Paper can be lovely, from delicate to sturdy, in colors and textures, but when stressed, i.e. by water, it disintegrates to pulp; facial tissue and paper towels however, have been treated to become stronger when wet. Which do I want to be?
When I am stressed by life, I carry on, the “quicker picker-upper.” But often, the price I pay is a strain on the relationship when a person stresses me; I erupt with a hurtful comment, which then brings a rejoinder comment. The immediate pressure is reduced, the request is withdrawn, but I feel guilty later and give in.
The stresses of a spouse whose loved one resides in a facility are similar to the stresses of any family members who deal with someone they love who is challenged in some way. The show on TV called Parenthood showed how stressed the mother of a boy with Asberger's Syndrome was, as she waited for the teacher in his new mainstreamed class to return her email. We want what is best for the one we love, but how much control do we need to surrender? How do we let the "little things" go and maintain positive connections with the immediate caregivers?
Bob was thrilled to see me, both on Wednesday and on Friday this week. He was actually standing by the door when I arrived. "Phyllis," he asked, "we're married, right?"
"We sure are," I replied, giving him a hug and a kiss.
"So why can't you live here, where I can see you whenever I want to, and hold you whenever I want to?"
He was dressed appropriately, he sported a new haircut and was cleanly shaved.But when I saw his room, he had no toilet paper and his closet smelled foul. When I chatted with the medical technician, she informed me that Bob was still ordered to take several medications that the nurse practioner and I had agreed we could eliminate or reduce.
Knowing myself, I struggled with my tone of voice as I spoke with the care manager, but try as I thought I did, she still sounded defensive.
Friday afternoon, Steve and I took Bob to Wal-Mart, which he loved. Bob chose a ceramic replica of Casper the friendly ghost which we gave as a peace offering to the care manager.