Saturday, February 05, 2011

Becoming the Man of the House

I've always admitted that my husband has clear dominant tendencies. That hasn't changed. He's the boss, he's the man in charge, he controls the remote when he's home. On the other hand, he never had clear role distinctions which, because I always found him interesting and funny and smart, made the fact that he had to be in charge acceptable. Somebody has to be -- I think 50/50 is probably a myth.

Now that he's aging and been sick, things are changing. Oh, make no mistake, he still thinks he's in charge and he still controls the remote when he's home, which is almost always now-a-days. I've pretty much given up watching TV -- one can only take so much of Walker, Texas Ranger and Judge Judy (how can a smart man watch such crap?). But the role thing -- now that's pretty much gone up the tubes.

Hubby was the strong man -- big chest, huge biceps, strong thighs. In his past he has boxed and lifted weights. He was always extremely physical and hands-on. He could move refrigerators on by himself.

Now I carry the groceries. All of them. I just had to drag into the house a 30 pound bag of dog food (we buy this god-awful expensive stuff for Gussie who has lost weight on it and has had an 80% improvement in his dental hygiene since we started using it and the big bags cost a little less than the smaller bags -- hence 30 pounds). Just getting the bag out of the car nearly did me in -- and getting it through the garage up and up the stairs into the house! Wow! I was sweating by the time I finally made it to the kitchen.

For the past month I've had to do all the grocery carrying -- and he LETS me! We pull into the driveway and I say, "Okay, you get the dogs into the house and I'll bring the groceries" and he nods, gets Luie leashed up and Gussie out of the car, and off they go into the house and he lays down in the bed. Lately he doesn't even bother to go into the store with me. He sits in the car, lets me make the purchases, and load everything into the car when I wander out. And when he gets done with this trip, he's napping while I'm unloading the car.

The blood clotting factor has finally reached 2.4 -- we knew it was getting close when he bled all over the bed after one of his injections. And then he got a bloody nose that wouldn't quit. So we've finally gotten to stop the morning and evening shots. Still, the pills are numerous and making him sick to his stomach nearly all day long. So to insure that he has something in his belly before we start the daily regime, I'm fixing breakfast nearly EVERY DOGGONE morning. Tea. Toast. Scrambled eggs with cream and cheese and onions and green pepper. Sausage patties or bacon. Sliced bananas. Apple juice. I'm NOT the cook in this family -- he has always been the chef. Okay, I'm frank to admit that on the mornings I leave for school at 5:45 we stop and get him a breakfast croissant at Dunkin Donuts, but otherwise I'm making sure he has breakfast by 9 a.m. every morning -- and that included the all those snow days and weekends.

It's hard wrapping my brain around this latest turn of events. I never aspired to be the "man of the house." Still, whatever it takes to keep him truckin' along. At least the dog walking chores are still his (however, with all this snow which is still higher than the dogs' butts, I get the "clean the poop out from under the grand piano chore"). We have another doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I made sure it was AFTER school because I intend to have a real heart-to-heart with our young physician. We've got some things that need improving.


Donna said...

Milly, that Barbara Walters special was on last night (Friday). You can go to the website, though, to see snippets of it. Just copy and paste into your URL. We really enjoyed it.

Donna said...

OK, I'm back and just read this entry. I feel something is amiss with your husband's meds. He obviously isn't himself. He has no energy. That just isn't right. Indeed, you need to talk to the doctor and make him hear your concerns.

Margaret said...

I know how you feel--my duties have increased a lot since Patt was diagnosed and I'm not liking that very much. I don't want to be the strong one!! Hang in there--it sounds like you should talk to the doc about those meds, as Donna suggests. Those could be most of his problem.

snugpug said...

When L came back from the hospital, a friend of mine remarked that it would only be the start of another set of things to tackle, happy as we were to have him home. She was right. It's not as hollowly helpless as hanging about hospital corridors, but it was as stressful -- the cooking, cleaning, looking after, and holding down a job. I went crazy getting groceries, cooking the day's 3 meals (and like Hubby, L was the cook of the house) and then going to work. Things lightened up when my brother-in-law helped me out with getting groceries. Do you think you could get some help and support that way? Or ask a group of friends to cook just one dish each, everyday? It really takes a load off. Wish I live closer to you.

Thinking of you. Keep your nose up. :)