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retr0john update


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I've been asked by multiple members (and oddly enough, nonmembers) for an update on my situation. I'll keep this short.

The house is fine. Our local historical society asked to include it on their historical homes tour. I said not now, perhaps next year. My kids are doing well. Oldest boy is now a QC chemist with a large pharmaceutical company here. My younger boy finally got his masters. He's had three job offers. He's going to work Tuesday, but it's not in his career field so he's still going look. Daughters doing well in college, thriving with the other Sheldons and Lenards (geeks).

To the issues. A couple months ago Sarah started having severe pains in her stomach. She couldn't work she hurt so bad. After a trip to the emergency room a series of scans were done. (I don't know, C.A.T., magnetic imaging, X-ray...whatever) A mass intertwined in her ovaries, tubes, uterus was 'sandpapering' her inside and causing intense pain. Yeah, they took me aside, said it could very well be cancer and if it was there was no way to clean it all out.

They scheduled an exploratory surgery the next day, knocked her out and told me to go home. I didn't. I stayed up all night in a chair in her room.

I'm not a brave man. I haven't prayed for years but I did that night. I made deals with God, and when I was done I made deals with the devil. Whoever could and would save her had me. No other strings or waiting, just make her well and I'd go that night. I MENT it.

The next day the doctors came out and said it turned out to not be cancer, but a large, twisted bunch of scar tissue from her three C-sections she'd had to have with the kids. It was like a bunch of barbed wire twisted around.

They couldn't clean it out. This was a laparoscopic surgery through (of all things) the top of her vagina. They did a complete hysterectomy. Pulled everything out and folded the top over and sewed her up.

I was so relieved, asked when I could see her. She healed physically fine.

She's always had a self image problem. Even when guys pursued her and told her how attractive she was, inside she's always been insecure with herself. I firmly believe this goes all the way back to her college days and 'the jerk' I've wrote about.

I can't remember who here it was, but I'd told someone here before about how upset and tore up she was over having to have C-sections for all the kids. She just wasn't able to dilate nearly enough. She always felt she wasn't "Woman enough" to deliver properly. I didn't really understand this, but I helped her climb out of this mindset.

Now, with this latest kick in the head she's in a bad depression. She sleeps a lot, is lethargic, moody. I'm trying to help. I insisted she start seeing someone who's experienced in this area. I hope this shrink does as much good as the one we both seen.

She is the complete opposite of what she was before the pain hit. I'm hoping deep inside I'm not partially responsible for her feeling this was way. I'm worried my insisting that she keep working on our old issues and my irritation with her inability to fully 'open up' and trust me could have contributed to her feeling less than a whole woman now.

A lot of time hasn't passed, relatively speaking. She's just starting to work out of this darkness, and she has a lot of support. I still have hopes. (Unless Heaven or Hell comes to collect)

I said I'd keep this short. No one has to answer or post. I hate to post more troubles here, it seems there's always enough to go around. I really hope all you folks are doing ok and keeping up the fight, you're always in the back of my mind.

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I'm glad your wife is on the road to recovery. I can relate to her struggles on some level...I will be having that surgery sometime next month, only due to a large fibroid. It doesn't leave one feeling very feminine... I don't know how old your wife is, but if she had to go through surgical menopause, that would have to be extra challenging, I would think on top of everything else. I hope you will not place any blame on yourself for her feelings. I would recommend telling her she's beautiful and that you love her, being gentle and supportive. This is a tough thing for a woman to go through. I wish you both healing and wellness.

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It's 5:30 Sunday morning. I've been up a couple hours.....can't sleep. Habit, I guess. I get up at 4 every day, it's hard to just lay in bed.

Thanks Victim, I'm glad it wasn't anymore threating than it was. TO4T, believe me I do cherish her.

Thank goodness the kids are old enough to be a supportive help.

Sarah is coming around. She takes interest in cooking and is rejoining life a little at a time.

Thanks Beth for your support. I'm sorry you have to have surgery too. I've been told by others some ladies have emotional issues with this surgery, I hope you're surrounded by support and understanding for yours.

I'm sorry, but I can't help but feel the pressure I put on her was unneeded. I forget sometimes that the level of pressure people are comfortable with varies greatly, and the different kinds of pressure one's under can add up cumulatively.

Her job, her kids, her home life and then her relationship with me. I'm afraid her health blindsided her and pushed her over the edge.

Sarah just barely had exited menopause when this happened. She sailed through with little of the normal problems. I have no idea if any sort of hormone replacement therapy is needed or even wanted at this point, that's for later when she's further along.

Thanks Res and Laura for the P.M.s and emails.

It'll all work out.

I came back and reread this...wow, a few Sam Adams can really mess with me. Not even a 6 pack, just a couple. I edited it to shorten it up and make it a little less gushy......Sorry 'bout that.

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that's good news, john. i'm glad she's coming around. :)

but you, what can i say? so selfless, loving, loyal, patient, compassionate, strong, etc. etc.... truly, a dying breed.

you and your wife take care.

Hey Res, you can't sleep either?

selfless, loving, loyal, patient, compassionate, strong, etc. etc.... truly, a dying breed.

stubborn, hardheaded, antagonistic, unfeeling....

There, I corrected it for you :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much really. We go for walks. I think I've mentioned before the back of our property is bordered by an Amish farm. There's a medium sized woods between our propertys that they cut firewood on. The leaves are starting to change, it's pleasant to walk through.

We enjoyed a bowl of chili around the fire ring this past weekend. Her....I dunno..perkiness? Zest for life? Her old natural good moods are slowly coming back.

I stay close. Drag her out of the house and finally force her to smile and perk up some.

We'll be fine. I'll work on her and see to it.

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ok, good to hear. sounds nice.

i bet you will. ;):P

Now Res, that's not what I meant.

Actually, I'm a little apprehensive about if or when she wants to be intimate again. It's all changed. The situation and her, physically. I'm trying to sort all this out. I almost hope she avoids sex altogether. I'm avoiding the topic completely myself.

Good for you retr0 that sounds like fun to me.

Thanks Victim. It's slow and steady. The little enjoyments are working right now. I just hope we can avoid any more curve balls in our lives for a while.

We've been through a lot together, this too will pass.

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Thanks Beth. It'll take a little time, I'm sure we'll be fine.

I remember you said you had this procedure coming up this month. If you've already had it, I hope it went well. If it's still ahead of you, I'm keeping you in my thoughts and hope it goes smoothly.

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  • 4 months later...

Ok, I've took my spade, went to the thread graveyard and dug this old thread up. I'm going to strap it to the keyboard, raise it up and let lightening strike it so's I can once again scream "It's alive, ALIVE!" about one of my old threads again......Heh, Heh.


Everything's going well for me for a change. I lost my job about two weeks ago. (Long story, I kinda forced their hand, being an asshole and all.) I have several projects at home I want to do, and I'm in the middle of one right now. I've had three different calls for employment, but I've turned them down. I got 5 months severance pay and I'm going to take a break. After that, I have unemployment, but I've got to be careful if I go that route, I don't want to get hired right off. I might just pull a little money out of my 401K. You can withdraw without penalty at 59 1/2, I just make the cut.  I'm gonna really enjoy the weather warming up this spring.


Sarah's doing well. She's just about completely back to her old, even keeled self. Kids are doing fine. The oldest was flown out to the east coast for a job interview. I don't know what he's going to do. Younger boy got his masters, he's in south America at a dig, will be gone two more weeks before he flies back into Louisville. Stephs fine driving herself crazy trying to keep straight A pluses. I've told her before to let it go, but she's so damn competitive she won't let up. 


We have a....I dunno a low ceilinged relaxation room right off the kitchen. We had a sliding patio door we kept open most of the time to access it. It was an unfinished room with the bare rafters and wall studs showing. It might have been an old porch or likely an old pantry/ storage room in the past. It had the concrete floor poured in for or five stages and times. It was very uneven and a little hard to keep clean, but it had....well character. It was a very informal room. We had a cafe' style round table with 5 or 6 chairs, and a couple pick nick tables. Two or three comfortable chairs with small end tables. I installed a large restaurant type exhaust fan up on the roof years ago. If I decide to relax and drink a cold beer and smoke a cigar, I can flip the fan on and enjoy and not smoke the whole room or house up. I've strung clear Christmas lights up in the rafters. The light is dim and relaxing, but bright enough so's you don't trip or stumble going across the uneven floor, or stepping across the threshold into or out of the kitchen. When Sarah and her friends get together for coffee, tea or wine coolers they always sit out there at the round table.


Down to business. The room roof attaches to the main house with a lean-to design. if it just attached along one run, it'd be ok. But it attaches along two. This room was built into a corner. If you viewed the main brick house from above it'd kinda look like a capitol 'T'. This room is snuggled into the right 'armpit'. Thing is, it was just built on top of the ground, no foundation at all. Every year with the freezing and thawing it heaved up and down, and it was impossible to keep the roof sealed.


The more we cleaned and fixed the room up, the more we used it. When all the kids were home we got to the point we enjoyed eating and sitting out there. We didn't want anything ruined by the leaks.


The outside was done decades ago in old original board and batten. I had installed 4 old huge windows and screens. They're the type you change the glass out and hang the screens for spring, summer and fall, then pull the screens off and install the glass for winter. I'd redone the roof in metal. 


I decided it was time to redo the room floor and foundation. I carefully pulled the walls down and saved everything, and made sure I had the ceiling propped up properly with some scab 4x4s. I borrowed a bobcat/backhoe, and rented a jackhammer attachment. I hammered the old floor up and let a friend have it to line a troublesome creek bank with. I'm about halfway done digging down below the frost line around the perimeter of the room. I'll pour the concrete footer and floor myself, and then have a couple guys I know (they're masons) come in and lay a couple rows of cinder block for me.


I'm being real careful with this. I really don't want to loose the 'flavor' of the original room. It was a bit dark. Slow paced.....relaxing. I'm not going to put tile or carpeting down. Maybe a couple small area rugs. Sarah and I talked about this, she wants the original feel back also.


In the end just two things will be different. The floor will be level and smooth. And I'm removing the old sliding patio door and installing one of those four panel double sliding doors. We'll have a much larger opening to walk through, and it'll seal up nicely when it's 10 below outside. 



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