All in A Day’s Work, Part 6

Caregiver’s Log, Day 985

4:00 pm       Answer phone call from caretaker of your mother’s house, which is supposed to be your New England summer getaway when you aren’t needed by a father who’s fallen down the steepest front steps this side of Mount Everest or a husband who finally pushes his degenerative, bone-on-bone hip to a level catastrophic enough to cause a septic infection. Agree with caretaker that he might as well close the house for winter.

4:30 pm       Notice the protein shake you made for breakfast is still sitting in blender eight hours later. Dump congealed mass of bananas, peanut butter and protein powder down the sink.

Discover that dog kibble bin is completely empty. Psych yourself up for rush hour trek to Costco and the impatient ramming of shopping carts up your ass. Realize that scraping sound is your brakes as you almost run a red light. Pass the Playa Club where you used to drink. Look the other way.

6:30 pm       Return with roast chicken large enough to feed the block, but no shower gel. Make dinner for husband and feed animals. Fill empty water bowls after husband reminds you. Worry you’re a bad pet parent. Google: “metal to metal brakes.” Promise yourself tomorrow you’ll find time to get to a meeting.

6th in a Series of 7. Read the rest here

All in A Day’s Work, Part 5

Caregiver’s Log, Day 985. Still.

Noon             Visit with old friend who drops by with strings for your husband’s guitar, which he’s been too depressed to play for the month he’s been cooped up in the house. Offer Diet Coke or water, realizing you desperately need to go shopping.

1:00 pm        Prepare and administer Round Two of IV infusions. Nod and smile when your husband says: “This better fucking work.” Stare at photo of the two of you in tux and gown at the Maui Top Performer Sales Conference, thinking: Really? That was just five years ago?

1:30 pm        Pay monthly bills for your mother, your father, yourself, your husband and yourself. Smile at guitar strains of “Sweet Baby James” emanating from den.

2:00pm        Debate workout or shower. Vacuum entire house instead.

3:00 pm       Lie on couch beneath fan in puddle of sweat and immediately fall into fifteen minutes of bliss-filled sleep.

3:15 pm        Assist husband with daily strength-building exercises because he’s fired the physical therapists; after all, he’s a fitness coach and sure as shit doesn’t need someone telling him what to do. Task him with getting his own beverage and when he returns, soda can in hand, tell him: “No lie, that walker’s history in a week,” and really mean it.

5th in a Series of 7. Read the rest here

All in A Day’s Work, Part 4

Caregiver’s Log: Day 985

10:00 am     Dust office and bedrooms. Decide against cleaning bathrooms, settling for a quick wipe-down of counters and toilets.

10:30 am     Jump on conference call with realtor, step-brother you’ve met exactly once who controls the family trust and father whose only response is “what?” approximately sixteen times during discussion of lowball—and only—offer in a month on the island cottage where your father lived and basically ran into the ground for the last thirty years. Yell, “TAKE THE OFFER!”

Text your father another reminder to get his hearing aids checked.                    

10:45 am      Pick up dogshit on lawn, empty catbox and wheel out trash barrel to curb. Fold the first of three loads of laundry, thinking how much you took for granted all the chores your husband used to do around the house.

11:00 am      Check on Greta and get the mail: a flyer from Realtor Bob who apparently has an unlimited advertising budget and still wants you to call him today. Agree with your husband about the molasses-like speed of Medicare claims processing. Reassure him that his eight-day stay in the hospital will not cost a half million dollars.

Let dogs in and out for the eighteenth time this morning, silently vowing to install a dog door if the cat dies before you do.

4th in a Series of 7. Read the rest here