NOTE to long time readers: Entries between December 22nd down to January 11th were moved here from an old blog I wanted to close. If something seems familiar, that's why.
I went swimming at the YMCA this morning. Jeez, I hope no one calls Social Services and the SPCA. I left Don and the dog alone in the house for an hour and a half while I did deep water aerobics. They were sleeping when I left and a delicious bowl of Kellogg’s was waiting on the kitchen counter for which ever one of them got to it first. This little wifey-poo is through mollycoddling the men in her life. Freedom is sweet.
I swam around with all the other senior citizens and only felt one tiny twinge of guilt over poor, dear Don asleep in his bed. It happened when I saw the lift the Y uses to get people who can’t walk down into the pool. But then I remembered that this was ‘Jean's Time' and guilt has no place taking up space in my head. I am woman. I need to roar! I also need to purr even if I have to scratch my own stomach to feel satisfied enough with life to find something to purr about. Yup, I’ve paid my caregiver dues. Years of putting Don’s stroke related needs first has earned me two sessions a week in the pool where I don’t have think and do “stroke” 24/7. Life is good.
When I got home from the Y, someone had eaten the cereal but neither one of my guys was awake to fessing up to who did it. Nap time together in the Lazy Boy aways comes after breakfast. It doesn’t really matter. I already know that one of them started out with the bowl and the other one ended up with it on the floor. Don’t tell Miss. Manners! I doubt she’d approve of dogs who try to lick the patterns off the china. She’s probably from the school of dogs-are-just-dogs. But the earth doesn’t belong to man alone. We share it with a diversity of God-created creatures. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Besides, we have a good dishwasher with a high-heat cycle.
Tonight we’re going to the old people’s club for grill night. Don will be trolling for friends while I stand at attention ready to slap him down if he starts yodeling his favorite one word song. Thankfully, most people at the club are hard of hearing and won’t know if he’s belting out the opening stanza of the ‘Operetta of the F-word in C Minor’ or if he’s making a statement about someone who is smoking at the next table. Yup, it’s still his favorite operetta to perform at the top of his lungs.
After we leave the club we’ll stop at the pet store to pick up some Mother Hubbard treats. Don’t tell Cooper. He’ll be mad enough that we didn’t take him to grill night and shopping at the pet center. Picking out his own merchandise is one of his favorite things to do. Lord, will I ever get the guilt bug-a-boo out of my head? It came with the packet they hand new caregivers when their spouses are about to leave rehab.
Also in the packet I received were several pamphlets from the American Stroke Association. The one on aphasia says: “Unfortunately, there is no general rule about how much improvement to expect. Some stroke survivors who are very disabled in the first few days make a full (or almost full) recovery in a few months. Others are left with serious and permanent language problems. Caring for a person with aphasia can be especially challenging.” No dog do-do, LeRoy! Another pamphlet says: “Being a primary caregiver may change your role in your family. How others in the family see you, what they expect from you, and your responsibilities and freedoms all may change.” Thank goodness, someone had the forethought to point out the obvious.
Okay, I’m through roaring. I’m through pandering for tea and sympathy from my internet friends. I’m through wondering why Don and the dog are in the living room sharing a bowl of Pup Corn---yes, PUP not pop corn. I pitched a fit. I really did, but they both like those little cheese-flavored puppies.
Jean Riva ©