As I was leaving my doctor’s office yesterday, he patted my hand and said, “Brenda, you’re going to have to put up your superwoman cape and let someone take care of you the first two weeks after you get home.” With my “test” over and done Monday afternoon, and now knowing that I will definitely be having my surgery on the 24th, I began in earnest to think about how I could “do nothing” for two weeks.
Superwoman? I don’t think so, and I’m sure the doc uses that line several times a day to women facing the same surgery I am. No, I’m not superwoman, but I seldom sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time. If I’m idle very long, it seems I always think of – or notice – something that needs to be done immediately. So I jump up and do it. Now, for two weeks, I won’t be able to do that, and I told my doctor yesterday he might as well send me home with enough drugs to knock me out for 14 days, because I will seriously go nuts when I “notice” something that I can’t do.
Ted is going to be my caretaker, and he will be an excellent one. Thank the good Lord, he is not one of those men who doesn’t know how to boil water. He does 95% of the cooking and grocery shopping already, so that part is a “no-brainer” for him. It’s the other housekeeping chores that will drive me nuts when they aren’t taken care of – by my nutty standards – on a timely basis.
Like vacuuming. You all know we have a golden retriever. I love, love, love Bear. But, oh my goodness, in two days time he puts down enough hair in this house to weave a rug, stuff eight pillows, and provide nesting material for every squirrel and bird family within a 20-mile radius. I vacuum EVERY day – sometimes twice. In Ted’s mind, there is a list of housekeeping duties that he has carried with him since childhood. And nowhere on that list are sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, bathroom cleaning, bed-making, plant watering, or general “straightening” of the house.
For the first couple of days I’ve been told I will be in “la-la” land, so it won’t be so bad. From day 3 through 14, here is the list of what I’m allowed to do: pick up and reposition my pillows, turn on the dishwasher (after someone else loads it), fold laundry, and go on short walks (one end of the house to the other). What can’t I do? Vacuum, sweep, mop, carry laundry across the house to the washer, lift, bend (to access oven, dishwasher or litter box – well, thank goodness I don’t have a cat!), reach, drive, sit for prolonged periods of time (what about this blog?), open windows, or go to Wal-Mart for some bargain shopping (I kid you not, all of that is on a list they gave me). After two weeks in that catatonic state, I will go ahead and plan my next surgery – which will be sewing back on the tongue I have bitten off, trying not to “suggest” to Ted that if one more layer of dog hair goes down on the hall floor, I might as well make it into a flying carpet and boogie on down to Florida, where at least the clothes I fold will be shorts and t-shirts.
But, you know what? None of that really matters! What matters is that Ted will take excellent care of me, just as I would him if the situation was reversed – except that in my case, the house will be messy. If Ted is ever under the weather, the house will be clean – but he will starve.
So for two weeks I’m going to be pampered. I’ve bought movies, paperbacks, crossword puzzle books, and jigsaw puzzles.
We made a joint decision that I am going to sleep in one of the guest bedrooms for the first couple of weeks (with the door closed) to ensure that Maddie and Bear don’t take flying leaps on top of me in the middle of the night. That required a think-tank session about how Ted would hear me if I needed him. Ted wanted to go out and buy these “star-wars/techno” $356.95 walkie-talkies which, according to him, would be great to have on Mackinac Island, so we could “talk” if one of us happened to get lost (I almost choked laughing just thinking about us getting lost on that small island, which we both know now like the backs of our hands). When I asked him why we couldn’t call each other on our cellphones if we got “lost”, he didn’t have a really good answer. So we bought a $39.95 baby monitor instead.
Hmmmm. I wonder if I could teach Bear to bring me a candy bar before next Wednesday.
P.S. I said I wasn’t going to ask this early, but I’m doing it anyway. Friday is recipe day, and this week it will be Beef Recipes! Send those to me at email@example.com by late Thursday afternoon. This will be our last Recipe Day for a while.
I have no idea what I will be doing about blogging the first week or two after surgery. I can’t sit at the computer for a long time, AND there will be nothing to write about anyway, unless you want a two sentence report on what I’ve NOT been doing all day (I guess I could give you the blow-by-blow Lucy/Desi dialogue Ted and I will be having each day). I hate losing the connection with my readers for that long. Any suggestions?
“Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.” . . . Arnold H. Glasow