On Sunday night as I helped her into bed I noticed a red splotchy rash on her thigh but didn't think anything of it. On Monday, it was larger and starting to develop the bubbly texture we've seen before. It was also beginning to cause her pain. She called in to her doctor who confirmed her suspicion and called in a prescription for a new antibiotic. She had a dose left from the last time we went through this and took that so that I wouldn't have to pick up the new pills before heading over to the DFL last night.
Thankfully, the new antibiotic is doing its job and the cellulitis is retreating. Ericka is much more comfortable and, therefore, in better spirits.
It's horrible to say, even to think, but there's a degree of truth to it: Some days I wish one of Ericka's health problems would just finish her off, you know? It can't be easy for her to struggle every day to do every little thing, to live in near-constant pain. I cringe inside every time I see her struggling. It seems, as well, that every aspect of my life is centered on coping with Ericka's health. All spontaneity is gone from my life because, before I can do anything, I must be sure that Ericka's needs will be covered.
I suppose new parents feel a bit of this same despair. That sinking feeling that they will never have a life again punctuated by periods of euphoria when someone can take their burden for a short time.
In this bitter, depressed ebb of my thinking, I figure they have it good. At least they know that their child will grow up and achieve some measure of independence. There's a finite window for them. They also get the daily new joys of watching a child grow. I suppose I have a finite window as well, but the end seems so far off (thankfully) that the day-to-day struggle appears endless.
The drugs I'm on keep me, I think (I hope), from sinking into complete depression. I still get up, go to work, function as an adult human, fulfill my role in taking care of Ericka. A few things slip around the edges (I'm down to the dregs of my t-shirts as I haven't done laundry in ages, for example), but I hang in there.
Every now and then, the light breaks through and clears all that musty, murky thinking out. Seeing Ericka with the newphew during our latest trip to Chicago, for example. Or the simple joy of spending an evening together watching a couple of movies. She can light up a room with her joy and never fails to help those in need.
So it moves in cycles, as all things do, I suppose. Ericka tries to keep my responsibilities to a minimum and I don't think that I shouldn't be doing the things that I'm doing. Heck, if anything, I'd like to do more. Time and money constraints, however, prevent that.
Would I have it different? Hell, yes! I'd have a healthy, happy Ericka if I could. Since that's not possible, I'll take what I can get and try to enjoy as much of it as I can.