Friday, August 6, 2010

A stroll in the park

This is my dad the same day he couldn't get to his chair. Out and about painting the town with MARGARET. Just bubbling with energy throwing the ball for the dog while MARGARET takes his picture. You can almost hear him yelling Weeeeee!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting the last word

My sister straps ankle weights on my father every morning after breakfast. One, two, three, four, ten. (That’s how he counts.) Then she hooks the rubber tube that is tied around his walker over his ankle. Pull backs, one, two, three, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. There are odd shaped pillows for physical therapy, and yards of multiple colored rubber scarf thingies.
“Keep those muscles strong, Dad. If you can’t walk, you can’t live at home.” (Okay, so that last sentence she mumbles while walking away from him.)
Since I have arrived his whole routine is going to hell in a hand basket. (Or rather a wheelchair.) It’s no fault of mine. It is a fascinating medical phenomenon called Depend-upon-margaret-itus.
He can’t stand up, much less walk if Margaret isn’t here. And ankle weights? I think not!
Margaret is aware of his d.u.m.itus and has given me strict instructions. Never push his wheelchair closer to where he wants to go. Toilet, Dining room table, bedroom, or in today’s case, his recliner. And that is what I told him.
“Sorry, Dad, you have to stand up and walk over.”
“Well, I can’t make it.”
“Well, I guess you’re gonna sit in your wheelchair at the breakfast table until lunch time.”
He decided he was going to get closer all by himself, thus getting the final word.
He wheeled his chair around, and yanked the walker alongside his chair.
Since he needed his hands to maneuver the walker, he was shuffling with his feet. This, I decided, was more physical therapy than ankle weights and rubber tubing any day. Shuffle, yank, shuffle… Stuck.
He has managed to get the leg of the walker stuck in the wheel, and to add insult to injury, he has wedged himself between the sofa and the love seat.
Well I am just happy as a clam to see this.
And he’ll be damned if he is going to ask for help.
So we sit. Dad with his back to me pretending to be “resting”, and me sipping my coffee, pretending to be reading the paper.
After a few minutes I told him I would help him. Then I said, “Who got the last word? Huh? ME that’s who! And it’s SMILE!”
To which he replied, “Silence speaks better than words, and he flipped me the bird.”
Score: Hermon 1, Liz 0.