Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Housekeeping and an Excerpt

This week I have been playing at housekeeping. The reason I say "playing at" is because not a lot was accomplished. I have figured how to sweep and vacuum, wash dishes in small amounts, and put some things away, but a lot of little stuff falls by the wayside and piles up.

It drives me crazy! Not that I'm a immaculate housekeeper to begin with, but somethings get to me and I've got to find a way to do them. Now, if you've read Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper? You haven't? Run don't walk to your nearest e-store bookstore and grab yourself a copy. Anyway,  I have a 10'x10' storeroom newly built onto my house. It has been one of those renovation nightmares where one thing leads to another, and leads to another with a stroke thrown in for a major chaos factor. With a fifty-year old house there's always something that needs to be done, but I digress. My "dyslexic/ADD" is bad today. Back to housekeeping.

I can mange putting away one or two cans, and even carry a small plastic bag of canned goods into the store room, especially now with the improvement of my balance and walking without a cane. So groceries and stores are put away, but large boxes and things like those huge cases of water-- forget it. They throw me off balance and I can't see my foot placement.

My hubby can't lift over ten pounds or walk more than ten feet without getting out of breath, so no help there although he tries. His balance is worse than mine and given he's on enough morphine to sedate a horse, well you see part of the problem.

I'm allergic to dust so either I wear a mask while dusting or wait until daughter #2 comes to town. She lives thirty minutes away. I do it most times. I have a large, shoulder tote bag that I bought in Sri Lanka many year ago that I'll put my rags and polish in. I'll pull the paper mask over my head and let it hang around my neck until I need it, and get busy.

The one thing my balance has issues with is the brush that cleans the ceiling fan. The same goes for cobwebs. I can't look up, hold the pole and maneuver it in the finely accurate positioning it takes to get the job done, and maintain my balance. So that job is left to my daughter. The only problem is that she hasn't been here since before Christmas. The cobwebs and dust are rampant in my house because it is closed up with the cooler weather. The spiders have been working overtime.

That leads me into a great tie-in for the excerpt.

Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad
Copyright 2012 J.L. Murphey All Rights Reserved
<beginning of excerpt>

Creepy Crawlies

I had been in the hospital for a month and my husband can barely walk let alone do all but the basics of housekeeping. Meaning, he might be able to take out the trash and, thirty minutes to an hour later, be able to wash a few dishes. It isn't that he won't do more but can't do more. I arrive home after my stint in two hospitals and find my home in chaos! The floors hadn't been swept, the carpets are half an inch thick with assorted stuff that usually will come up with a good vacuuming, dirt and dust on my hardwood floors, and the usual piles of things that I usually put away, but couldn't because I was gone.

What struck me worse was the amount of spider webs on and in my cabinets, door handles that aren't usually used like the one leading to the furnace, every corner including the door jambs had cobwebs in them. It was as if a spider had thrown a massive party and welcomed his all his friends including their friends into my home. These weren't the new spider webs either they had been there a while because they were thick with dust. I can't blame my husband because he might have use four rooms of our three-bedroom house. If it had been closer to Halloween, I would have thought someone had gone all out with the decorations, but it was June. 

At that point I was too tired to do anything about it having just come from the hospital. The hour drive with kids in the backseat, interstate construction, and traffic snarls had drained me of energy as a passenger not driving. Although I was partially excited about being home. I did what he did everyday and all day long, I got into the wheelchair and sat in the office. It was the last room I completed of our renovation project before my stroke. So except for the floor, it was passable. It's where our computers are and has minimum distractions with its light blue-gray walls with sand colored trim. After the sterile white walls of the hospital, it was a welcome change. The artwork is limited to two large, blue ink prints I got in Sri Lanka and family pictures. Meanwhile, my grandsons made a beeline to the gazebo in the backyard and the swing being freed from the confines of the car, while my daughter unloaded her car and set up the bedside commode in the bathroom.

I just sat there and didn't even power up my computer. Relief at being home, tiredness, and the excited babble of my husband's voice washed over me. I was only halfway listening and I had thought the hospital was loud. Finally, my daughter was finished putting things away, loaded her boys back in her car, and left. I was relieved. Cobwebs, dust, unswept floors, Nicotine saturated house aside, I was home!

As nature beckoned, I got up from my wheelchair knowing it wouldn't fit through the bathroom door. I shook my head to my husband's query of was there anything he could get for me. This was one thing nobody could do for me except for inserting a urinary catheter. I grabbed my walker and headed down the hall to the bathroom. Being a fifty-year old ranch style house the hallways are less than three feet wide. This was more walking with my walker than I had done in the hospital, and without a standby therapist. I was on my own. I felt relieved and scared at the same time.

As I passed the furnace door, my arm, the paralyzed one, hit the doorknob. My hand was covered in cobwebs and to my greater consternation there was a medium sized, black spider still in it! I couldn't let go of my walker with my good hand. My arm just hung at my side immobile and lifeless while the spider slowly disengaged itself from its ruined home. I screamed. Alright, I could raise my voice that high, but I was screaming on the inside, and trying to get the web and spider off my hand without losing my balance. I banged into the linen closet door with my back which brought my husband running. Although he is legally deaf, he does hear certain sounds.

Once my balance was stable against the door, I used my functioning hand to get the web off so it was covered with web too. All I could do is point to my hand. I croaked out, "Get the spider!"
"Huh? You were turned away from me," he responded.
I twisted so he could read my lips while my eyes were glued to the spider inching its way to my wrist. "Get the spider!"
He swatted the spider to the floor, and stepped on it grinding it into the bottom of his boot. "Ah ha, take that!"

Then he turned back to me and helped get the spider's web off both of my hands. But in all the delay and excitement about the spider, I lost control of my bladder. I waddled into the bathroom and asked for him to get me some lower garments while I removed the soiled ones.
<end of excerpt>

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


  1. Oh, Jo. That's a harrowing intro to being home. It's all one obstacle after another, isn't it?

    1. It's the obstacles that feed the roller coaster in my life. Long live the roller coaster!


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