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February 4, 2013 / angelavbolton

Gearing Down Isn’t Easy

Angela and Bob, Paris, 2007

Angela and Bob, Paris, 2007

When you’re a very fortunate person it’s easier to be friendly and easy-going because all is well in your world – and why shouldn’t you be in good humour, at least most of the time?

Today is the 16-month anniversary of Robert’s cardiac arrest, the event which changed a lot of our lives forever but Robert’s most of all. I fell off the world that day, became a ghost, obsessed by my need to help him. Not one minute of the day went by without my planning, writing, researching, phoning, whatever I could think of.

I didn’t meet up with friends or socialise until quite recently and that was quietly, family parties and the Fanagans Christmas Party which was lovely. Everyone there knows Robert and have all been really kind to me. Then the other night I went to a gig on my own a new thing for me to do – and met two very old friends.  However, I didn’t know for sure I was going to want to go until just before I left. Now I’m very glad I did.

Recently I’ve found myself wanting to be on my own when I’m not with Robert, and while he was quite sick in SVUH I didn’t spend as much time with him as I wanted to, he was too ill for passive physio or anything like that. So I spent a lot of that time on my own and got used to it. Now that he’s back at the NRH I find I enjoy parts of some days: driving, maybe, or a laugh with a friend or colleague. It’s good to feel a little bit more part of the world.

I did wonder had I run out of steam finally… until I started thinking of my plan for that day. This included inventorying Robert’s music books (sounds like a small job but believe me, it’s not), his Irish language books, and the biggest job of all – cleaning the apartment.

The last 16 months have not proved me to be a devoted housewife, I can tell you. The apartment went to hell. Myself and Ritamary decided we were both going to do a house sweep and collect all the bits that are surplus to our needs and try to get rid of them. Thus began the great dust-fest in Aungier Street.

Our musical equipment – or rather, Robert’s studio and leads and things – take up a huge amount of space, all of which was untouched until recently. I’m in the middle of cleaning up all that. Also had a friend, a sound engineer, come over to inventory the gear. Then there are boxes of ‘surplus’ which I’ve washed and wrapped up.

So doing these things on my own has given me a little bit of time to think, and I feel I can maybe gear down a little. I’m not running out of steam, just doing what feels right for right now. Robert is doing so well, the NRH are keeping a close eye on him and soon he’ll be at the next phase in his life, and me with him. Where that will be we aren’t at all sure yet, which is a bit rattling, but we’re hoping for a little more luck.

I still feel like a ghost sometimes. Possibly always will.



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  1. Stephanie Green / Feb 21 2013 2:52 am

    I’m so very happy to read this blog. It gives ME some peace of mind knowing you are feeling ‘something’ other than despair. It’s about time you learned to drive a car, Miss Angela! Proud of you!

    • angelavbolton / Feb 21 2013 8:56 am

      Oh, my dear Stephanie – it’s so good to hear from you. Computer acting up (no memory left) so the blog is not as complete as I’d like, there’s loads to go up there but it’s taking forever and then crashes.

      Bob is doing well insofar as he’s recovered from the two bouts of pneumonia and is getting a bit stronger chest-wise every day. Although the prognosis isn’t the result we wanted, we know we’ve done absolutely everything we can to help him. He’s comfortable and well cared-for and that has to be enough for me just now.

      Trying to re-enter my life is impossible because that life doesn’t exist any more. After 16 months of constant fear and fighting to work out the best thing to do, I was just about at the end of my strength. I have had to accept I will never recover what I once had, but am looking for hope that I can make another life, the next bit of my life, if I’m to have any future at all. How I do that I don’t know yet but it’s what Bob wants for me. I can hear him clearly.

      As for my driving, I have already had some hilarious situations which I’ll have to tell you about when we finally get to speak. I enjoy driving and want to be a good driver, and it gives me something to concentrate on.

      Love to you, pet, and to Megan. x

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