May
The Rise of the Underdog

I’ll admit it. The past couple of weeks have been pretty discouraging. I’ve written several posts about the Dialysis problems lately, so I don’t want to go on and on about the details (some of which are too personal to share on this forum.) But it has been a constant source of worry. I normally try not to worry about what is happening, as its out of my hands, but in this case, it has been put squarely INTO my hands and I have been trying to sort out the problems as best as I can. I have been feeling responsible for Vernon’s care in way I haven’t had to be in awhile…and to be honest, I’ve been stressed out.

Its been great having the few volunteers and paid help that have gone to stay with him in his afternoon sessions, but their candid reports have made me even more concerned about the situation. I suppose there was a sort of out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing that had been working for me for awhile…no news was good news (from the dialysis center.) But it’s not working anymore.

After our meeting last week, the schedule-boss did make some changes, for which I was thankful. But they still aren’t ideal. For now, Vernon will be in the Dialysis seat for 2.5 hours every Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Saturday afternoons. I still can’t sit with him the whole time because in order to pick up the kids, I have to leave by 3.  But at least I can sit with him for an hour on Tues and Thurs (because Maki gets out of school later those days)  and I can go up Saturday afternoons as long as I have a babysitter.  So that’s something.

I am hoping that something will give in the schedule so that we can have later mornings instead. After PT but before school pick-up. (The center is an hour north of the school.)

I had been really strung out over this, even with the help we had been getting. Today, I braced myself for a really long day ahead…even if I had to leave him alone after an hour of dialysis.  On the way up to the care home this morning, when I stopped by the Target off the freeway for a Starbucks, I decided to buy a book to read him in the afternoon session. Maybe this would give me something to look forward to.

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This seemed the most light-hearted option on the shelf, though I’d never heard of it before.

In the morning, Vernon was a bit negative on my new ideas for entertainment, but then he was pretty negative toward everything put in front of him. I dreaded the afternoon even more.

But then when I met him at the dialysis center at 2:00, he seemed pleased to see me. “I didn’t know who to expect. It’s so nice to see you again!” he exclaimed.  Wow, its been awhile since I got that greeting. Maybe afternoons won’t be such a bad thing after all.

I read to him for almost the whole hour. He listened closely for most of it, asking me to keep going when I took a break and commenting how interesting it was. Of course, when I asked him questions, he couldn’t remember what the story was about. But he enjoyed taking it in, regardless, even shifting his whole body toward me on the chair.

I remember my parents reading to each other on the couch when I was a child and should have been in bed. I’d sneak around the corner of the hallway, and listen to them laughing together over the Princess Bride. I thought it was so romantic. Put like that, I guess reading to Vernon is my chance to add a shot of romance into my life again.

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I am going to try to work this new schedule (even if it is temporary) into my life. But if anyone reading this is interested in keeping him company Mon, Tues, Thurs, or Sat afternoon in Costa Mesa (ending at 4;30, ideally) even if only for an hour, please let me know. Life feels tight at the moment and I’m not sure how much more I can be stretched.

But then, isn’t that what we alway say—until we are?

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May
The Rise of the Underdog