Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yep, I Still Get Cranky

Yesterday was a classic example of how things build up for me, resulting in a cranky outburst.

I had planned to get up around 6:30 or 7 but rose much earlier, at 4:30, because my aching shoulders kept me from finding a pain-free position. I puttered around on the computer for a few hours, tried to sleep again without success and just got back up for good.

Logged in on the work PC, checked my calendar to get a feel for the day and started going through emails. Pretty typical start to the day. Had a couple of things percolating, but knew they'd be manageable within the day. Not to be the case, though, as an issue emerged from left field that needed my involvement to help resolve. Suddenly, the orderly day became anything but.

The morning with Skip was proceeding in its normal way, so I was able to balance that with work demands. We have good routines for this, which is a huge help. Since I am in conference calls much of the day, we work through my availability based on my role in the call. If I'm driving the call or need to look at my computer screen during the call, then I can't really help her at that time. If I'm just a participant, then I am able to help. Thankfully, we haven't progressed to video conferencing, otherwise my flexibility would be seriously cramped! If only the other folks on the call knew what I was doing sometimes. Only one time in the last 2 years have I been unmuted when I thought I was muted, which prompted some funny questions from my colleagues on the call.

By late morning, the demands of work, including the issue making my day more stressful ... combined with Skip's needs ... the imminent arrival of an aide requiring that Skip be dressed and ready for her leg massage ... and the need to follow along with a presentation during a call tethering me to my PC ... crashed my balance of work and life demands, sending me skittering off to Cranky-land.

Soon, though, things were recovering a bit. The "tethering" call had concluded and I was onto a new one which I wasn't running and no need to sit at my PC to follow along on a presentation, allowing me to be anywhere in the house. We were progressing well getting Skip dressed and up, but running out of time relative to when the aide would arrive. I was still in my PJ's. I do prefer to be in a semblance of "day" attire before aides or nurses arrive and that was looking like it was going to be a challenge to complete before she came through the door. Then, Ruby (older of our 2 dogs) decided to start throwing up for some reason. How was I going to 1) feed Skip, 2) clean up puke, 3) contribute on the conference call and 4) brush my teeth and hair, dress and be ready for the aide's arrival SIMULTANEOUSLY? It just wasn't going to happen. Cranky-land, here I come again.

So, I did something I hadn't done before, I asked Skip to cancel the aide. This woman comes twice a week for less than an hour, paid for by Medicare because Skip is under a nurse's care for a wound that needs monitoring. She is not the aide who comes about 3 times a week that we pay for (who had called in sick earlier in the morning). Skip called, made an excuse, and cancelled her. Suddenly, with the removal of that pressure, I was able to get it all in perspective. With one less "ball" to juggle, I was able to handle those that were in the air. Got Skip fed, cleaned up the puke, continued on with my call. I did eventually get dressed and cleaned up, too.

Oops, I see that it's almost 9am and my first conference call of the day is about to commence. Fortunately, after I give some background in the first 10 minutes, I'll be untethered from my laptop and able to help Skip, so we'll be into our usual routines.

Have a great, un-Cranky day, everyone!


steve said...

I gave up that whole "look presentable for the invaders" thing about a year ago. If I don't have to leave the house, I've been known to spend the whole day in pajamas.

Both the boss and I have web cams, but so far, he hasn't had the time to figure out how to use his.

awb said...

I need a nap just reading that recount! I think Ruby got dizzy watching you run around, I would too, and be rather impressed at the same time.


Cranky said...

Steve - you're so right and rational on the looking presentable. Also, a hoot that you call them the "invaders." It's funny, since they're there to help, how it can feel invasive to have these folks come into your home.

Keep those web cams away from me! My boss can see me every few months when I make it into the office for some special reason or other.

Andy - you are too funny! When I read your comment, I laughed out loud (literally). Sometimes, it does feel like a run around during the work day.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow!
I was impressed by all you accomplished before I started reading your blogs. Now I am just blown away!
You are a great partner and caregiver.

Cranky said...

Dear Anonymous - thanks so much for your comments. I strive to be a great partner and caregiver. Sometimes it works, but as this blog can attest, success can be elusive as well.