My Team Captain

A little while back, I made a post about my medical team. I’ve made some changes along the way, and I am now seeing my 3rd Neurologist on Thursday, Oct 19th. One thing that has not changed, and never will, is my Team Captain.

I should start by explaining that I know a thing or two about Team Captains. I had one of the best that ever existed when I was in the Navy, on-board the USS Roanoke (AOR-7), an Auxiliary Oiler stationed out of Long Beach, California, where I served as a Boiler Technician under BT1 (SW) Barry Barrows. I don’t know his ACTUAL story, but I do know this, he was one of the fastest people to make BT1 in the Navy at the time. Its important to know that Boiler Technicians were a dying breed around then (1991). The Roanoke was one of the last steam powered ships in the Pacific Fleet, and it was tough getting promoted because all of the BT’s were jammed up. I recently saw a picture of BT1 Barrows on a Facebook page, and he was in full Officer Uniform, and while the pic was hard to see clearly, it looked as though he was now a Captain in the US Navy. A success story for sure, but he is nothing compared to my Team Captain.

I fully understand that this is MY health we’re discussing. As the main player on MY team, I was definitely up for consideration for the position of Team Captain, but it’s been proven over and over again that I make terrible decisions, and in this particular game, mistakes cannot be made. I had to find a leader with a sound mind and a history of smart, precise decisions. I didn’t have to look far to find this person. My wife, Meghan, offers so much more than the job description demands, plus I really like her…and she’s pretty.

Since this all started, Meghan has been scribbling notes in a little notebook at every doctor appointment. She knows dates when things started. When they worsened or changed, she updated her notes. She has always been a note-taker, at least as long as I’ve known her. Her nightstand is full of notes about everything, from her feelings, to tasks that need to be done at work and around the house. I fully appreciate her determination when it comes to this, as I NEVER write down the important things, and more recently, I am completely unable to write anything at all, at least not legibly.

When this all started, Meghan told me time and again to start a journal and log any changes in symptoms or any new symptoms that came up. Log everything, she said, including sleep patterns, food intake (or lack thereof), pains, etc. I never did it, and it’s now come to light that this was a mistake on my part. This information could have helped my medical team, and it could have helped me write some of this blog as well. The whole truth is, I regret not writing more things down, cause I may never write another legible note, sentence, or story again. I know it’s 2017, and technology exists to make life easier…I’m using it right now. There is something extremely difficult about losing the ability to do something, in this case something I could look at, admire, and reflect on. Right now, that’s lost. I hope I regain that ability. If Meghan tells me to write something down in the future, and I’m capable of doing so, I’ll write everything down. Everything.

Another reason Meghan wears the “C” on her sleeve is her never-ending determination to  know more about my health and condition than myself, or even (some of) my doctors do. Her research surprises me, because I’ve rarely seen her actually doing it. She knows as much as whatever-the-hell-it-is-I-have as I do, probably more. To clarify, I’ve never been known for my smarts, so this will not stun those of you who know me, especially those who knew me in High School. I really only have a few responsibilities each day, and she has hundreds. She works, she has her own business to manage, and she takes care of 2 kids, one in college and another currently applying for college).she cooks, cleans, and launders. She walks the dog, feeds the dog, and plays with the dog, she keeps up her social life…And yet somehow, I’m her priority. Making sure I’m comfortable, eating well, mentally strong, and able to do the few things I need to do (usually made easier by her expertise at planning ahead) every day before she even leaves the house every morning is her priority. Knowing everything that might happen well before it happens is her priority. Knowing what tests or medications we should be asking about is her priority. Researching late into the night all of the possibilities, options, and possible solutions, despite having to wake up early to take care of herself.

Being strong is her greatest priority and her greatest strength. I’m throwing so much at her when she walks in after her day of work (where they too are throwing so much at her), and it’s like she’s wearing a magic cape that just absorbs all of my input, sorts the nonsense from the necessary information, and files it away for processing at a later time. When I start to waiver emotionally, she is there to get me back on track, using only her voice and a lot of common sense, which I lack at times. If I need to cry a little bit, and sometimes I do, she lets me do it on her shoulder. She is a real-life super hero, and I was blessed with her for a reason.

My wife has taught me the meaning of unconditional love. She has taught me the meaning of compassion, understanding, and giving. She is my everything, and for all of these reasons, she is my Team Captain.




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