Nov 17

A Day in the Life

Thank you so much for your words of support. They mean more than you can ever imagine. Many of you, online and in real life, offered different suggestions on how I could either reduce my stress of how you could help in some way. Many many suggestions, all very heartfelt. Here is why I said no to almost every single one of them: I can’t upset the balance of what we’ve got going. It hasn’t been easy, but we worked on a schedule that sort of works – barring emergencies. It’s the emergencies that always screw everything up, but otherwise, here is what a typical day looks like for us.

6:15 alarm goes off. One kid is speedy gonzalez and is dressed and in the kitchen by 6:30, the other one requires several reminders and somehow manages to make an appearance by 7, usually still in her pjs. she claims its because she doesn’t want to spill food on her uniform….

7:20 3 days a week, NJ leaves with the carpool which leaves me to poke and prod SQ into her uniform by 7:45, at which point at walk her to the bus. By which I mean I walk the dogs and she walks half a block ahead of me, utterly embarassed that her mom is walking her to the bus. I turn around well before anyone at the bus stop can see me, I’m not THAT mean. On the 2 days when it’s my turn to drive car pool, I get to listen to NJ and her BFF go over their college plans: they already know where they are going, that they are going to be roommate, and they pretty much have a weekly menu set. Little Miss T, the little sister, just winks at me in the mirror and we giggle at their silly plans. Sometimes I drive extra slow and hit all the red lights on purpose because that 20 min in the car with the 3 of them is the highlight of my day.

By 9 I’m at the hospital, give or take depending on the epic traffic and my ability to find free parking. I qualify for 5$ parking now, but getting the tickets is so complicated, mostly I try to find a free spot. I spend the morning with Jay. Objective #1 is to spend time with him, entertain him, bring him up to speed on all things at home. When he couldn’t speak, this took a LONG time, but now we can get this done much quicker. I also spend a lot of time speaking to the nurses and inhalation therapists. Occasionally I will get very lucky and see a resident. A doctor is a very rare sighting. But by keeping friendly with everyone involved, I hope to keep Jay’s level of care tip-top.

Depending on what I have to get done in the afternoon, I leave before or after lunch. I find it mean to eat lunch in front of him since he hasn’t eaten in months (except for those 3 days and we all know THAT didn’t work out). My afternoons are spent one of two ways: working on the house or running errands. While we have unpacked the main rooms, there is still so much to do, so much to fix/unpack/decorate etc. I would like to have more time to spend on this, but at least 3 afternoons per week someone has some sort of appointment: dentist, therapist, blood tests etc.

4:15 is GO time. NJ has to get to diving 4 days per week. One day my super amazing dad takes her, that means I won’t see her again until 8:30 pm (she left at 7:30). Other days I take her, which means SQ is the one I won’t see until 8:30. She has a tutor a couple of night a week and theater/glee the others. We try to keep her busy so she is not alone too much. NJ and I warm up dinner in the yucky microwave at the pool and get her homework done before training starts. SQ has become very fond of frozen meals…. not great, but way better than PB&J!

At 8:30 is when we are finally together again. I don’t love that we watch tv right before they go to bed, but this is the routine that works for us. We snuggle on the mega couch with our new guinea pigs, the dogs on the floor next to us and we watch our favorites: Project Runway, Amazing Race, Survivor or Fresh Off the Boat. 9:15 they go to bed.

9:15, I am alone with 4 pets, though they mostly ignore me. Sometimes I go to bed too, knowing that I sleep so little, the extra couple of hours can only do me some good. But usually I knit or color while catching up on MY favorites. and then at 3 am I wake up in a panic and do it all over the next day.

So there you have it. Why I don’t have ME time. Why I don’t take time for a yoga class or a massage, why I can’t grab lunch or go for a walk. I would LOVE to do those things, OMG I would love to talk to people who don’t work at the hospital! I would love to eat dinner at a restaurant instead of at the pool. But we manage to make this work, so I can’t upset the balance.