I was limping around the coffee table yesterday when Bo asked me, “Is the doctor going to do something to your foot?”
“He did. I had surgery last week.”
He had forgotten. I took off my sock to show him that my foot is bandaged and explained that I have a 3-inch incision with a lot of stitches. I wished that I could unwrap the big bandage and show him. Would he understand better if he saw it? I don’t know.
My friend Karen took me to Pennsylvania Hospital last Wednesday. We left at 6 am and returned five hours later. I knew Bo wouldn’t do well with any part of the trip to Penn–- getting up so early, staying alone in the waiting room for four hours, following the surgery progress posted on a message board, getting the car and picking me up. Instead, I left a note on the kitchen table message board: “Nancy for foot surgery at 6. Return by noon.”
When we returned, he welcomed us and asked how he could help me, but not the way my old Bo would have – solicitous and protective. The fact that I had surgery didn’t seem to register fully.
We had moved the lawn chaise lounge to the family room and I’d set up the ice machine that I had to rent for recovery beside it. Sometimes he had difficulty following directions for filling it with ice and water. I slept in the family room for 5 nights; kept my foot elevated throughout. So my condition was constantly in front of him, but I wasn’t sure what he thought, perhaps that my foot was just bothering me.
Sometimes he forgets that I don’t want to go up the stairs or walk far if we go out, and each time I explain that my foot hurts when I step on it, or that I need to put it up. He’s not sure what to do.
Sometimes my self-pity sets in and I have to tell myself to stop it! Just do what you need to do. The hard part is being grownup, accepting that this is the way things are and will be, –just going on without being petulant or selfish. There are times when I want to sit and cry and times when I am angry – angry at the Alzheimers. And hardest of all, I can’t let myself become annoyed, let alone angry, with Boris, because he doesn’t deserve it.
It’s like flailing at windmills.