Saturday, August 20, 2011

That was close

5:10pm - *Clock ticking* Call to caregiver agency; no answer. Leave voicemail: Where's Tina?

5:15pm - *Sound of the doorbell* A caregiver stands at the door. Never met her before. Drat. Now I have to spend my time training someone new in what we need, where things are, how best to help G. My evening plans did not include time for this. Hi, come in, nice to meet you. I'm surprised to see you; I didn't get a call that someone new was coming. Let me introduce you to my husband.

6:20pm - *Plates on the table* Dinner finally ready, nearly an hour later than planned, because of orientation being given to new person, who is asking lots of questions, making suggestions, trying to be helpful. Finally, Could you please sit and chat with G while I put the final touches on dinner?

6:35pm - *Forks contacting plates* The trek from couch to table has taken 3 times longer than normal, because instructions on helping G stand up and walk need to be repeated, demonstrated, repeated, demonstrated.

6:50pm - *Rattle of fork on plate* The caregiver is trying to take G's plate away. No, he's not finished with his dinner. No, please ask him directly, not me. Yes, you can take my plate, thanks very much. No, he's still not finished.

6:52pm - *Sounds of water running in kitchen, dishes clinking* Please don't wash the dishes! That's very thoughtful of you, but we have a dishwasher. Please don't let the water run, we try to conserve. Thanks so much.

7:15pm - *Sigh* See 6:35pm note, in reverse. G settled in recliner. Instructions not sinking in as fast as I would have hoped. I'm heading outside to work in the yard. Then I have to do some errands and walk Oscar.

7:20pm - *Sounds of reel mower whirring through grass* Cutting the grass at breakneck speed - want to have it done before we leave town tomorrow morning. Still have to do errands and walk Oscar.

7:50pm - *Car keys jingling* I need to get some groceries; I have my cell phone with me. Here's the number, written by the phone. One-touch button on the phone next to G will also dial it. In case you need me for something.

8:10pm - *Cellphone ringing* A call from our home number. Hello? Yes, I'm just pulling in the driveway. Yes, I'll be right in.

8:15pm - *Sigh* G won't cooperate with new caregiver on getting-ready-for-bed routine, hence the phone call. Five minutes of explaining why we hire people to help us, people much nicer and more patient than I am, doesn't convince him. Never mind. Let me know when you're ready to go to bed, and we'll do it then, whether the caregiver is still here or not. It would be nice if you would work with her now. She's only here until 9pm. No? OK, then. I have to walk Oscar while the caregiver is still here. So I'm going out now.

8:23pm - *Yips of happiness from Oscar* Want to go for a walk? It's dark, but there is still a bit of light in the sky, dimming quickly. The night is warm. It's good to be outside walking with an enthusiastic companion, but I prefer to walk a little earlier, when there is still some light. But the force has not been with me this evening on getting things done when I planned.

8:43pm - *Wild barking* Oscar pulls at the leash, barking like crazy at something a few feet from us in the park. What? What are you barking at? I don't see anything. Oh, wait. Oh!

(not my picture)

8:44pm - *Running feet* Quick, quick, quick, Oscar, let's hurry this way! No, this way! This way!

8:50pm *Front door closing* Subsequent travails with husband's recalcitrance and new caregiver's inexperience pale in comparison to the near miss with the skunk.


  1. I'm out of breath after reading about your experience. Whew!

    Your patience is so admirable.

  2. Isn't is amazing and overwhelming that we sometimes end up in places we never, ever imagined? And we are called upon to do things that sometimes we think we cannot do? Hopefully, love helps us as does the support of others.
    I know as a stranger, there is nothing that I can say to give ease, but I can say that I respect so much what you are doing and respect the love you demonstrate and the strength you show everyday.


Thank you!