Monday, April 04, 2005

Debbie and Terry

[A requested public post, from an old friend from Wellsville, OH.]


I am writing this to you in hopes that you share this with all you know. I also hope you don't think about me in this way but always as you knew me before.

I have been doing a lot of thinking since the Terry Shiavo incident and I can say I am on the husband's side (despite the signs of it being done with the wrong intentions). I will be in Terry's situation one of these days with liver disease that has compromised my spleen, kidneys heart and brain. Despite all the medications I have been on, this ugly dragon ( as we with Hep C refer to it) has raised it head and bite me again.

On good days I only sit and cry because of the pain for a few hours. On bad days my skin hurts so bad I can't even wear clothes. That's not a pretty sight any longer since I have swelling from mid ribs to the crease of my leg. The swelling and pain are so bad sometimes that I can't even bend over to wipe my own ass after going to the bathroom. I can't eat because of the nausea and still gain weight because my kidneys are failing and I bloat so bad my weight changes by 5-10 lbs weekly. When I do eat I have heart burn so bad I either throw up or eat Rolaids like they are candy. The Hep C also causes muscle and bone pain that travels throughout my body. Add the arthritis in neck and spine plus the shot gun's shell still imbedded in leg and ankle, sometimes I can't even sit or stand. What am I supposed to do then? This also caused hepatic brain damage. This acts like small strokes. I get lost sometimes going and coming from places I know like the back of my hand. This morning I forgot how to turn the shower on.

HOW WOULD YOU OR ANYONE LIKE TO LIVE THIS WAY? The liver damage is as the Dr. said in lay terms, only medium. Can you imagine what I'll be going through when it sets in cirrhosis? This is inevitable. That is how this disease progresses. From Hep C to cirrhosis to cancer and transplant if you are lucky.

I don't want my family or friends to see my that way. I already have a living will in place. I had to go to almost strangers because my family can't come to terms with it. Jim said he would respect my wishes but when the time comes he's not sure how he'll actually react. He's having a hard time already and won't come to terms with the fact that I'm dying slowly but surely.

I have already decided that when I start getting really bad that I will divorce him so he won't have to put himself through taking care of me. If something happens instantly and it very well could, I would want him to get another woman and have a life. Use my insurance money if I had any to enjoy himself because he has worked to help me now. I can't commit suicide because I don't think I could do it.

Again I ask WOULD YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW WHAT TO LIVE THIS WAY? This this really living?

Thanks for letting me vent to you and PLEASE think about those you love and that love every day.

Debbie Cataldo

1 comment:

Marc said...

Dear Debbie

I am so sad to hear of your condition. I did as you asked...and sent that
message to the people I know. I assumed that this is your way of getting as
many people as possible to be aware of your state of mind, and your wishes.

Debbie...reading what you wrote brings a million thoughts to my mind. You
know me...I'm opinionated and speak what's on my mind. In my past I've had
ideas of God and spirituality. I've alway been seeking for what the truth
is. I've been fooled by some...I ended up believing lies. Then I forsook
those lies...and am still seeking for what it is about this life.

And I read your plight...and I imagine when you are in this pain and utter
discomfort. And what must be foremost on your mind...thoughts of how to get
rid of the pain...and how to get rid of this condition that plagues you.

I hear a bravery and courage in your between the lines. That's
what I need...bravery and courage.

The whole Terry Shaivo thing is so full of questions. Was she in pain? If
she pain like the kind you describe?...if so maybe she'd want to
end it all...get rid of the pain. But if not...what then.

When I look at my any pain or affliction like you are
going through...I think of every little second of life....and I never want
to lose one moment of it. But if I was faced with racking pain and the
distortion of my own body...I'm sure I'd probably feel differently.

At this point in my life...I don't know what good prayer does. You know
me...I was a staunch born again Christian. But a few years ago...I stopped
believing. I consider myself an agnostic. I just don't know what or who
God is...or what lies beyond. But if my thoughts and intentions have any
weight...if they have any power in the unseen can be sure that
my good thoughts are going toward you...and that I do implore the Creator to
be with you through all things.

your friend,