The Inmates Are Growing Restless

by Sarah

Mom and Dad and their respective leg issues continue to improve.  Mom walks most of the time without a crutch, sometimes because she chooses and sometimes because she forgets.  We were out for a walk and someone waved at her.  She raised her arm, waved back and her crutch fell to the ground like a fallen tree.  Timber!  We looked at it, at each other and burst out laughing.  We are like a comedy show that most are afraid to laugh at.  Regardless, the surgeon did a great job and her pain has diminished enough that she’s almost off the pain pills.

Dad has been using one crutch, against doctors orders, because he thinks it’s going to make him better, faster.  I can’t get it through his head that we’re trying to prevent a fall.  He wants to get rid of his “attachments” and I can’t blame him.

Dad doesn’t ask for anything so I have to anticipate his needs.  Mom has grown quite comfortable with asking for whatever she wants and it makes me laugh.  I’ve started having her do more around the house and it’s mostly gone well.  She has been washing the dishes, no one does them to her standards anyway, and dusting.  We had visitors last weekend and she wanted me to vacuum before they came even though we’d just vacuumed two days before.  Evidently she wanted the little lines in the carpet for Cindy and her dog, Brad.  I told her it could wait and I’d do it after they left.  She then got the vacuum out and let it sit in the living room, presumably so it would pressure me into doing it.  It did not work.  One other line I have drawn is ironing her sweatshirts and sweatpants.  I love you mom but no.  Just no.

Dad can now drive around town and it’s really opened up their world.  Mom is anxious to resume control and normalcy, whatever THAT is.  I don’t have the heart to tell her that much of this is temporary and fleeting.  For now, a drive past the dog park or a trip to Walmart improves her mood.  The pleasant weather and sunshine greatly impact her disposition in a positive way.  When she starts to feel like a caged animal, look OUT.

It takes them much longer to do anything and they get wiped out easily.  There are many naps happening throughout the day.  I joke about getting them both down for a nap at the same time so I can get some things done for myself but it’s completely true.  Mom sometimes makes comments about the disheveled state of my hair or the fact that I’m often wearing a wife beater.  “Don’t you have anything better to put on?”  It’s tough raising your parents.

The meals provided have already proved invaluable, especially to me.  My parents’ complaints about not needing them have lowered to a low mumble.  They now look at the calendar on the wall where I’ve copied the information and we all look forward to what we’re getting, when.  They still don’t think they need help and they don’t like feeling like a charity case but I keep reminding them that they’ve helped many people over the years and it’s time to let a few folks repay that kindness in a small way.  If nothing else, I tell them it’s more for me than for them.  Dad seems resigned to it.  He looked me in the eyes and said “meals now are better than flowers later”.

What’s next?  Appointments of the un-fun kind.  I’m trying to stay in the moment.  I keep telling myself to not let tomorrow poison today.  I don’t always take my own advice.

How am I?  I’m hanging in there.  I have my hands full managing all of our appointments, running two households and working.  I came back to Des Moines for one night so I could get my own treatment on Monday.  I try to get out for a short walk first thing in the morning and last thing at night to burn off some of the funk that builds up in my mind and body during the day.  It helps.  I have friends in Osky that I can visit when I want or need to and they help keep the crazy in check.  I’m back in Des Moines for a few days to take care of some things piling up and to give all of us a reprieve from each other.  As Dad says, I can’t miss you if you don’t go away!

Thanks for reading, thanks for caring.  My gratitude for my family, my friends, a good meal and a nice cup of tea continue.  Carpe diem.