For the 2 years of Jim’s illness I ignored my own health. I knew that my BP was getting out of control. I was so busy being a caregiver that I wasn’t taking care of myself. Jim was in the hospital so many times and I was spending each day that he was there with him.
I would get up at 7 AM and drive myself the 30 miles to the hospital in Champaign where he was a patient. I would stay until about 45 minutes until dark and then I would drive home.
As his illness progressed the rounds of chemo got more aggressive and I would stay day and night only going home long enough to check the mail at the post office and get a shower and change of clothing.
In late October a few weeks before he died I received word that his sister in Florida had passed away. I was at the hospital with Jim when I received the news. I had been there all night with him and I needed to go home to change clothes and pay some bills, etc. I asked his doctor about telling Jim the news. The doctor thought that he was too weak to be told.
I couldn’t find my way out of Champaign! I had driven in this University city for over 40 years and traveled back and forth dozens of times to the hospital in all kinds of weather and I couldn’t find I 57. I was so stressed out about how I would tell Jim this devastating news. I drove clear across town and finally picked up an entrance ramp which put me miles out of the way.
The story at this time is not nearly finished so I will continue it tomorrow.
I took this picture out of the window of Jim’s hospital room on the 7th floor in October 2006. You can see some of the University of Illinois buildings in the background.