Phyllis must brace herself for Bob's care by Bob Karolevitz The six weeks are up, and Phyllis has finally gotten rid of that gargantuan brace on her leg.
I went with her to the bone and joint clinic when it came off, and I expected her to emerge from the office, clicking her heels and leaping into the air like Pluto in the old Silly Symphonies.
But no, it wasn�t that way at all!
Instead she came out and announced that she had to undergo 30 days of therapy and do lots of exercises before she was well again.
Okay? So I would be the care-giver for another month! I could live with that, but could she?
For six weeks I did the dishes all right, but I�ve got to admit that I stacked up the laundry for her to do � when she was ready.
As for cooking, I�m glad her girlfriends brought lots of food for us to eat. Of course, that meant we had plenty of leftovers � but then I�m used to that.
Needless to say, I�m lousy in the kitchen, so the contributions were much appreciated. Especially by Phyllis.
After all, meals of pickled pigs� feet, sardines and peanut butter sandwiches can get pretty tiresome.
I helped her in and out of the tub, saw to it that her water jug was filled, kept the phone handy for her so she could fend off the telemarketers and generally was Johnny-on-the-spot for her every whim.
A nurse, however, I�m not!
Somehow we managed to make it through six weeks without trauma. When she wasn�t in that gawd-awful brace, she had a V-shaped foam rubber �pillow� between her legs to keep them apart so the surgery would heal.
When she walked, it was like Frankenstein without the nails. It was funny, but I couldn�t laugh.
However, that�s all behind us now. All we�ve got to do is survive 30 days of therapy, and she�ll be as good as new � at least as good as she was when she went in for the same-day surgery.
When I�m not in cardiac rehab � I�ve had a few troubles of my own � I�m taking her out so she doesn�t atrophy in her easy chair. We hobble to church and to the grocery store, like a couple of the old-timers I write about.
The supermarket is especially challenging for us. While I clutch onto the grocery cart, she gimps ahead, up one aisle and down another.
�Don�t pick out anything heavy,� I shout. �I don�t think I can handle it at the checkout stand.�
I noticed that she hurried by the pickled pigs� feet and sardine shelves; could be that had something to do with my culinary efforts.
In the process I think somebody called us Cane and Able, but there was no biblical connection.
Be that as it may, we�re in this struggle together, as we have been for 53 1/2 years now. Lately, however, it�s sort of like �the blind leading the blind.�
Oh well, if we�ve made it through six weeks with that darned brace, the therapy sessions should be a piece of cake.
� 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz