Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Dearest Love

If I'm doing this right, it won't pop up on the blog until after you drop me at the hospital for Wed. morning surgery. Considering the medication load, who knows how that'll work out?

I firstly want you to know how much I love you. But you do know that already, as do I about you. I also want you to know a few other things. Surgery, after all, has risks. I'm planning to be just fine, but...  Belt and suspenders, right?

If all is not well, check out the "Documents" file in my file box first. If I'm too scattered to get stuff filed properly, keep looking. I filled out the medical power of attorney as well as the living will, short version, during check-in at the hospital. The regular will is somewhere in that box too, with the official copy on file back in Minnesota. Just where yours is. As for the living will part, we have discussed this at length. My philosophy is basically identical to what Mom's was. Don't let your loss challenge your judgment.

Oh, and taxes haven't been filed yet. Sorry about that. Not something to dump on somebody you like, much less love. Ask Paul about sorting it all out. Check my cell directory. No, it's not protected. No passcode needed.

But everything is going to turn out OK, so there is something very important to tell you about for the next few weeks.

I plan to be cranky. Not because I want to be, but because I know the process will be both painful and a lot of work. With your big heart, I know you will want to get in there and help me with everything. I need to ask you not to do that. The biggest part of the recovery process is about me learning how to function, how to regain independence. What good is a new knee if I can't figure out how to use it to get up out of my chair or fix lunch? The first thing we both need to remember is that the other one won't have been fixed yet, and it's a son of a gun.

Mistakes will be made, of course. We will both learn. In the meantime, please know that my frustration, no matter how clumsily I say it or how you hear it, will not be directed at you. It will be aimed at myself, for not planning ahead, for not figuring it out yet, for everything taking so long to get fixed. In no way would I choose anybody else to be there for me, as friend, love of my life, and recovery coach.

If - when - I unthinkingly snap at you, it will never be  intended to hurt you or drive you away, but I can certainly understand if that becomes the knee-jerk result. We've been through this before as well. Deep breaths, reminders of how much we love  and like each other, remembering each other's good intentions, and lots of patience. Yes, patience, even if the struggle means it takes twice as long to get to the toilet as it should have in order to keep the floor dry!

Sorry about that! You'll get to clean that up too. It'll be just one more of the things we can laugh about later, recalling the ways older bodies continue to fail us. Ask me where the proper rags are. And file it all up there along with fart jokes. Next to our both needing to keep a sense of humor.

I'm going to need the dogs - aka my dog - to not be jumping on my lap. Good luck helping me with that. Perhaps the first few nights you can keep her with Fred with you at night. Give us time to figure out how it'll all work. She's such a total ditz when it's time to open that door, and I'd like a chance to get my legs under me first before I have to start dodging her. Yes, I know she's not your favorite critter. But when you truly need to feel needed and helpful, this will be first choice for how. This, not the skyhook for helping pull me up out of the chair or off the bed. Not fixing lunch for me to save me the trouble of walking out and back, because I will need that walk. And the one to the bedroom because I forgot to pack the phone in my pocket. And the extra trip bringing groceries in from the car, even though it's really easy for you to help and you are always gallant enough to do so.

When I do need the help, like walking through the uneven rocks in the yard, I will ask for it. It may be after I've been stupid and gotten myself backed into a logistical corner. But I will ask. You trust me to ask, and I'll trust you to be there when I need you. Together we'll get through this, my love.

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