August 2005 and it's time for my left knee to be replaced. There have been so many changes in Elbert's situation that I dread it much more than I did when the right knee was done. Lessons learned during that time perhaps will carry us through.
Early one morning, Shirley and Elbert take me to the hospital. While they wait for my surgery to be over Shirley walks him around the rose garden hoping to distract him. He understand little of why he's there but does enjoy the flowers. The days that followed my coming home he just sat and watched my every move. 'You don't look sick', he'd say. I know he wanted me up taking care of things as I always did. And, he wanted company. He did so love to be with me and I spent every moment I could in his presence.
Once again the children help out tremendously. What would we do without our children and grandchildren?
Six weeks into recovery, everyone has gone back to their lives and families and I cook my first meal, leaning for support against the kitchen counter. Elbert is no help. I want him to do simple things like turn the light on for me. But, he doesn't remember where the light switch is. So, I hobble over and do it myself. Things are so tough. I will be glad to be well again.
During all of this I have come to the conclusion that this house is filled with things that just clutter and make life more difficult. Sure I wanted that extra table, those pretty throw rugs on the floor, the nice dishes that were on sale. They make the house look so nice. Well, nice isn't everything. Right now my priority is survival. People have to do what they can to survive and we are so into the survival mode right now. So, I decide to get rid of some things. The rugs need to be taken up anyway for safety's sake for both me and Elbert. How many dishes does a person need? So, that one set can go. Son in law John has enlarged our bathroom so that it is handicap accessible. That one thing alone made our lives so much more easy and simple. I rearrange furniture and take up rugs to make our pathway clear and easier for us to go from room to room. That makes my work a little less. That's a good thing.