Join with me as I embark on a 31-Day Writing Challenge! Inspired by Lisa-Jo and created by the Nester, this exercise takes writers on a journey to write on one topic for 31 days straight.

Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.

From sunrise to well into the night, I was on my feet all weekend. I was productive and proud to share that Danny’s birdhouses are now being sold in retail store. All cool things, but things that kept me from the laptop.

I would also not suggest committing to a writing challenge while implementing SAP at your workplace. Work-life balance will be totally out of whack and you will miss your obligations.

Thus, today, you get three things I no longer have to do for Danny, of which, we are both very grateful.

23-25. Catheters, Diapers and Suppositories

You shouldn’t have to change a diaper on your husband before you’re 30 years old.

It isn’t a possible scenario you imagine as you say your vows. When you say “in sickness and in health,” you imagine the sickness part will come when your hair is gray and your face wrinkled.

You do not think that at 28, you’ll have to potty train your spouse. It just doesn’t compute.

Do you know what a bowel program is? Yeah, I didn’t either. To save some of Danny’s dignity, I’ll just say that we entered a whole new level of intimacy in our relationship for more than a few years.

I distinctly remember the nurse administrator for admissions into Shepherd coming to North Fulton Regional to evaluate Danny. She looked me in the eye and asked me what I was willing to contribute to his recovery.

At first, I was totally shocked that she would ask such a question. I mean, what wife wouldn’t stick by her husband’s side? What wife wouldn’t take care of her husband?

I told her that I’d give 110% to his recovery.

I have thought back to that moment and I now understand exactly what she was asking me. You see, she knew what the road may look like ahead of us. I didn’t have a clue. I was high on hope and Jesus.

She knew what the marathon looked like; I thought we would conquer everything in record time.

Little did I know seven years later, we would find ourselves still in recovery mode.

I now understand how relationships change; marriages change. No longer were we husband and wife, but we were patient and caregiver.

For a time, the caring part was for my husband, but I can honestly say that the caring part then became a job, a checklist, part of my routine.

There was so much to do for Danny’s complete care and I was now also a mother. If I wasn’t completing Danny’s checklist, I was completely Corbin’s. Just typing it out makes me tired.

Fulfilling someone’s daily living needs is exhausting. Life takes longer to do anything. To get Danny ready for bed, it would take more than one hour-tube feeding, flushing the line, blood pressure reading, temperature, bi-valves (casts for his feet), clean catheter, diaper, t-shirt, restraining glove, clean sheets, pulse oxygen readings, and oxygen tubes. We seriously had a binder, calendar and checklist for everything.

The hardest part of all of it is making your way back to husband and wife. We’re still working on that and by the grace of God, we’ll get there.

However, I highly recommend condom catheters, Depends elastic waist men’s briefs and Dulcolax suppositories for when your hair is gray and your face is wrinkled; I hope.

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