My Caregiver Appreciation

November is Caregiver Appreciation Month. I am writing this on the first day of December. On November 8th, election day in America, my wife went to vote and pick up breakfast for her and our grandson.

She was headed home to meet our daughter-in-law and take charge of the youngster for the day when a driver did not see her and drove straight into the side of her car.

She is on the mend and will recover, albeit with a few extra screws and pins in her left hand. Her car was a total loss and has been replaced. The young man who hit her took full responsibility and was very concerned for her well-being.

I could say, for an accident, it was far better than it could have been. Still, it was very traumatic and will take months of healing before the hand is restored.

It is worth mentioning that her left hand is her dominant hand, and as such, she cannot write or sign documents like checks. Also, her right hand sustained some damage and is in a brace for the foreseeable future.

I became a caregiver

What all of this means is that I became a caregiver in a matter of seconds. As such, I want to extend my heartfelt admiration for any and all who take on this task. My wife and I have had very defined roles in our 37-year marriage.

I worked, opened jars, and killed spiders. In addition, I mowed grass most of the time. Here and there, I might be asked to do the odd domestic duty, usually something daunting like stirring the soup or stopping by the grocery store for milk or eggs.

For the first time, I had to write checks for bills. I have been given detailed instructions on washing clothes, which detergent for what, and how much depending on the size of the load.

For years I assumed the house was haunted because no matter where I left a mess, it was always cleaned up when I came back. Now I realize we do not have a cleaning fairy.

Shocking and disturbing

You may find this shocking and frankly disturbing as I have; dishes do not wash themselves. You have to put them in an appliance or, gasp, wash them by hand. Food must also be prepared, taken out of a freezer, thawed, and then cooked. That just leads to more of the aforementioned dishes.

I am going to forego all of the personal details that are required; suffice it to say I now know what all of those bottles in the shower are for and how to use them.

This shampoo, that conditioner. Leave this on, rinse that out—the different combs and brushes. The most offensive thing is finding out that the toilet tissue does not self-replace when empty.

Kudos, caregivers!

I have files on my iPad with detailed instructions and schedules. Hell, I even had to learn to make coffee and tea. Pillows need fluffing, and blankets turned down or up. Who knew that a bra could be machine washed but not machined dried or that forgetting a drier sheet would cause all clothing to glue itself together and render it useless until pulled apart with chain and winch.

So I tip my hat to any and all who proudly wear the moniker of caregiver. You are a special breed, men and women of the highest order who will forevermore have my unwavering respect.

Be good to one another. I am going to take a nap.

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