Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Stroke Segment Three
I had a talk with my daughter in college to tell her it wasn't neccesary for her to drive home every week-end. I was so worried of her having car trouble on the highway and there was no way we could go to rescue her. We were not use to asking for help or hiring people, we were a team and now we were broken. I told her I would call her if there was any change in her Dad, good or bad. People didn't have cell phones hanging off their ears back then. We had not even heard of such thing. Couldn't imagine driving around talking on a phone. Long distance calls were expensive so we called when necessary. One week-end while Mel was home the toilet backed up into the bath tub. Now this was certainly just what I needed to see at this time. Remember we didn't even think of calling a plumber. We took care of repairs etc. Mel the repairer and me the side kick, gofer, hander of tools etc. Mel told me to climb up the ladder to the vent pipe and run the snake into it. The snake being (for someone who doesn't know) a metal long tape. Me being afraid of heights renigged. Mel said if you don't I am going too. Now I'm really scared. If he falls off the ladder while home visiting what is the doctor going to say, what is the hospital going to say? So with my knees shaking I climb the ladder to the top rung but do not step over onto the house. I don't know how I was able to do it but I ran that snake into the vent pipe and lobed it up and down. I can't remember all the details but we got it unstopped. Yuck yuck yuck now the horrible mess to clean up in the bath tub and then sterilize it. Clean myself up, cook supper, and drive him back to the hospital. I don't remember how long he stayed in that hospital but when he came home he was better but he still couldn't work, drive etc. He had therapy to do at home such as driving nails into a board or screwing screws into a board. That was a cold rainy year for south Texas. Sometime high school daughter's lock on the car would freeze up and while she was getting ready for school I would boil water to melt the ice in the lock and some time the old car wouldn't start so I would drive her to school after getting Mel started on his therapy which he didn't always want to do. Then come home to drive him across town to therapy. At noon I would go back to school, pick daughter up, take her by the house to eat lunch, and then down town to her job typing for an attorney. Come home do laundry or take mother-in-law to an appointment or for groceries. My father-in-law had passed away. M-i-l was diabetic and not dealing well with things in her life. Her youngest son was severly mentally retarded .I know you are suppose to call it mentally challenged now. Let me tell you folks I know from experience it means the same thing. Irvin was a good young man, never tried to run away, and didn't do mean things but his mother had spoiled him. His life was watching TV, rocking in his chair, eating, drinking coke, and pretending he could play his old guitar. He weighed almost 300 # so this is why we bought a ford LTD as our first new car as they and all their groceries along with ours fit into that car. I took them to all their doctor appointments, dentist appointments, eye appointments, etc. She would buy three cartons of the very large cokes. I don't even think they make those anymore. They were heavy. She tried to help carry in the groceries but she was slow and he was slow so I carried the most. I was the one in the family who didn't work so that chore fell to me. We had our house with 19 windows to keep clean, curtains, blinds and windows. A rental duplex next door that was effieciency apartments so people only stayed until they bought their own house or had a baby what ever. My job was to clean it for new renters, never thought of charging a deposit. Mowed and trimmed the yard as it didn't work out to have them do it. There was always those who would only mow their side or those who didn't mow at all etc. Then there was the large rent house catty cornered across from our house. I figured I had a job I just didn't draw a salary and didn't have a boss. Mel did the repairs and I did the cleaning and painting before he had the stroke. There were two other daughters-in-law but one lived out of town and one was the R.N. who worked for the new doctor. She did make diabetic TV dinners for m-i-l on her days off and put them in the freezer. On grocery days m-i-l and b-i-l wanted to stop on the way home to buy fish and chips for lunch. I felt for them with not much of a happy life. Her doctor found out what she was eating fussed at nurse d-i-l and then she told her husband (Mel's older brother) he told Mel and Mel had to tell me not to stop anymore for fish and chips. When I had to tell her no she got very angry with me. More stress! One day we were at the grocery store and Mel started feeling very ill. M-i-l was in line with a cart full of groceries to feed an army. I was always worried he was going to have another stroke. I didn't feel I could ask her to leave her cart of groceries, yet I was worried about Mel as I had told him to go to the car and lie down. To be continued.