Isolation, Loneliness and Guilt

Before I met my husband in May 2004, I hadn’t had a super-serious, see-each-other-every-free-moment kind of relationship for 5 ½ years, the year I lived in London, followed by the first 4 ½ years I lived in Chicago.  For almost all of those introductory Chicago years, I worked for WGBH Boston from my home office.  Single and condo-bound, I was isolated during the Windy City’s long brutal winters, sometimes going days without seeing a soul but the UPS delivery man.  But I wasn’t lonely.

I’ve only been in the hospital for pre-term bleeding for 52 hours so far, but I am desperately missing my husband and nearly 5-year-old son.  I cried twice today as a result.

While I was once so independent, my happiness is now inextricably tied to my family, a fact of which I’m well-aware, but I’m shocked at the intensity of my feelings so early in this hospitalization.  Plus, my husband and son have come to see me for a couple of hours every day.

I know I need to be on bed rest, for my safety and that of my unborn baby boy, today 26 weeks in utero, but I want to be bedridden from home, not here.

And, I feel guilty, guilty knowing about the countless permanent separations resulting from the deaths in Haiti, when I’m safely ensconced in a hospital room, with room service delivering my meals, and nurses and patient-care technicians regularly checking to see if I need ice water—or anything else at all.  Guilty, because I regularly read about our service men and women, separated from their families for months on end—sometimes permanently in the event of death.

Yes, my pre-term bleeding, caused by placenta previa, can become dangerous, which is why I’ve been hospitalized since Wednesday night, but I don’t put it in the same category as facing a natural disaster or a roadside bomb.

But, of course, beating myself up isn’t beneficial.  I need to recognize how lucky I am to have my life and, rather than feel like an emotional basket case, to realize how blessed I am to love my husband and son so much that I miss them so severely, so early on in our short-term separation.

I’ve had friends tell me to enjoy this time alone, to revel in having no responsibilities pre-baby, but I don’t view my normal life as a burden.  In general, I love it, which is why I’m having such a hard time being away from the people—and life with them—that I cherish.

I keep reminding myself to take this hospitalization one day at a time.  But, for me, each day away from home is torture.

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