Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Somebody has to be the bad guy"

That’s what the hospice nurse said to me in the quiet corner of the kitchen. And I see that somebody is me.

When oncology doctor asked the hub if he was doing ok, he said, “Pretty good; except SHE (that would be me) refused to drive with me when I took my car out.”

Doctor, wide-eyed, repeated that he had no business driving. “I thought we had settled this,” she said. It was, apparently, NOT settled in his mind. She continued, “You have NO BUSINESS driving, ever.” And she nodded in my direction.

Fine. When we got home, the keys moved into my purse. He was not happy.

“What do I get to eat?” he asked.

“They want you to go easy, clear liquids for now. Maybe a little cream later.” I’m a former dietary aide, after all.

Unhappy, he sneaked in and got some ice cream with chocolate syrup. Then, he got a belly ache. “What have you been feeding me anyway?” he demanded. I surveyed my newly stocked larder….chicken broth, beef broth, Jell-O, yogurt (a cheat but it works), and some seasonings. It wasn’t ME who broke training.

Then, yesterday, his belly caused him pain; we called in reinforcements who upped the juice. It helped. He slept well. And then back to the diet regime.

Today, feeling blue, “I’m never going to eat again.”

A note here: the hub did not marry a gourmet cook. Oh sure, I tried to do the new wifey things for a year or so, as the budget allowed. I actually have several good meals that I can produce on time, reasonably seasoned, although he would cover them with barbecue sauce anyway. We DID have family dinners together for years, until the kiddie started into sports. Then, schedules skewed regular meals and I developed crock pot dinners that could keep until eaten. I also made a few things that could be plated, covered with foil and kept warm in the oven.

And the hub has never been much of an eater, anyway. So giving up food is not a bad trade for less pain. But it’s good for blame. 

“I’m never going to drive again.”

True. He will now get to ride shotgun and offer lots of help to the driver. And when I take out his prized truck, he will tense the whole time, sure I’m going to drive it like I drive.

Then, shot three. I cleaned out the refrigerator today. “It makes me sad. It’s like I’m already gone.”
Dagger to heart.

However, the clean out was badly needed and way overdue. Sometime during the semester, someone had placed the Lea and Perrin’s on its side, on the top shelf, and with the cap loose. So, a nice drip/splatter had run down, leaving blops on each shelf and then pooling in the bottom of the frig. Worchester sauce, by the way, changes from a liquid into syrup when left to congeal on cold shelves and walls.

There’s no time to clean refrigerators when essays are staring at you so it became a job I would get to once school was out. I began the task last week but as I removed the second shelf, a small crack became a big crack and the shelf was rendered useless. Shelf ordered and then we spent time in the hospital, so today seemed like the perfect day.

As I removed stuff from the refrigerator, I found all sorts of things that are no longer needed; also I found the remnants of the hub’s many trips to the store. He kept buying the same things. (Who needs three jars of the same salsa?) So I tossed out much, certainly the opened and now moldy. The rest I offered to our neighbors who have three college kids, all home. There’s always a crowd at their house.

And I scrubbed, washed, polished, and made that inside shine, only to hear, “This make me sad. It’s like I’m already gone.”

So, the next stop was to the grocery store where I restocked with things he can eat. I arranged it all so the frig looks full. But clean.

I can’t do much about the food thing or the driving thing. However, another surrender had made him sad: 4 years ago, he was forced to give up his private pilot’s license. The FAA is picky about who can fly over your house.

And, today this is how God blessed us: a friend dropped by and offered to take Mike flying. What a simple and wonderful gift. So off he went for 3 hours. Also a gift.

I hope this does not sound like I’m complaining. I consider this part of my marriage a gift, really I do. And I can be the bad guy, because after he gripes, he takes my hand and tells me that he loves me. 

And he does.

Tonight, the hospice nurse spoke to me about some things that may happen. She said the worst thing is to be completely unaware of a possibility. She knows. We are blessed.

So, this rambling thing ends here. We are comfortable. We will sleep well tonight.

And we’ll keep you posted.


  1. "We are comfortable. We will sleep well tonight."

    And we can be grateful for every day we DO have!

  2. love you both so much... janis