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Anxieties come from the weirdest places

A dear friend contacted me at random yesterday. They’re having a get-together at a nearby hotel, and asked if I could join them. Dinner and drinks will be served. They set me up with a hotel room and made sure it was OK that I brought Nora and Charlie, not just to the hotel but to the party as well.

I freaked out a bit, and I had no idea why. Mind you, I’m incredibly appreciative of their kind offer and will take them up on it. Still, somehow I was lying awake at 2 AM last night thinking about this and why it suddenly ramped up my anxieties to a fever pitch. I think I can make some guesses.

Dan and I were together for 18 years. In social situations, there was rarely just me or just him – it was usually us together, and I was very OK with that. I always loved spending time with my husband any way that I could. This meant that we weren’t really good at spontaneity, though. Travel required packing and making sure we had all electronics, CPAP, clothes, toiletries, etc. that we both needed. The dogs needed someone to watch them. Dan had food allergies we needed to take into consideration, as well as occasional flare-ups of IBS. So travel required some degree of planning ahead.

Now, within the span of 24 hours, I have received an invitation and will throw the dogs in the car and go spend the night away from home with pretty much no planning at all. Mind you, I did this for the 12+ years I lived on my own before I met Dan so it’s not like I’ve never done so.

I realized that this is a very firm reminder that Dan is gone. And that’s a new kind of pain.

As with so many feelings I’ve had over the last month, I have to acknowledge that pain and deal with it. It’s not going to go away – this isn’t something that gets better. But I will learn to deal with it. I will go and I will spend time with friends. I will have fun and re-learn a bit of spontaneity. I may need to take a break from time to time, but in the end I think I will be glad I went. Certainly nothing good is served by sitting at home alone.

Life goes on, and every day is a new day of learning to cope. Some days I’ll cry, some days I won’t. I will find new ways to press on. But I will never, never, never forget my love for Dan and the wonderful life we had together.

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“How Are You Doing?”

This seems to be the go-to phrase of everyone I have talked to. It’s now been 10 days since Dan passed away, and the answer is, “Not well at all.” I’m not sure that the answer people expect or want to hear though. At any given moment, I’m numb, I want to break down sobbing, I’m looking ahead optimistically to the future, I’m worrying about finances, I’m wracked with guilt over everything I could have done to prevent this (even though there really is nothing that could have been done). And give me sixty seconds and I may switch to any combination of these. Safe to say I’m a fucking mess, really.

I’m incredibly fortunate that my employer s giving me a wide berth and has very low expectations of my output right now. My doctor strongly suggested I stick to half-days this week and I plan to do that where I can. Heck, most of my co-workers are wondering why the hell I’m in here at all. At this point all I can do is put my head down and push on through.

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Just the Facts

At last night’s memorial gathering I realized that the specific details of Dan’s passing haven’t really been discussed or shared. There are certainly no secrets to be hidden – in all honesty, it is simply something that has not occurred to me. Therefore, here is what happened on Sunday, March 26, 2017:

Dan had avoided using his wheelchair the night before, instead using his walkers to move from the sofa, to the stairs, and then to the bed. He was so proud of this. On Sunday morning, when he was ready and dressed, he intended to get downstairs again using only his walkers. He had gotten as far as the bedroom doorway when he suddenly seemed to have difficulty breathing. I called 911. The paramedics arrived quickly, since the station Is just down the road. By the time the ambulance left, Dan was in full cardiac arrest.

The ambulance beat me to the hospital, and Dan’s mom Jackie arrived shortly after I did. We asked to go back to see him. The nurse warned us that they were administering CPR and we may want to wait in the waiting room, but we decided to go back. I’m glad we did. Not knowing what was going on would have made it worse.

When we got to the emergency room bay, there were easily ten people in the small room. We watched as they did everything they possibly could to get Dan’s heart beating again. It is notable that throughout this entire time, one of the nurses (her name was Nancy – I wish I had gotten her last name) maintained a running narrative just for me and Jackie to let us know what was going on and what was being done and why. This was not necessary for them to work, but I cannot begin to say how appreciated her efforts were. Unfortunately, after a full 30 minutes the doctor had to say they had done all that they could.

An autopsy determined that the cause of death was bilateral pulmonary embolism, and there is really nothing anyone could have done. He was on a blood thinner, but between the back surgery, the limited mobility, and the fact that not every blood thinner works for every person, the best you can do is minimize the risk – you can’t remove it completely. Someone is that single-digit percentage who is unlucky enough, and unfortunately that was Dan.

I hope that no one is upset to read this. I think that the facts are important, and the knowledge that everyone did everything that they possibly could at all opportunity is worth noting and recording. This account is not how Dan will or should be remembered, though. It is but a passing moment in a life well-lived, the life of man I loved with all of my heart and will always love.

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Daniel Robert Hauschild, age 40, of Volo, died Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Centegra Hospital -…

Daniel Robert Hauschild, age 40, of Volo, died Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Centegra Hospital – McHenry.  He was born December 1, 1976 in McHenry to William and Jacqueline (Jensen) Hauschild.

Daniel was employed by Siemens of Buffalo Grove, IL and Alpharetta, GA for 17 years.  One of his passions in life was to give his time and talents to charities he supported.  He enjoyed riding roller coasters with the American Coaster Enthusiasts and staffing and organizing science fiction conventions.

He is survived by his husband, Thomas A. Brady; his mother, Jackie Hauschild; siblings, William Jr. (Kim) Hauschild, Chris (Rob) Maddock, and David (Jessica) Hauschild; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth; and a brother, Robert.

Private family services were held with interment in Ringwood Cemetery, Ringwood.

For those wishing to send an expression of condolence, his family suggests memorials to SaveAVet.org, 387 Northgate Road, Lindenhurst, IL   60040.  SaveAVet takes Military & Law Enforcement working dogs deemed unsuitable for adoption by their agencies and places them on secured facilities owned by SaveAVet throughout the country and hires disabled veterans that meet criteria to live with and care for these other forgotten soldiers.

Arrangements were entrusted to Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry, IL   60050.  For information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit http://www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for Daniel’s family.

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