Where I’ve been, where I’m going

It’s been a very long time since I wrote. (Thanks Captain Obvious!) But so many things prevented me from writing. Health reasons, mostly. Physical and mental. My depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation is very hard to deal with on some days, so on some days, I just don’t deal with it. I go back to bed!

So much has happened in the past year, I feel like just putting down a timeline to update everyone.

The biggest news is that I am no longer working at Jazz88. Because of my health, I’ve been approved for long term disability. That’s been a more challenging experience than I expected. I am happy that I have more time for food/menu planning and preparation. It was becoming more and more difficult to eat the right foods, I am on a pretty specific diet. I’m also happy that I can sleep as late as I need to. I don’t really sleep that well, so not being beholden to an alarm clock is very good. I love not having to worry about work, and all the details that come with it. It’s nice to wake up with no agenda.

But that’s part of the problem. On most days, I have no agenda. Days slide by and I think, what did I accomplish? Then I remind myself that I don’t need to accomplish anything, most days, and it’s ok to take it easy and not do anything. I quit my job so I can take time to heal and wait for a kidney.

And by the way, my summer was quite busy. I spent May doing renovations on my house to make it more attractive to sell, and put it on the market in June. Then I moved out of my four bedroom home into a one-bedroom apartment! The really good news is that the apartment is above my partner (manfriend?), David Skarjune. He had a furnished apartment that he was renting out to Air BnB clients, so I was able to move into his furnished apartment while I was working on my house. It was like a backwards commute…I was going to my house everyday to get work done! And every day, I would come back to my new abode to a delicious, nutritious meal cooked by David. He’s a very good cook. Pretty sweet! And I’m super grateful.

I was just starting to find a routine in my new life (open boxes, unpack, repeat) when my ex-husband became very ill. It seemed quite sudden but in retrospect, his health had not been very good for the past year. Because of his health problems he was unable to fight the infection that invaded his heart. I spent almost every day in the hospital, acting as his medical spokesperson. It was traumatic, exhausting and sometimes very frustrating. I’m grateful I was free to spend as much time as I possibly could with him…he needed that, and I’m so glad I could be there for him. But that was my September and October…sitting with my dying ex-husband, then planning the service, and cleaning out his apartment. My daughter and her boyfriend were super helpful throughout all of this. And John’s sister came up from Wisconsin and spent a lot of time at his bedside…and she was there when he died. So I wasn’t really alone, but it was hard work, emotionally and physically.

Every day is a challenge, and I just don’t know how I’m going to feel. Some days I get up, and I get chores done and I’m productive. Other days, I get up, have breakfast, and go back to bed. Some days, I don’t get up or get dressed. Those are bad days. My depression seems to come and go…well, it’s there all the time, but sometimes it’s overwhelming and I’m paralyzed. It’s the worst at night before I go to sleep, I think about John, his life, the end of his life, and I fee regret. It makes me cry. Then my small apartment gets messy and cluttered and I hate myself. But then the next day, I feel good about myself and I get stuff done. I’m told it’s all part of the grieving process. I’m ready for the process to be over!

I know better than that. Loss isn’t something you “get over.” Grief stays with you in varying degrees for the rest of your life. Little triggers unexpectedly pop up and grab your heart and tear it to bits. All you can do is pick up the pieces and put your heart back to together for the next trigger. I guess these events get fewer and far between, but I’m not there yet. I think about him every day.

I have health updates, but I’ll save that for another blog. In the meantime…this blog is about finding me a kidney, so if you would like more information about that, contact susanna.gust@allina.com by calling 612-863-8886 to request a packet of information and to undergo screening. Living donors may be related or unrelated to the recipient, but type O is preferred. Donors who are not type O should ask about a Paired Donation.  Visit http://www.allinahealth.org/Abbott-Northwestern-Hospital/Services/Kidney-Transplantation/ 

7 thoughts on “Where I’ve been, where I’m going

  1. Thanks for the update, Michele. Grieving is tough… And tricky. There might be seven stages – or eight or nine. But just when you think you’ve quite possibly entered the last one, you can find yourself bouncing back and forth between several of them. Sometimes, in the same 24 hours. I really miss John too.

    On another note, I’ve got a friend who received a new kidney today… And guess what? This is a guy who needed – and received – a new HEART last year!

    I know it’s been a long haul, but your kidney’s coming. Hang in there.

    Much love to you, Michele.



  2. Michele, I’m thinking of you. Thanks for sharing the update. I knew some of what was going on after our conversation at the PKD walk, but it’s good to have the additional trimmings. Thanks for being my friend.


  3. Glad to read your update was wondering how you were doing. The most important thing right now is to be kind to yourself, cut yourself some slack, and enjoy your Christmas.


  4. A very hard year my friend, but you are strong and loved by so many, and I promise this will get you through .
    John’s passing is still very new. Grief over a loved one powerful. Because we love so deeply. That is a good thing ❤️✌🏻


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