I'm walking a new path these days. Bob and I will be married 54 years in September. He was 30 and I was 20 when we married all those years ago. He's always had a great need to take care of his family so for all these years that's what he's done.
We're now working our way through role reversal. It's my turn to take care of him. The last year has been quite an adjustment for both of us.
He never rode with anyone else driving if he could help it. We made a trip from Texas to Oregon one time without me driving a single mile. I do almost all the driving now. I often wondered what I'd do if the time ever came when he needed to stop driving. I worried for nothing, the process was as smooth as it could be.
Last summer he was very slow physically and mentally. In August he received a pacemaker. Recovery was slow but he eventually returned to a good energy level and mentally returned to what he'd been before. Things went along pretty good there for a while.
Lately I'm seeing changes. He's talking less, staring into space more, and has begun to shuffle his feet when he walks. I do think he's having some lower back discomfort but it's difficult to get him to admit to that, and certainly not pain. I don't even use the word pain anymore. I have no reason to think the pacemaker is not doing its job. His heart is just very tired.
Our daughter is a nurse and flies in from Texas about every six weeks to check on her dad. She noticed a difference this time. She describes his health as vulnerable. A fall or respiratory infection could easily turn fatal. Given he has no immune system because of his blood disorder, the possibility of infection is always a concern.
I'm not sure about this path we're on. I have no idea where it's taking us. I just know Bob's pace is getting slower.