Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Care giver

I have (willingly) become the main care giver for my wife as she battles the return of cancer. She is doubly challenged as she also lives with MS. The treatments have caused, at times, immense body ache.

I have become adept at several new skills and been humbled by what must (or should be) simple tasks. I'll start with my failures:

I CAN NOT twist a Thomas English muffin and get it to separate. The birds benefited from several tries. I threw in the towel! I now cut them with a bread knife. This has two benefits, I am not frustrated and I can cut it so 1/2 is thicker. Marie will only eat a half as her appetite is poor. At least it is a thick half.

I don't seem to have the knack for expertly loading the dish washer. It seems like I should get more in for each load. I seem to do more lodes than she did. Maybe I should hand wash some things. I will use machines to ease my work load.

For years I have always been disgusted by the sight of a wet tea bag ... don't know why but I am. I also dislike the smell of tea. Marie's morning routine is a cup of tea with a half teaspoon of honey and two (only) ice cubes. Marie has told me that the tea is the proper color...not too dark and definitely can't be too light. This balance has not come easily. I hate it when that little paper on the end of the string falls off and the string slides into the cup as I pour the water in the cup.

Menu selection is a constant struggle. I give credit to all those housewives who prepare dinner everyday with variety and nutritional value. It ain't easy. I am on a first name basis with the ladies behind the meat counter at the local meat market. They willingly pass on cooking tips and always ask about Marie. Even the local fishmonger has passed on tips as I try different varieties.

I do a nice pork, mushroom, and pea stew in red sauce, a very nice meatloaf. Steaks and chops are an easy standby. I bake fresh organic asparagus in the oven with crushed garlic and olive oil. Spinach and broccoli are good green vegetables. She likes baked sweet potatoes also. I could have done better with white fish. It needed to be cooked longer. I did a corn beef and cabbage last Sunday as we were away over St. Pats day. The weather is slowly getting better in Rhode Island so soon I can start grilling outside. Today I will roast a chicken.

Recently I received a notice for jury duty. Several years ago I had jury duty and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I checked off that I needed to be excused. I need to drive Marie for weekly cancer treatments. I would have liked to do that again. It would have been costly. They pay $14.00 a day and parking is almost that much, plus travel, lunches.

I am thankful that I am retired and can afford to stay at home to be a full time caregiver. I am quick to laugh at my mistakes and have become very (95%) patient with my ailing wife and her demands. Today she wanted 1/3 of a banana. We have several, a third of a big one or a smaller one I asked. I got the look and picked one myself. I ate the last bite!

Next Tuesday, Marie starts a new regiment of chemo. The last chemo drug did not make the expected progress. We are positive and hopeful.

1 comment:

amy said...

Chris can't stand the wet tea bags, either.
hugs to you both.