Before he died, Dave had to be hospitalized a couple times. Once for an attack of pancreatitis and once for a strange flu-like illness that kept him very ill for over 2 weeks.
Each incidence, separated by years, brought about my complete unhinging. Just the thought of Dave having an illness serious enough to send him to urgent care several times, or the ER, or god-forbid, be hospitalized, would cause me anxiety. I suffered panic attacks both times and was nearly as ill as he was, except my illness was mental. I was crawl-up-the-walls, hysterical, uncontrollable, can't-eat, can't-sleep, lose control of my bodily functions scared.
It was such a primal fear and other than my previous traumas, I could never quite explain it. I was too fearful to be very supportive of Dave, and that sent me to therapy specifically to try to conquer this phobia of mine. It was a phobia, after all. Fear when your loved one is sick is normal. This was an unhinging of the most spectacular variety. At one point, the thought of admitting myself to the psych ward sounded soothing.
His final hospitalization sent me over the edge. I couldn't even drive near that hospital without a full panic attack until months after he died and that was under great duress. I moved away, in part, so I'd never have to see that hospital again.Read more