Posted by: Marilyn Dieckmann | September 13, 2011

When all around you crumbles…

What an odd title for a post on a blog about “favorite things.” However, I deviated from that theme a long time ago and this will continue along the new path.

I retired exactly thirteen days ago. Easy to track since my first day of freedom was September 1st. I haven’t really enjoyed the time so far. I had high hopes for peace and joy and time alone with my husband.  His stroke changed that dramatically. I’m infinitely thankful he’s still with me… my life would have been totally devastated by the alternative, but it’s not the life we’d hoped for.

I blame the condition of life we have on Sanford Health Bemidji, Acute Rehab and their failure to prepare him for “life outside” and home. I tried to tell them he wasn’t ready and there were “issues” but they wouldn’t listen to me. I’m not a stupid woman, and not a casual observer. This is my husband, and I know him better than anyone else. Why doubt me? We left the hospital ill-equipped and unprepared for his “new” life. But hey… what’s it to them? They don’t care one whit about us!

He’s been home for over 4 weeks and is struggling with daily functions… some could have been worked on “if” they’d listened to me. Sitting up, getting out of a chair, walking, standing with his eyes closed (dressing) and walking for more than 10 minutes at a time. A short trip for groceries completely wears him out. This dear man is struggling with the fickle elements of stroke that strike indiscriminately and without mercy.

I would love to wave my magic wand and make it all disappear but I can’t… my magic isn’t that strong. What I can do is love him… help him… and above all keep him safe… “if” he’ll let me.  I’m currently dealing with another element. Denial, and the argumentative side that refuses to acknowledge he can’t do “stuff” anymore. This one is emotionally painful… for me.

So much of our world has crumbled because of “the situation” and a significantly stressful part is the financial mess. We “have to pay” for the poor care… and that dear friends is the real crime. I’ve had to fight a horrible prescription service… do NOT use Express Scripts… and I’ve been at the mercy of a social services incompetent who never followed through on any promise (acute rehab) she made. Where is our handicap parking permit? We really do need one you stupid woman!

My husband is at this moment trying to figure out the base boards for our greenhouse… which is under construction. (I’ve hired friends to finish it by the way) I know he’s doing it wrong. Do I argue with him and convince him he’s goofy?  Or, do I let him make the mistake and suffer self-recrimination later? What? What do I do? Last time, I corrected him he got angry, swore at me and I left him alone to screw up. Then he got upset when it was wrong… and I had to deal with that too! This is not a scene I want to play daily.

My solution is to finally get my first book out there. DRAGON TREE is ready and waiting for book cover art. I don’t know if it’s the answer and will sell hundreds or thousands of copies… but hopefully, I will make enough to hire competent people to do the work and remove the stress and strain from both of us.  You see… I love this man dearly… he’s my soul-mate, and most of all… my very best friend.

When all around you crumbles… you make crumb-cake.

From Marilyn with love…



  1. Marilyn…. like-minded artist who loves trees here!

  2. So sorry you are experiencing such turmoil at the time in your life when everything should be relaxed and carefree. I particularly identify with your dilemma, tell him he’s doing it wrong, or let him go ahead. Either way, you lose. I wonder if women in similar situations react as arbitrarily, or if this another one of those ‘man’ things. They’ve been raised to be all-knowing, and invincible, so when something like this happens, they have no idea how to cope. Glad you have your writing. Keep that up!

  3. I am so sorry to hear this, but your attitude is remarkable. And there truly is nothing more powerful than the magic of love.
    Also, there’s a blog I read that you might want to (if you don’t already) called . He talks about being a caregiver. I find it really inspiratioanl and think you will, too.
    Sending smiles your way!

    • Yes.. I did check it out and you’re correct. It is wonderful. Thanks for the smiles!

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