Adjusting to New Situations

The next several postings will most likely be how we are coping with our new situation. With Daddy being home and in need of more TLC for the next month, things are not going to be quite the same. I am sure the next few postings will be more of a diary entry than it usually does because of it. However, since the goal of my writing is to help others, I think this is the best way.

Just to recap, on our way to deliver popcorn last week, we got a call from Daddy saying he was in an accident. He broke his ankle in two places and that dislocated his foot. He had to have surgery to correct this. The recovery involves being at home sitting with his leg raised at all times. It has now been 9 days since the accident and I can finally take a break to write a little bit.

Anyone who had to deal with a new baby or a sick or elderly relative, knows how life changes. IY”H, our new situation will be temporary, and w though we do like seeing Daddy, eating meals with him and talking to him throughout the day, life is a bit more challenging at the moment.

The first few days was were a constant drive between the hospital and home. Baruch Hashem the hospital is just a few minutes drive away. From talking to doctors, to checking on the boys to trying to help Daddy out with whatever minute thing he needed for he could not do much, those few days were quite busy with not much sleep on my part. The thing that I remember the most is how nice and small and how so friendly everyone was at the hospital.  From the nurses and doctors to the other hospital workers.  Always a friendly face to be found and always wanting to help. I do not know how many times I followed a doctor or nurse into a room and then when I needed to leave I had to ask how to get out (even though it was a small place!)

The hardest time of all were the first 30 or so hours Daddy came home. I do not remember too much of that time, it was all a blur.  All I remember was that Daddy was in a lot of pain from his leg to his headaches to his nausea from the medicine to the constant attending to his needs. Everyone pitched in and was there to help, even the little one!

School during that time? What was that? I managed to get most of their online schooling with their Rebbe plus one more subject (one more the entire week), but that was all. I decided that I was not even going to try. It was hard enough keeping 4 good boys in whispers for days while Daddy tried to feel a bit human. Any noise would hurt his head.

Food. Well, that first night, we had already eaten supper by the time we got the phone call.  I did a good job shopping two days before and supper was all planned out to be pea soup in the crock pot.  2 packages of split green peas, an onion (or pre-chopped dried onions from the spice rake!), pre-shredded carrots, 2 sliced celery sticks, chopped tofu slices/tofurky or other meat and water. Takes 5 minutes to make. Turn on high for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low and you’re all set! Nutritious, delicious and everyone loves it! Note to self – don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated! It just makes life a bit easier that way.

We could have managed when Daddy came home, but it was nice to have someone drop some supper off. It was also nice that this dear friend put up with “do you know where we can borrow a wheelchair”, to bringing it over and “Oh! Insurance is dropping one off tonight,” to “do you still have it?” to “never mind, they finally dropped it off!” And to my dear sister who so kindly told me that I was not going to be able to do it all and to accept meals. But really, we could have managed, though yes, deep down inside I was very grateful for any meals that came our way. It just seemed to take that one burden off my shoulders while I was busy doing other needed things.

The first morning back home told me how busy and how low on sleep I was when I thought we woke up at 8:30, rested for a few minutes, got up to use the bathroom and then came out only to have 2 boys tell me it was 10 am! I just stood there in disbelief at the two boys looking at their watches and trying to soak in that I was jipped an hour! Ok, Boy 2 you have 30 seconds to get out of bed and get to your online class! You should have seen him move!  It usually takes 30 minutes to get him out of bed, no matter what time it is!

Oh my goodness, I cannot tell my boys enough – MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND!!! Do NOT spend all your take home money, put in a small amount each month. There has been the extra gas money, the extra trips to the store. Walgreens was my home away from home for the first several days from getting everything from a new showerhead (that we do have to return, it broke while installing it…. no comment…) to a bag of ice to help for pain. Not to mention that we are unsure of when we will be getting a “pay check” for this is a Worker’s Comp. case and who knows when they will send Daddy’s check.  Baruch Hashem we will be able to pay our bills and feed our tummies until that happens.

Shabbos brought a much needed respit. Yes, Daddy was wheeled to shul by a wonderful boy. He was starting to feel a little better, but still needed lots of TLC. Nine days later and the boys are still wonderful mitzvah boys. The same enthusiasm they showed the first day in wanting to help Daddy is still there, Baruch Hashem!

Even though there was not much schooling done last week, the boys did manage to each put together a Dvar Torah. It is always nice when we can manage to have some resemblance of normalicy during difficult times. Yes, I made challah as usual on Thursday night, yes we did have our weekly cinnamon buns for Shabbos morning, and yes, there was a Dvar Torah from each boy on Friday night.

Monday morning was the beginning of a new school week. I was not sure how much we would get done, but we just needed to step in and try. I figured that there would be some subjects that got skipped due to having to help Daddy, but we would figure out how to deal with it. Amazingly, since Daddy was resting most of the school day, we got almost everything accomplished! Everything but math. Even today, only one boy got to math. Math is at the end of the day right now and I think that is why it seems to be skipped over, our help is needed. Not quite sure what to do about it. I have not turned the alarm on in the mornings and so I have not been getting up at 6:30 like we usually do for I do not wake up until about 8. The fact that I am not “forced” to get up then kinda makes me lazy about doing something I do not really care to do! I am hoping I will start waking up a bit earlier so that I can get myself ready earlier.  Perhaps we can start doing math at 8:30 before we are set to daven. We have 3 computers available and perhaps I can get everyone doing math at the same time. (Our math is from Khan Academy this year and the boys like it!)

Anyways, each day is a new day, with its own new challenges. I have been a mother, wife, friend, doctor, nurse, caregiver, chauffeur and a plumber these last 9 days.  Yes, a plumber.  We have 3 projects that need to get done and so far only had time for one. Why? Because instead of waiting up for Daddy until after midnight, we are actually going to bed at a reasonable time!  Not that I mind that much, but yes I am quite busy until the time the boys go to bed and do not get to extra stuff until night time.  Now, night time is spend in bed, like it should. (Though Daddy would argue that we are still going to bed too late! Can’t win them all.)

Two nice things that happened Monday night. I actually got to exercise for 15 minutes for the first time in the last week and a half. The second one is that Daddy got himself a present – a guitar! He has been wanting one for a while, and a month sitting down is the perfect excuse he needed to get one.

The boys missed all the Chanukah parties around town this year, and Daddy is really feeling bad about that.  However, tonight is the 5th night of Chanukah and has a special feeling about it, so tonight, (see here for more info) we are going to light our home and have a Chanukah party!  The boys do not know about it yet.  Nothing fancy, just some goodies, music, a game or two of dreidle and yes, I will get them a present.

Oh, and one more thing – I don’t have to match socks for 6 weeks! 🙂 There is good in everything. 😉