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The week of the thaw has just ended. It was a great week for me. I thawed out enough to go out three days in a row, after being housebound since October.
There were three imperatives, in as many days that forced me out. The first was one day before the thaw started. It was horribly cold and snowing, but I had no choice. I had already deferred a doctor’s office visit from before the holidays until after. My reason made sense to me. If the doctor said an immediate operation was necessary, this would muck up my family’s holidays. I had no big plans but they were involved in the usual Thanksgiving/Christmas hoop-de-doos and didn’t need the added inconvenience of me in the hospital.
Therefore, on January 9th, my son agreed; bless his heart, to hauling me to the appointment. Getting me to and from any place is not easy, and requires great patience from anyone taking me out. Every time I get in and out of a car, I have an out of body experience, watching myself maneuver. Somehow, I’m reminded of a Monty Python TV bit and I start to laugh. This makes everything a little more difficult.
Thank heavens for Japanese and German cars, which have handgrips above the passenger seat side doors. American cars, for some reason, seem to be made to accommodate only the fit and trim. They are a life line to me, as is the trapeze I have hanging over my bed. Without it to hand on to, I’d never be able to turn over, much less get in and out of bed.
Fortunately, all my family members drive small foreign cars, each equipped with the hand grip. Once in, I have to struggle with the seat belt. Being unable to twist around easily, I never seem able to reach the belt holder. This means someone else has to snap me in and out, after folding my walker and either putting it in or taking it out of the car trunk.
At this point, I, and everyone else, am exhausted. I don’t know what keeps them from unsnapping my belt, reaching across me and opening the car door, and booting me out on I-95. I wouldn’t be surprised if they envisioned this like the man in the movie who daydreamed about shoving his demanding mother off a train.
We made it to the doctor’s office. My son is a splendid driver no matter how bad the conditions, which made the ride enjoyable.
After the visit, which determined an operation was not feasible at the moment, I felt so good we went out to lunch. This is a special treat for anyone who lives alone and eats meals in solitary non-splendor. I was very grateful to Bruce, who gave up his entire day tending to my needs, both physical and emotional.
The next day was great. My grandson and his wife were visiting from Florida and wanted to take me out to eat at my favorite Italian restaurant. I love the place – it makes me feel like Anna Mangani. There I was at one o’clock, after a ride in a small foreign car, ensconced at a table with a huge menu, filled with dishes I could have devoured one by one. The reading was great but my choice was strictly limited by dietary restaurants to spaghetti with minimal sauce, a bowl of luscious soup, and a glass of wine. A veritable banquet for me.
The following day, the darling couple volunteered to take me for my monthly grocery store outing. I was delighted because it spared Adele and Chuckie the onerous chore, which, believe me, it is, and every month I am more than grateful to them both.
For the third day in a row, I dressed in street clothes and shoes, plus a little makeup and earrings, and it felt good. I have always enjoyed slogging around in a Hawaiian mumu and bare feet, but, for once, I enjoyed wearing normal clothing. I didn’t even mind the struggle I have finding the holes in my ears for the rings.
Sad to say, the good times are over. Jamie and Marianne returned to Florida today at noon, and the thaw is also over. I’m okay, though, a little bit of activity takes me a long way. Next, I’m looking forward to spending some time, if she can spare it, hearing about Katie’s adventures in Europe. I heard some of her e-mail correspondence and cried when she told of her feelings in Paris, Venice, and Rome. It was as good as being there myself, and I didn’t have to use my walker to get around.
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