Sunday, April 30, 2006


Yesterday Jan was supposed to relax, but Saturday ended being as busy as any other weekday. She has an internal clock set to follow the rhythms of the hospital: breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon sharp, dinner at 6pm, bedtime at 8:30pm. If any of these changes, she makes it clearly known: get in with the music or your kneecaps may need some orthopaedic surgery.

My life rythms surely appear totally chaotic to her. food whenever, sleep, if you can find the time, run, run, run, and on top of that, when she comes for the weekend, I felt the compulsion to help her with every little detail, anticipate her every desire, thinking that I was doing her a favour, I was just making her feel like an invalid or a child.

I felt sick not so much because of Jan's comments about my constant rush, and smothering style of service, as for the fact that I in this rush I am loosing her and myself. I need to stop to find myself. She told me repeatedly she wanted to spend time with ME, not being catered to like a queen, but being attended by the attention and calmness of her husband's company. Screw the rest, the tea, the food experiments, the heat or the cold. Suddenly, I understood the value of company. Thanks to David for doing the dishes while I was trying to learn and practice this lesson.

Saturday, Jan had a really bad night. To her tiredness, add the dangers of a misunderstandings and you have a near catastrophe. I was on the phone with Sue when this whole event happened. She was warning me of the possibility that without much prodding, Jan could go for weeks or months without more therapy or home support after she leaves the Rehab hospital. That, I could be left by the "system" with the whole responsibility of taking care of Jan. Then I did something or said something that pushed Jan's buttons. Jan cried for a good half hour before she decided to go back to bed. At this point my thoughts and my feelings were in frenzy. Jan took one minute before she went to sleep while I was left reeling for hours.

This morning, Jan continued with a rough style of asking for things or answering questions. I tried to keep in mind that "it was the injury talking to me and not Jan", but it was really hard to do. Shortly after noon, at Jan's request I took her back to the hospital which she calls "home". She was weepy and I was feeling raw. What a way to end what was promising to be a beautiful weekend. But then again, this may be what I will have to expect for months while Jan's brain heals. I felt powerless and anxious. The challenge feels a lot bigger than me.


1 comment:

ed and alvina rempel said...

Dear Jan.
We just want you to know that you are not forgotten.... You are such a compassionate person, you still continue to touch many hearts.
We continue to pray that you will receive complete healing, even if it might take just a little longer than we would like it to take,
Blessings, Ed and alvina Rempel from Calgary