a physical therapist visit our home twice a week for the last month. Great and Wise thought… Read full post »
I’m not a superstitious guy. But, just to hedge my bets; I never walk under a ladder, which seems pretty prudent regardless of superstition. I also will occasionally spit when a black cat crosses my path and I immediately seek some wood to knock on when talking about good things hap… Read full post »
Our son and his wife celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary this weekend and I had the distinct honor of hosting my almost two year old grandson while they took some needed respite from parenthood. Noah was the perfect house guest and in the eyes of his Grandpa is really very close… Read full post »
The call came late in the evening as I stood at our front door and watched as the city repair crew dug up portions of our street to repair the very obvious water leak. They worked until the very early morning hours to restore our water service. The only real consequences… Read full post »
“All I want is peace, just some peace and quiet.” The reply came from our caregiver supreme, Erica. It was her birthday and I had asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, “All I want is some peace.”
Linda, an acquaintance, a friend, wrote to me, “I… Read full post »