About ME

I am 43 and my husband is 50 and I feel like I need to prepare to be a widow. I know that sounds extreme.

My husband weighs close to 400 lbs and has a 58” waist. He takes 15+ pills a day for cardio myopathy, gout, BP, GERD, cholesterol, dietetics, insulin resistance, 800 mg of ibuprofen for whatever hurts that day and more. He also is insulin dependent diabetic but rarely monitors his blood sugar levels or restricts his diet to food that is good for him. And has sleep apnea but doesn’t use the cpap because it is uncomfortable. He is so swollen with water that his toes can barely be separated, feet, ankles and calves look like they could pop and there is a spot on his calf that weeps – a lot. He had a uvuloectomy (removed the little punching bag in the throat) years ago but now has so much fat in his throat that he has to sleep sitting up so he can breathe. And now he is talking about asking the doctor for Viagra to help with erectile dysfunction but to be honest, I don’t think his recent ED is the only problem. I think that his penis is/seems smaller because he has developed fat on his pubis bone and the area around his penis.

I can hear him breathing from any room in the house. He resists reaching down because his belly is in the way and it makes him uncomfortable. When he walks for any length of time he develops chaffing on his upper inner thighs even though he use GLIDE (an anti-friction product that runners use) everyday. He admits that he is depressed but won’t seek help because he feels sure it will pass when he gets a job (He was laid off in Jan 2009).

He knows all about Gastric-bypass and the lap-band surgeries but wants to do “it” on his own. He doesn’t even want to do “it” with me – like a team (exercise, eat right).

With all of this, my husband is a wonderful person and I am crazy about him (more when he is not depressed). He is the most loving, caring and all around good person I have ever known. He struggling and it is so difficult to watch.

A few months ago I told him that I felt like I was participating in his killing himself so I had to disengage. I started buying only healthy food and he would go shopping for whatever else he wanted. This did cut back on the bad food somewhat and it eased my conscious a little. I also tried to become more aware of when I was enabling him by doing things for him that he should do for himself. Like offering or agreeing to get something that was either upstairs of downstairs… “Honey will you get me the…”. Or even declining invitations to activities where he might have to stand because only beach chairs were available or when we would have to sit on the ground like a picnic or outdoor concert. And like telling him that he has to wear the seatbelt in my car because it is the law and I don’t feel safe when he isn’t wearing it.

I can’t get life insurance for him. He is too high risk. He isn’t good at living within our financial means. “Toys” make him feel temporarily better. I have stopped allowing him to create debt in my name (he has bad credit) which has caused conflict between us.

In general, I have 2 modes.

In one mode, I see his death and my life without him everywhere. Examples include, we will play cards with friends and I will if I will still have a friendship with them when he is gone. I will pass cheap apartments and wonder if I will be able to afford to live there when he is gone. Etc. This can absorb me 23 hours a day. This pseudo mental preparing and constant state of worry about how I will survive after the loss of my dearest friend is painful and exhausting.

The other mode is to try to enjoy him every moment that I can. This is easy because I love him and do truly enjoy him but I have to try not to notice his breathing, his physical discomfort and his awareness of how people look at him.

The third mode I am going to try is to take constructive steps to prepare. I am going to look learn about my state’s advance directives and the creation of wills for both of us. We have 4 boys (age 21-27) but we have nothing to leave them anyway. Not now. Nevertheless I think it is important.
I am also trying to develop friendships outside of our couple friends. I joined the garden club and the red hat society.

What else can I do to create some resilience in myself? No matter when I lose him it is going to hurt so much and I can’t picture myself on the other side of the loss of him.

Besides “What else can I do to create some resilience in myself”, I don’t even know that I have a specific question. But I would appreciate feedback or insights about the situation or any part of what I have written.