July 11, 2016

Looking Back Over The Years

  • September 2001 - I met Daron online & we started talking to each other. I still can't remember the exact date, but I know it was after 9/11. We talked about all sorts of things as we were getting to know each other. 
  • October 2001 - Daron & I met in person for the first time & had our first date. We get Hungry Howies pizza - pineapple, ham & mushrooms - & rented a DVD - The Mummy. I don't even think we watched the whole movie. We couldn't stop talking & getting to know each other better. We talked all night long.
  • September 2002 - Daron Proposed & I said Yes! We went skydiving in Hastings & he asked me to marry him shortly after I reached the ground. We joked for years that he scared me into marrying him. :-D
  • October 2002 - Daron & I got married! One of the happiest days ever! The next day - our 1 year anniversary together - we ordered Hungry Howies Pizza - pineapple, ham & mushrooms - & rented a DVD - The Mummy Returns - in order to recreate our first date. We also opened our wedding gifts. 
  • April 2003 - I found out that I was pregnant! First person I told.......My Grandpa Orr! I called him & said "guess what Grandpa!" His response "You're pregnant?" He thought I was kidding when I told him & was pregnant. He & my Grandma Orr were excited that their first Grandchild was going to give them their first Great-Grandchild. 
  • December 2003 - Taylor was born & I was head over heels in love with him at first sight. Of course Taylor accomplished a lot of milestones over the years - heading his head up, rolling over, crawling, walking, riding a bike, loosing teeth, starting school, etc.
  • July 2011 - I can still remember every detail like it happened yesterday. We went to the VA clinic for Daron's lab work. The end of the Casey Anthony trial was on the TV & every veteran was discussing it amongst themselves. One of Daron's lab tests took a while longer then usual so we were there most of the day. The clinic went completely silent when the verdict was announced. Shortly after we headed home. I still can't remember what Daron & I argued about, but it made him very upset & he tried to get out of the van while we were driving down the highway. Thankfully he couldn't get the seatbelt undone. An hour later I was taking him to the Battle Creek VAMC to have him admitted. I couldn't take care of him anymore - it wasn't safe for him, Taylor or myself. 
  • March 2013 - Daron decided to stop taking his MS medication & we were told he would go downhill quickly without the medication. 
  • December 2015 - Daron was given an estimate of 6 months to live & placed under palliative care. He begins to decline & then settles on a plateau for a little while. 
  • April 2016 - Daron's doctor begins talking about having a feeding tube put in for Daron. 
  • May 2016 - I am made Daron's decision maker & have to decide to follow Daron's wishes about a feeding tube. It would not be put in & everything will be done to keep him comfortable.
  • July 8, 2016 - I receive a phone call from his doctor that Daron has lost 12 pounds since April & that he is eating less food since April. I tell her I'm not all that worried because he is still at a good weight & he's still taking in food (40% of his food with lots of cues while being spoonfed). 
  • July 11, 2016 - I receive another phone call from Daron's doctor & I know something is wrong before I call her back. Daron is now eating only 20% of his meal & that is not on a consistent basis. He is even declining meals or sleeping through a meal. He isn't able to swallow his medications either, so he isn't getting pain meds. Decision is made by the doctor & supported by me to move him into hospice care & keep him comfortable. He will now get injections of strong pain meds, injections of antibiotics if he develops pneumonia, & medication to calm him down if he starts to choke on his food. Meals will continue to be offered to him, but won't be forced on him. 
It has been.....
.....14 years 8 months & 2 weeks since my first date with Daron
.....13 years 8 months 2 weeks & 1 day since I married Daron
.....12 years & (almost) 7 months since Taylor birth
.....5 years & 1 week since Daron entered the VAMC
.....3 years & 4 months since Daron stopped his MS medication
.....6 months since Daron entered palliative care
.....3 days since I was made aware of Daron's decline
.....8 hours since Daron entered hospice care

Life is about to change drastically for us again. God knows when Daron will be called Home & I am thankful for that. Daron's doctor has stated that she doesn't see another plateau in the future & that his MS is fully progressing. We have gone from years left to weeks left & now (possibly) to days left.

October will be 15 years together & 14 years married....December I will be the mom to a teenager....it's not likely Daron will be here for those milestones. Am I ready to enter this new phase of my life & become a widow? I don't know....

I do know that God is in control. I trust God to give me the strength that I need - He has been doing that this entire time. I trust God to give me the peace that I need - He has been doing that this entire time.

Please continue to pray for our family as we walk through this time.

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