Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Part III Life after diagnosis


After diagnosis Shawn continued to live life just as he always had. We continued to live just as we always had.

Shawn remained approx 180 lbs. Very well built.
He continued to work 40,50, and often 60 hrs a week all hours of the day and night in all the weather variables New England has to offer. He worked in the very strenuous and germy profession of drain cleaning. Dragging often 100+ lbs of equipment up stairs, down alleys and down holes.

Drain cleaners are the unfortunate bastards who come to your rescue at all hours of the day and night when raw sewage is dumping into your basement, or your main is blocked and water comes out everywhere above it, they're the guys who crawl under your homes through God knows what to find the broken pipe.

Did I mention it was a disgusting germy job?

He had to have been challenging his immune system every day. Yet he was never sick. Never. His various cuts and scrapes obtained on the job healed beautifully.

There was also a "brotherhood" of sorts @ the shop. It was a motley crue made up of young single guys and young married guys. The guys were always horsing around,there were pull-up or push-up challenges, vicious games of hackey-sack etc. They were very physical even in their "down-time".
He had an especially close relationship with the boss, who was a friend and mentor to Shawn. Shawn felt like a member of a family. We played together, traveled together, worked together.

We lived on the ocean, spent time in our boat, on the jet-ski, walking to the breakfast shop on weekends. In the fall we went apple picking, the winter we skied, went tubing, shoveled driveways. He was a normal healthy guy.
He had no limitations. My Shawn.

All the while in the back of my nurse's mind I kept thinking this job can't be "good" him. It can't be good for a person with CF. Surely it was only a matter of time before he got sick with some horrific bug picked up from the filth he worked with. It was only a matter of time before his luck ran out.

Tick-tock...tick-tock...tick-tock... What kind of a wife, what kind of a nurse would allow such clearly hazardous behavior. He was doing all the wrong things.

I had to
save him.
Save him from his certain death, his untimely demise if he continued living so hard and dangerously.
Working hard, exposing himself to oodles of germs, heavy lifting, rough housing in such close quarters, eeeek and with other guys who were usually covered in the same filth that he was!!!

I had to come up with a plan.
So I did.

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