Can an old dog learn new tricks?
That is exactly the dilemma a recent client found himself in. Here’s a taste of how he presented his situation:
“I am not a natural caregiver. I am a grumpy old retired guy who likes home kept neat and his meals on time. I don’t do laundry or dishes. I’ve suffered a couple of heart attacks, so I don’t do much around the house. Not only don’t I shop; I don’t even know what’s in the fridge. My wife likes to describe herself as a “50s wife.” She doesn’t like me even being in her kitchen or laundry room, and that suits me just fine. I’m perfectly content to spend my days at Starbucks, solving the problems of the world with the other old geezers. Some of you wouldn’t like me, and I couldn’t care less.
So what happens when a guy like me is thrown into a caretaker position? Last week my wife broke her ankle in 3 places. She will be going into surgery on Monday. She’ll get both a plate and assorted screws in her very badly damaged ankle, and there’s no telling how much use she’ll have in it again. She’s been in bed now for 4 days with her foot elevated, and neither one of us is very happy about it. I’m trying to remind myself that we don’t get to choose the cards we are dealt in life. Instead, we are required to play the hand we are dealt with as much good grace and dignity as we can muster. Unfortunately, good grace and dignity are not things I’m famous for.
The first thing I did after making sure she was comfortable in bed was go to the grocery store. I bought a pre-roasted chicken, some ready-made potato salad, a bag of Cheetos, and some hot dogs and buns. We have dined on this bounty for the last 3 days (including packaged cereal for breakfasts). And now I’m stuck. I have no choice but to actually enter the kitchen and try to make sense of things. “
So, there we have it. One old dog, one injured spouse… and lots of adjusting to be done. Stay tuned as we help this frazzled hubby adjust to his new role.