Caretaking

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In the long line of Kate skills (and there is a long line, people!) caretaking is not high on the list. It’s on the list but down there. Below horseback riding, speaking French, dog walking, gardening, flower arranging, opening bottles of champagne –which I usually need help with, below writing and barn painting, (which I’ve done numerous times), below cliff diving and way below top skills like swimming and having fun on vacations.

Mark is really good at it. When my kids were growing up, they claim their short lived illnesses were because I expressed extreme boredom whenever they seemed sick and I refused to entertain them. However, as humans do, I am attempting to rise to the occasion. Mark’s been in the hospital two weeks and when you’re at the hospital eating their vast assortment of nasty hospital food and being poked and prodded by nurses, hanging around in a hospital gown which is very fetching, with all the beeping of machinery and moaning of the other patients, it isn’t exactly pleasant. Starting tonight, I’m going to give sleeping over at the hospital a whirl and see how that goes.

I researched caretaking, so I’ve assessed which of these problems I might find myself dealing with:
1. You feel guilty. I do feel guilty! Although I do feel like I’ve been run over by an eighteen wheeler or at least a van, I didn’t have my chest ripped open and my heart taken out like in the third Indiana Jones movie, oh that scene was freaky! The solution is supposed to be to lower your standards and be okay if you’re a B plus. Does any of that make sense to the Kate? Lower your standards? Are you freaking kidding me? B plus? WTF mate.
2. Anger and resentment—feeling that your life has been hijacked. Well, it’s occurred to me that now I have an excuse to take a break from running, and Pilates so I haven’t gotten to the anger/resentment phase.
3. Worry and loneliness. Not really happening. Everyone has been so nice and emailing, calling, texting, commenting on FB. Someone sent flowers, I’m going to talk my friend Jacqueline into making the awesome lentil soup, my friend Cathy from NY! Is in town next week and offered to bring us Zankou chicken! Lisa offered to help with food. It’s amazing. Everyone is incredible. I am not lonely and I don’t have time to worry or freak out. The suggestion for lonely people is to join a support group. Yeah, in my spare time.
4. Grief can overwhelm you. Hmmm? I’m not really into grief. He’s going to get better. We’ll be having champagne and oysters pretty soon.
5. The last one is supposed to be defensiveness, taking everything personally. I can see that, but that’s not my style.

Mark is going to have some serious healing to do and it’s going to be weird. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be an adventure.

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Published in: on March 21, 2015 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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