Good news!

Today was the follow-up with the ENT who was treating me for the balance issues I developed while caring for Kim. The vestibular therapy is complete, and I am very nearly back to normal – I get a little “queazy” when moving my head certain ways under certain conditions, and have issues still when one or more of the vestibular inputs are removed (amazing, the things I’ve learned about how we sense balance!), but as functional as most, I think.

The doctor was much more personable today than he had been – this could have been because he had a medical student in tow, or maybe the former “professional detachment” had to do with his expectations for my recovery, but it was a very pleasant visit – my last with him!

I was surprised by what he had to tell me. And, I think, he was probably more surprised by my progress. As he put it to me, he didn’t want to give me his prognosis at the time, but he wouldn’t ordinarily have sent me for therapy: the threshold for therapy is 23% difference between the two ears. I was at 38%. He told me that he frankly did not expect that I would ever recover my balance.

So good news! I beat the odds! Thank you, Lord!

They say that the typical widower will suffer some major health setback or other within the first year of widowhood. The likelihood of something untoward occurring, though, decreases as time goes by. Hopefully, this was mine, and I’ll remain sound going forward. God willing…

On finding grief groups

In other posts (actually: several), I’ve mentioned how interacting with grief-oriented groups seems to be the key to healing in the short term. I think this is because of the “relief” you find among kindred spirits and with the ability to vent your feelings freely and without judgment – getting a compassionate, understanding reception.

As I put it to a friend in one such group on Facebook, Widowers Support Network, it’s the ability to see that yours are not the only footprints along the path, coupled with the ability to tell others of the scenery along the path that makes the trek less scary; less painful.

If you have not, seek out a group. There are “live” groups you can join and physically go to – check with your church or local hospice. If that’s not for you, try the groups on Facebook – type “widow” into the search box (“widower,” if you want to be more specific) and select “Groups” as the filter and you’ll find several. Some are simple support groups where you can talk to others in similar straits and vent to a compassionate audience. Others are “dating” groups where you can do the same and seek companionship if such is your desire. Some are widows OR widowers; others are widows AND widowers. Regional, religious… you’ll likely find a group that will fit your needs. Most are private groups (all I have seen are, but, as Fats Waller so famously said: “One never knows, do one?”) and will require you to request to join, answer a few simple questions, and commit to following the rules before they’ll let you in.

For widowers, I *HIGHLY* recommend Widowers Support Network. My involvement there has helped me immensely.