It has been nearly two years since Norma died and loneliness has been more intense than I expected. The aging process and caring for her over the nearly seven years she endured the most horrible life anyone could imagine were miserable. Along with my family we had access to the best medical care assisted with very confident performance of Home Health Care, Hospice and again, our family. As we retired and moved away from our family over 30 years ago the time and sacrifice, they provided was outstanding.
Norma was 82 years old when she passed away which is in the upper range of life expected. Sadly, her life of happiness slowly disappeared over the time frame described. I have been blessed with a long life and lived longer in years than anyone in my family except my mother. She passed away at 94 but only had a couple of months of misery before she died.
I was already near 83 when Norma began her trip of misery. She never spent a day in the hospital since our youngest daughter was born in 1965. I spent seven years suffering with stomach ulcers and had half of my stomach removed in 1975. I have a vertical 13 inch scar starting below my belly button upward. Since I retired 1-1-1994 I spent 12 days in the hospital having my gallbladder removed and a 12 inch horizontal scar from near the right side of my belly button to a point below my right armpit.
In 2005 I experienced what was thought to be a seizure, fell and hit my chin on an end table and had 22 stitches attaching my tongue. After 4 days in a hospital, my first sleep study determined I had sleep apnea and I am still using a C-pap, my third. As a note I had to have another sleep study when I got a new C-Pap about 6 years ago. The second machine visibly tells you that the new machine automatically sets the pressure based on your individual needs. When I had a machine failure, I was instructed to get another sleep study. The second Doctor was no longer in practice locally, but the original sleep study was used even though the machines are self-adjusting then and now.
In 2007, I became extremely ill with intense 104 fever, unable to keep anything in my stomach for seven days. I became normal and two weeks later I spent seven more days. My local Doctor had emergency surgery and another Doctor spent about two weeks having tests done and they decided to have me see an Internal Medicine Specialist to see if he could determine the problem. It was my blood pressure medicine I had been on for 25 years. I spent 3 years adjusting medications until all became normal again.
In 2010 I began having pain in my right knee and I got relief about every six months with shots administered by my local PA. In 2015 the shots stopped helping my knee and I was sent to an Orthopedic Surgeon for shots my doctor could not administer. The term rooster comb shots was used. These shots worked fine until 2018 and the surgeon was reluctant to operate on me at nearly 87 years old.
About the same time my left knee started to have severe pain and another Surgeon was called in and examined both knees and recommended knee replacements for both knees. Fortunately, all of the doctors ruled out operating on both knees at the same time as I was then caring for Norma with her Dementia. My right knee was replaced in early June. I was told 4 days later that I fell out of the bed twice while in recovery and a local heart doctor hounded me several times that I needed a Pacemaker. They installed the pacemaker. The next day they had to dig it out and install another Pacemaker. I spent 9 days in CCU before they moved me to Hemphill for therapy.
They scheduled an operation on my left knee in February 2019 at a different hospital but the same surgeon. I was nearing 89. All went well with the procedure and therapy, and I now have no pain.
I am now a lonely old man who has had a storybook life, seen a lot of the world and most of the United States. My only pain is my right thumb that I broke 75 years ago. It had never hurt until I fell out of bed twice in CCU after my first knee replacement.
I still have a poodle we got for my wife six or seven years ago. She worshiped Norma and she now is bonded to me. The two of us have a lonely life that would be better if the dog could talk. We live in a small six lot area, surrounded by Midlake Campground, and Toledo Bend Lake. Three families own the waterfront area and individuals rent the abbuted surrounding area. All of these families are from Houston, Lafayette, Nacogdoches, Baton Rouge and the dog and I live at 491 s Midlake Dr. Hemphill TX.
I try to play par three golf but at 92 I rarely finish without pain. I have 61 in my two families and all but one live four hours away. My baby granddaughter is in her third year at Steven F Austin in Nacogdoches Texas only 65 miles away.
On my way to 93 I try to play golf on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the second Saturday of every month. We have an old bunch who like to play and like each other. My other activity is paying bills, buying groceries, managing the mail, haircut and foot sanding every three weeks and having the dog groomed. I only drive locally as anyone my age has to be very cautious to protect our neighbors. I average sleeping 12 hours a day and try to exercise on my stationary bike.
Having so many in my family used to be desired contact with kinfolks that seldom visit here now. I try to go visit with them but they all work and I will never drive in any town over 25 miles away unless it is an emergency.
I am considering moving to a smaller place if my health holds up for a few more years if there are people to see more often. I have Chelsea and Tiffany who currently keep the house clean, my laundry done and they have tried to help me with the yard. Many of you have visited Norma’s flowers and trees that used to be so pretty. I am ashamed of the gardens but I do not have the energy to do more myself.
Recently I could not find my cell phone I had taken to Arlington so I could make a trip to Alyssa, my granddaughters wedding and take my phone. I had returned from my trip at Christmas, and I found my cell phone before Steve picked me up on October 8th to be at the wedding on October 9th. When I found it, Mobil PCS had cut off my service several months ago as I had canceled the credit card and they never even tried to tell me. Now I have even lost my number I have had for over 30 years that is printed on my cards.
What I would like to know is how long God has planned for me to live. I hope my demise will be swift and painless. If I go before my “Brina” she will be adopted by one of our family. If she expires first, I pray that someone here will properly bury her on this property. If she is first to go I am not sure what I will do? I get so lonesome living with her it has become painful. I still hope I can write enough about living alone for Lisa to someday compile a book to advise old people how to plan their future.
I beg my friends and family to vote and bring back Donald Trump in 2024. If we do become a Socialist country our young people who scream for change will see the end of freedom for many states. Should it happen I pray that Texas will become a country again along with other freedom loving States.
God Bless America Clyde W. Brewer