SwampMan is now one week post bionic knee operation! So now he has one bad knee and one extremely painful knee that does not yet work correctly. He walked without bending his knee(s) for several years before undergoing surgery, and now those muscles have to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d so that his knee can bend. This is a very painful process. SwampMan does not suffer quietly.
When the physical therapist was at the house yesterday attempting to get him to flex his knee as much as possible, the loud groans and moans and yells from SwampMan scared the two youngest grandchildren. The smallest, two-year-old Zoe, cried, then brought SwampMan her very favorite blanket, pillow, and stuffed toy for comfort so that he would feel better.
SwampMan also does not do medications well. One day, he held numerous conversations with people that were not there. One of the people he was talking with had, in fact, passed on several years ago. “Who are you talking with, dear?”
“Mrs. X.” Then, he whispered to me “You know I never liked her. Make her go away.”
“Uh, sure. SwampMan needs to rest now, so his visitors need to leave.” I cut his pain pills and stretched the time between them until the invisible people left. Or maybe I’m just an awesome exorcist. Should I put that on my resume? Then I realize that I don’t need a resume for any job that I would now qualify for. For example, fast food. Except that you have to make everything the exact same way every damn time, and you have to be pleasant to customers. Oh, damn. I don’t qualify for that either.
The next day, when the grandchildren were playing, he wanted to know if we were all ready for Christmas. Since we had spent Christmas day in the hospital and had missed it entirely, I could understand his confusion, but we had given out Christmas presents to the grandchildren the day before. “Uh, no, we were in the hospital on Christmas, remember?” He didn’t believe me. He checked the date on his phone.
“It’s New Year’s eve?”
“Christmas is over?”
“No Christmas dinner?”
“Well, that sucks. Maybe you can cook Christmas dinner and invite everybody over tonight.” This to a woman that hasn’t had time to take a shower for a week and who also has bags under her eyes the size of hen eggs from not getting more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep for a week, too. Let’s see here….if I do not have time to sleep or take a shower, then I must have lots of time to shop for and prepare a feast for the family. I think NOT.
“NO. There will be no family dinners, Christmas or otherwise, until you can sit at the kitchen table and walk and sit down by yourself without the walker.”
“We need to talk about my other knee surgery on January 6th.”
“Oh, HELL no.”
“You want me to put it off until March?”
“Unless your doctor wants to put you in a nursing home, because I CAN’T CARRY YOU THROUGH THE HOUSE BECAUSE YOU HAVE TWO NONFUNCTIONING KNEES!”
Early this morning, about 2 a.m., I gave him an eggroll, a couple bananas, and a glass of tea. “You really should get some sleep. I should be okay until morning!” SwampMan notified me.
“I am going to take a shower. I am going to go to sleep. Do NOT decide to walk around the house several times, then bang your cane on the bed because you can’t lift your leg into it. I probably won’t hear you!” I warned. And if he did, I didn’t wake up. I slept until 8 a.m. It’s 11:30 now, SwampMan has been fed, Puppy has been fed, dishes are in the dishwasher (and the sink, ugh), and I have to go out and feed/release livestock, pick up prescriptions, and do some laundry/cleaning before the grandkids come back over tonight.
Did I mention that I’m cleaning out drawers and closets and all the clothes that SwampMan and I are hoarding because we *might* be able to get back into them someday are now piled all over the dining room? I intended to get them to GoodWill and Salvation Army at the end of December only I’d have to launder them first because they’re dusty. Hahahahahahahaha. So much for out with the old and in with the new! I *might* have them all washed and out in another week. Or two. Or maybe I’ll decide (again) that this is the year that I squeeze into my skinny clothes. Hey. It could happen (what’s the temperature in hell again)?
I hope that the holidays were memorable for you and yours! For us, this will be The Year Without Christmas.