Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Left Behind

It's too quiet.

It's wrongly quiet.

I don't like it.

Last night juat a little after eight, Joe left, baggage and all. I felt the quiet crush in on me for a moment. I took a second and got my breath back. Even though the apartment is set up to meet my needs as a disabled person, I felt immediately vulnerable. I was angry at myself, at first, for allowing myself to become so dependant on another person. But then, on slow reflection, I've been dependant on Joe through all of our 40 years, disability has nothing to do with it.

I saw his packed bag waiting just inside the door about an hour before he left. He was taking just one of our small overnight bags, hardly enough to worry about carrying, but it held the essentials, I suppose. When I noticed the toothbrush gone in the bathroom, I got teary eyed. It was not so much him being gone, it was the imagining of him 'being gone' that upset me.

So, I've slept poorly. I'm up early, which is no great surprise but I feel like I haven't slept at all. I wonder how he is doing. For the first time in years, we've slept apart and in different places. Weird. I know he's attached to some machine that's measuring his sleep. I don't like the idea. Joe cares for me, Joe is immortal. But no, he's being tested to see if there's something about his sleep that is affecting his blood pressure. I hope it's that simple.

He'll be home in a few hours and I had thought to pretend that I've simply had a lovely and quiet evening. But I'm not going to ... I'm going to tell him the truth. While I like 'me' just fine, I like 'we' way, way, way better.

8 comments:

J. said...

I am up early with you, Dave. I never sleep as well when my beloved is away for any reason. I always think I will love the solitude for those few hours, maybe even having all the blankets to myself - but when it comes down to it, "we" is the best thing going. I hope everything is okay with Joe and that something helpful comes out of the sleep study.

Kris S. said...

"I've been dependant on Joe through all of our 40 years, disability has nothing to do with it." Amen to that, Dave--as he depends on you in many ways, I'm sure. Just imagine how he must have felt trying to sleep away from home, with a bunch of machines monitoring every breath he takes. Hoping you have been happily reunited by the time you read this.

Brenda said...

As a sleep study veteran, I can tell you he's not having any fun either. The very idea that they can tape wires and electrodes to every part of your face that moves, and then tell you to get comfortable and sleep, is absurd. And the worst part about it for me, and probably for Joe, is that it's a solitary journey. Trying to sleep in a mass of wires is just not right, but trying to do it alone is all wrong. He'll be as glad to see you this morning as you will be to see him. And after your warm greeting, the next thing he'll probably need is a nap! (Here's hoping that the test reveals something helpful, at least, so this ordeal will have served an important purpose!)

wendy said...

I hope you both get a better night's sleep tonight.
The being gone, "being gone" line brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

"It was not so much him being gone, it was the imagining of him 'being gone' that upset me."

I am SO glad to see that I am not the only one who finds the imagining of a more permanent "being gone" more difficult than a temporary "being gone".

It is as difficult as trying to wrap my head around the size of the universe, which generally makes my head spin and upsets my stomach. The emotional result is quite different but the magnitude the same.

Welcome home Joe. Sleep better tonight Dave.

liz said...

Sending hugs and a good nap to you both.

Saige said...

That is so sweet Dave. It is always difficult to be without our other half. The half that makes us whole. I am not surprised you felt vulnerable.

I hope everything goes well with Joe.

*hugs*

theknapper said...

WHEN I read this I WAS IDENTIFYING WITH JOE as I'VE HAD A SLEEP STUDY AND FOUND OUT I have sleep apnea and need to use a machine to help me. I'M STILL STRUGGLING WITH THIS NEW EXPERIENCE AND FEELING SOMEWHAT LESS THAN....I'VE DISCOVERED SEVERAL FRIENDS ALSO USE A MACHINE AND HAVE FOUND IT TO MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE....ME I'M STILL IN DENIAL BUT KNOW TOO MUCH TO STAY HERE.