Kudos to all of you who are caretakers. It takes a special person to do it selflessly.
I am a good pet caretaker. An elderly or ill pet presents very little resistance. I call all the shots. I like that. We do exactly as I say.
When it comes to caretaking people, it’s not so easy. Everyone has an opinion (and sometimes it’s hard to convince them that they are wrong. Note: Any opinion that does not agree with mine is wrong.)
For the past week I’ve been helping to sort things for my sister-in-law who broke her arm near the shoulder. Combine a bad shoulder with two bum knees and you have mobility issues. My brother has been doing the household chores and the errands. I have been providing support and occasionally logic.
I have learned a lot. Most of it about me. Most of it isn’t nice.
I’m not a patient person. I say it all the time but this past week I realized that I am squooshing (technical term that means hurrying) people along all the time. The beloved husband ignores me as do the cats. My brother is there too. That means I kick it up a notch and go into super-squoosh mode. It’s annoying. I can’t help myself. I need therapy.
Time goes faster when you are trying to accomplish too many things that require agreement. Everything took twice as long as I expected. No one’s fault. I just underestimate time and my ability to override opposing opinions.
Errands grow. What started as a trip to one store turned into three stores. We were looking for a lift recliner. When you are not in the market you see things everywhere. When you need one, they are scarce. We were able to locate some floor models that are available but the best choices require ordering. For a person who has been sleeping in a chair for a week, four to six weeks is a long time.
The biggest surprise is my sensitivity to noise. Since retirement I live in a quiet environment. When I worked my job was high conflict and people intense. I enjoyed it. When I came home I needed an hour of absolute quiet to de-stress.
This week I spent many hours in constant conversation, much of it involving negotiation. I craved quiet. I needed intensive “purr” therapy when I got home and a good “face bury” in a furry belly. (It’s better than Valium, quicker than a margarita and saves me from killing anyone.)
Onward we go. Each day gets better. By the end of the week we’ll know more.