desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
I may be showing the first signs of cabin fever. After a fortnight basically withindoors, I suppose that ain't bad, but it is deuced inconvenient, especially coming today of all the days we've had so far.

If I twitch back the blinds on the full-length picture window at my back, I have a view of a car park, a tower block, the London Eye (well, actually it's the Star of Puebla, but you know what I mean), and Popacatepetl. And really I just want to be out there. I could shop - there are things Karen will need, tomorrow if not tonight - but mostly I just want to walk. It's how I experience any new city, foreign or domestic; I am the original flaneur. I like to walk unknown streets, peer into unknown windows, watch the behaviour of strangers on the street. Sit in parks, eat street food I cannot name, read signs in languages I cannot understand. Full immersive protocols. I'm good at this.

I'm here as Karen's helpmeet and caregiver, though, and it's very much part of the contract that I not wander off and leave her stranded. Today especially, when she's too sick to leave her bedroom and might want anything at any time.

I've tended people on their sickbeds before this, of course - in a sheerly practical sense, I'm rather good at it, tho' I remain the world's worst hospital visitor, because I can never think of anything to say - but never this intensively for this long on my own. When Quin was dying, it took a year and was kind of like a war - moments of high drama, interspersed with long periods of dull calm - including the whole army thing. There was a team of us, a dozen or so standing shifts, with all the back-up we could want or dream. Here, there's pretty much me. Lots of doctors and nurses on the other end of a phone, of course - but you know how I am with phones.

When I said I might need respite care when we get home, I may not have been kidding. Or I might just be difficult to deal with, or y'all might need to be extra-nice to me for a while, or... I just have no clue. You might find you have two patients in recovery.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-22 08:01 pm (UTC)
clanwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] clanwilliam
There’s nothing I can do, but in the meantime, Chaz, please continue to dump out.

I can’t write you a prescription to get your hair washed, or summon a ridiculously cute child to sing a Russian song that apparently may be a bit dubious, but at least we can all be a virtual support in your job as support to Karen.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-22 08:54 pm (UTC)
stillnotbored: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stillnotbored
Isn't there some poem or literary quote about those who sit and wait also serve?

Think of all the walks you can take when you get home. The Bay Area is glorious in the fall, and nearly as beautiful in winter. And with most of the tourists gone, the City herself is a wonderful place to be.

By spring I'm betting Karen can go with you. Take a ferry and go explore Sausalito, or drive down to Los Gatos and Hakone Gardens. Delayed adventures are often the sweeter for the wait.

John Milton: On His Blindness

Date: 2017-10-23 07:36 am (UTC)
durham_rambler: (Default)
From: [personal profile] durham_rambler
It's the final line of the poem. Though, with only a small change, the preceding lines better describe your assignment:
Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest

Thinking of you both...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-22 09:26 pm (UTC)
swan_tower: (Default)
From: [personal profile] swan_tower
When I said I might need respite care when we get home, I may not have been kidding. Or I might just be difficult to deal with, or y'all might need to be extra-nice to me for a while, or... I just have no clue. You might find you have two patients in recovery.

This is entirely fair, and judging by the responses you've been getting to these posts, those around you are aware and standing by.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 02:20 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
I'm really glad you're thinking ahead to your own aftercare. Ring theory, right? Karen's at the center, and you're the first ring, supporting her, but there should be a second ring, supporting you.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 03:52 am (UTC)
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
From: [personal profile] sovay
or... I just have no clue. You might find you have two patients in recovery.

That doesn't sound unreasonable to me. You're putting a lot of energy out, and it's in a good cause, and I trust there will be people there for you when you need them, as you are for Karen, because you are a good cause, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 04:49 am (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ranunculus
Yes, caretakers need care too. I'm not surprised that you are beginning to feel cooped up. Hang in there! How about planning some walks/investigations/places to experience for when you -can- get out? With or without Karen.

Is there someone(s) lined up to help take care of her when you return home? Hope so.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 07:45 am (UTC)
green_knight: (Hug)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
What you're doing is a very difficult thing; it involves _a lot_ of intense emotions. I'm not surprised you're worn out.

I've found Google Streetview surprisingly useful for that wandering itch - you can explore the streets of cities you've never been to and are unlikely to visit, and just wander around, see what's behind the next corner. I have used it to follow along characters in novels, or simply to satisfy my curiosity when a friend moved to Orkney... it's quite soothing.

(Not writing much, but I'm reading and keeping fingers crossed for Karen).

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 11:35 am (UTC)
mrissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrissa
Definitely add care for you to the list, as others have said. Karen first, but you second rather than you never.

Talking to people in hospitals is its own skillset. All of the "so what have you been doing lately?" methods of making the conversation go both ways fail utterly. You have to fall back on stuff that feels a lot more like speechifying than we're used to, and it can be intensely uncomfortable if you haven't practiced it, and sometimes even if you have. Tending to one's own person on their sickbed is different because the two (or N) of you are in it together, you've been doing the things, so you can make everyday conversation rather than Hello It Is Me The Notable Visitor conversation--long silences are more acceptable, and you're not there to provide the diversion from the everyday conversation the people on the scene are having. But yes, still going to be very different when it's lasting and indoors and just you.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 03:13 pm (UTC)
shewhomust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
I'm know all those wise people saying 'yes, definitely organise care / support for you' are right.

But what I'm thinking is: What you need - support. What you get - cats!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 04:35 pm (UTC)
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
From: [personal profile] madrobins
What you're doing is HARD.

I too am a walker-through-new-streets sort of tourist (it's why I'm not much of a wanderer through nature; where are the people doing things?). And I can imagine I'd be deeply cabin-feverish were I in your shoes.

When you come back there will be plenty of respite-care available. And if you need to be a little tetchy, that's fine too. You're doing above Yeoman service.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-23 04:57 pm (UTC)
al_zorra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] al_zorra
Could the clinic admin put you in touch with someone who could sit with Karen for two hours or so, two or three times a week?

It would be good for you both for you to get out a bit. And Puebla is so deep in history and culture, it would be good for you both for those reasons also.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-24 12:17 am (UTC)
acanthusleaf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] acanthusleaf
Yes, your merry band of People Who Usually Just Eat All Your Food are also willing and able to help out however we may. I hope that by the time she has to get on a plane and come home she will be able to be out in public, at least with a mask. That might mean that the rest of us miscreant curry-eaters can sit with her, run and fetch, pour wine, and whatever else she and you might need. You are both in my thoughts. Glad you got some sleep.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-24 10:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mscataclysm
I get the cabin fever. It's very hard to get the balance right between looking after yourself and the patient.

And I found it harder looking after sick relative than having the C myself . It really is that tough. Maybe you could take a quick constitutional round the block?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-27 09:43 pm (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
You will benefit mightily from respite care. When my mother had chemo, both the first and the second time, and we did not know if she would still be with us at the end of it, twice over - one of the things I did by going over to be there for two months was give my dad the chance to go out and play golf with his friends for two mornings a week without worrying what would happen if he wasn't there and my mum needed him. It kept him sane.

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