Last week Friday, Mel had elective surgery. It was a common procedure with an expected recovery time of about four weeks. After staying overnight in the hospital, she was home on Saturday morning. The first three days were pretty hard for her, a lot of pain and the after-effects of the anesthesia were pretty ugly. She is doing very well now though, and is nearly back to being her regular, ornery self.
For me, time had taken on somewhat of a surreal feeling as I moved from one task to another just trying to stay ahead of it all. I’ve not ever really been a caretaker or too domestically inclined and those few days were just
hell exhausting… Antibiotic every six hours. Pain killer every four hours. Every ten minutes: “Do you need something, honey? Anything I can do for you?” Fetch more water, straighten the pillows, turn up the heat. Give her a shower. Replace the dressing. Take her to the doctor.
Then the regular stuff: Dogs go out every three hours (sometimes even in the middle of the night). Make breakfast, lunch and dinner. Feed all the critters twice a day. Hmmm… the furnace seems to be having trouble, get my friend over to fix it. Give the bird a shower. Keep things picked up. Unload and reload the dishwasher. Answer a bunch of phone calls from well-wishers. Oh, and deal with cramps, bad cramps, all weekend. Try to remember when I last took painkillers and if I can take more!
Mel cleaned the entire house and made a huge pot of soup the day before the surgery. How typical of her, she’d wanted to make things easier for me. By Sunday night she was apologizing to me, saying she knew this was hard on me too. I am such a big baby, I just wanted to curl up and sleep. But, I held it together and didn’t complain. I’d do it all, and more, again if I needed to because I love her.
As I said, I know she is feeling better because we had a little disagreement about her car last night when I got home from work. The inspection had expired in December and she hadn’t had a chance to get the car reinspected. The car was parked on the street and had gotten a ticket. I wanted to put the car in the garage until we could take care of the inspection. Otherwise, it would continue to get a $20 ticket daily if left on the street. She wanted to put the car in the driveway so that I could park my new car in the garage.
The only problem was that her car would be parked behind my car and would need to be moved every day when I would leave for, or come home from, work. Since she’s feeling pretty good, she thought she was going to get out there and move the car at least twice a day for the next several days or more, but she is not allowed to drive until her doctor says she can. Mel thinks that moving the car is not driving. Yeah, I know… it’s probably not, but I still didn’t want her to run around moving the car every time I needed to pull in or out of the garage, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it either.
I went outside to put her car in the garage and put my car in the driveway. The karma of our tiff had followed me out because on my way back in the house I slipped on some ice and fell on the sidewalk. It was a full frontal fall. Fortunately, I braced with my hands just in time to keep from actually kissing the sidewalk. I laid there for a minute moaning and wondering if anyone had seen me. Everything hurt. You know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. After a minute, I managed to limp into the house. Once the initial shock passed I made a damage assessment. Knees, wrists and palms are sore but no cuts or bruises. Achilles tendon and left ankle require ice. And, oh yes… more painkillers!
Today I am sore and moving slowly but otherwise okay. The left foot injuries are just compounded with previous injuries in that area that left my left ankle permanently larger than my right long ago. I suspect that I’ll need an orthopedic surgeon to straighten it all out some day. The left knee has had its share of compounded accidents too. I am vindicated by the fall though. Mel can’t go outside to move the car because, despite the fact that she is far more sure-footed than I, a fall could be really disastrous for her right now. So there.