Hello, precious pals....sorry , dear ones........no photos today.......you must be satisfied with my endless drivel..........I come to you slightly out of breath after executing one of my many odd maneuvers using one of my new skills......... that of propelling the wheelchair from dining table to kitchen trash basket while clutching a banana peel in one of the crucial hands. (no mean feat, I will have you know, since the chair tends to go very cattywampus in circles when you do not exert equal pressure on both wheels) (fortunately I have learned to compensate by using the appropriate foot-scrabbling-on-the-floor maneuver to correct the steering at crucial intervals) By this you are not to assume that I am still a prisoner of my various pieces of equipment.....nay, I have even added one new tool....that of Pete's favorite Cane! I have been gallumphing around the place at a breakneck (sorry...poor choice of words) speed using only the cane which frees up one hand nicely for chores such as carrying banana peels. I chose, in the above case, to use the wheel chair simply because I was already sitting in it to read my email and was too lazy to lift my fanny from the comfy seat. Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes to decide which piece of equipment is ideal for the chore.........a dreadful waste of time, and even so I often choose wrong causing me to find myself propelling the wheelchair with only my feet because both hands are clutching a lapful of the stuff I am attempting to transport from dining room to kitchen. Consolee, my precious caregiver, used to break up laughing at me, contending that I looked like an toddler in one of those walkabout toy seats.....I didn't care one whit how I looked....I just wanted to get the various dishes and glasses from table to sink. As for why I didn't ask her to perform the task........simply because I forgot.....I am still learning the finer points of How-To-Be-Waited-On-Hand-and-Foot...........it ain't all that easy to learn even when you have been waiting for the opportunity your whole life. Which (finally) brings me to the subject I had intended to blog about......
These last 2 months have been among the most interesting and challenging (and exhausting) of my life.........I have been required to change into so many different people over that time that my head is spinning and my fingers are figuratively bloody from trying to clutch and hang on to whatever was normal and comfortable for me the day before yesterday. You can picture me clinging to the door jambs and screeching at the top of my lungs as I was dragged from Independent Recluse to Namby Pamby Near Total Invalid. Only my inabilty to lift a finger forced me learn to accept that role and play it gracefully....and then to begin (to my horror) to enjoy it and get really good at it. Next, before I even had time to add a few niceties to my role as Complete and Total Schlubb, I found that the physical therapy had reinvigorated a muscle here and there and it was necessary for me to abandon the Fainting Camille bit and embrace a new creature who could at least make it to the potty on my own with the aid of the Walker and much muttering and groaning. (Actually a welcome triumph not at all resented by me, but requiring a real change of self from helpless ninny to semi-skilled invalid)
And even more earth shaking was the need to change from being a total hermit who could only tolerate human company for a few hours a day (or a week is more like it) to a gregarious social being who welcomed her caregivers eagerly and reluctantly bid them goodbye at the end of the shift.........not merely because of the need for care as for company. Who WAS this person and what ever happened to Lois the Recluse? Seriously, this required a monumental shift of main internal mechanisms and there were mornings I would wake up and not know who in the hell I was........especially since the hour of awakening was suddenly 7 AM rather than 1 or 2 PM and I would find myself welcoming being awake during the morning sunlight hours. (so THAT'S what morning looks like.....)
All in all it has been totally overwhelming and I am still in the throes of metamorphosis.........I have heard lots of.......shall we call them senior citizens (and many not so Senior).........defend their stubborn refusal to switch to a better path with the tired excuse, "I'm too old to change!" I've got news for you, Honey Lamb......that is a crock of shit. (I even changed from being only 82 to 83 during all of the above).
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
8 hours ago