We're learning that getting Jimmy bits and pieces of his independence back means me literally not doing something and him attempting to pick up where I left off.
Aside from most of his actual medical care our nurses do, I do just about everything to keep the household going. Medical supplies, medication refills, bills, cleaning, cooking, feeding, errands, grocery shopping, paperwork, scheduling appointments and working with nurse agency to make sure we're staffed properly.
I picked up on all this a few days after the accident and never really looked back. I'm starting to come out of my bubble a little. I think Jimmy is too.
Maybe we've turned a corner and we're learning how to be a happy, functioning, better-adjusted duo again. The sadness monster doesn't rear it's ugly head as much.
Taking on all these duties and continuing to do everything, I found, comes with a a few downsides. I recently discovered Jimmy doesn't even know our address. Crap.
I feel like part of it is just a matter of breaking the routine -- the one we've had for almost two years now.
Try something new. Push ourselves. Less me. More him.
Last night, Jimmy decided he wanted Chinese take-out. This in itself was great! Getting him to make a decision on dinner... sheesh. I thought I had a comfortable place as the indecisive one in the relationship. That's out the window.
It's rare that Jimmy tells me what he wants to eat.
When he said he wanted "Chineezy" (because everything has a nickname in our house, apparently) I jumped up grabbed a take-out menu. I mean, a new one is stuffed in our door every week so there's no shortage.
Jimmy already had his phone goose neck clamped to his chair. I usually hold all menus, flipping through as he tries to make up his mind. I found a way to wedge the menu in between his phone and phone holder. Ah! I could resume what I was doing while he looked over his options (small victory!).
He looked and looked, finally deciding on something.
He told me what he wanted.
I said, "You know what? Why don't you order?"
Then the resistance came.
Him: I don't know the number.
Me: I'll dial for you.
Him: I don't know our address.
Me: (I walked to my desk, stamped a post-it with our return address and put it on the menu in front of him with our gate code for the delivery person.)
Him: Well, I don't know what all you want.
Me: I don't want anything.
Him: How are we paying? I don't have the credit card number.
My brain: bam. bam. bam. and bam.
Me: Ready to call then?
I hooked up his headphones to his phone, which also has a microphone on it. I dialed, and listen to my husband order his own Chineezy take-out for the first time in 1.8 years. (small victory!)
I can't believe I've gotten so comfortable doing everything. I can't believe it's taken me this long to ask him for help. I can't believe it took me until recently to ask the freaking nurses to call in Jimmy's prescription refills (Jimmy takes a lot of meds) instead of me and I can't believe some of them look at me like I'm disturbing them from sitting on their bottoms when I ask them to do so.
Jimmy's voice is so strong now. I was listening to him project as he ordered and I was impressed. He's come a long way from not talking, to mouthing, to barely talking, to sounding like Cookie Monster to THIS.
We learned, though, that he has to try and organize his breaths. Sometimes when the person on the other line hears a pause (Jimmy gathering air) they'll start talking and Jimmy has to try and talk over them, and backtrack and it's can get a little frustrating for him.
He did good job telling the man: "Okay, let me start over." He commanded the conversation instead of giving up, looking to me in defeated manner and asking for help. (small victory!)
Calling to order take-out. Something we take for granted every single day. We had a mini-celebration after he hung up. I think he was proud of himself. I'm sure it felt good for him to do that.
Helping Jimmy help me (Help me help you help me help you!).
Small victories, people. Small victories.