D-Notice on the D-word

There’s been an elephant in the room for the majority of this year.  A subject I brought up in Taboos and touched upon in Loss.  It’s something I know I have to prepare for but I don’t know how to.  I can’t even say it out loud very often – or, in this case, type it.  I’m not one of those people who relies on euphemisms to describe it.  I know what it is.  I’ve dealt with it before.  But this is different.  To be able to think about it in terms of what’s going on here, I have to ‘switch off’ my emotions.  Not an easy thing to do.

I’ve not raised the subject with MW.  Nor has she mentioned it.  I don’t know if MW has ever thought about it.  If she has, then I suspect it was some time ago, before her cognitive skills were starting to impair.  She has a certain sense of ‘not being with it’.  I don’t know if that’s the meds or the disease that’s caused it.  I’m not saying that she’s not aware of anything that’s going on around her but it all seems to go over her head.  She smiles a lot but it’s the smile of someone who doesn’t really understand everything that’s being said or done.  So I don’t go there.  I don’t want to be the one to introduce this into her train of thought.

I say that this has been hanging around this year, but, if I’m being honest, the subject’s occurred to me over the last couple of years.  It’s always in the background because MW’s MS is constantly deteriorating.  That’s a fact.  Right now, there’s nothing that can be given that will arrest the decline of the disease.  Symptoms are merely managed.  People have said to me “oh, but you’re years away from that, yet”.  They don’t know that.  I don’t know that.  The healthcare professionals who have spoken to me about the subject can’t make any predictions regarding time.  All I know, deep down, is that there is an inevitability.  The practical part of me knows I have to deal with it; I have to be prepared not only for the event itself but what happens leading up to and after it.  I know I’m not prepared for it.  Either emotionally or practically.  I know I’m burying my head in the sand, and I’m not the slightest bit embarrassed to admit it.

Today, a friend made comments about honesty, and how, when things are less than perfect in life, we shy away from the harshness of reality and mask it with the shine of things that are, relatively speaking, superfluous.  We can apply this shine either outwardly or inwardly.  Sometimes, it’s just as important to fool ourselves into thinking that everything’s alright.  And this is what I do.  Because, if I don’t, I’m afraid it’ll be the death of me.

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