Small Victories

It's the little things.

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.
Me: Cash.
My brain: bam. bam. bam. and bam.
Me: Ready to call then?
(small victory!)

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.


  1. I love this post! Small victory, maybe. Big deal, yes!

  2. Oh Jaimie this is HUGE!!!! I TOTALLY know the feeling of trying to do it all! Dakota and I just went to AZ to visit my family and it was SUCH a break to have my mom blend all his food and not have to worry for 10 days about doing EVERYTHING!! I too have asked the nurses to do more and more and have learned to let go of ALL the responsibilities. We need help! I am SO proud of Jimmy for doing it! It has been amazing watching Zach do more and more too. After he lost his sight it was like I made all his meals and helped him with everything where now he does most things on his own! You are doing amazing Jaimie and I look up to you so much!!! Keep up the great work!!

  3. Katie KrauseneckJune 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    LOVE this post! Warms an OT's heart :) GO Jimmy!

  4. I totally get this! In many ways we are in the same boat. It's not always a fun boat or an easy boat, but we make it work! It's these little things that means so much. Congrats on this one, keep them coming!!! :)

  5. It's the small victories that mean so much. Much love, Cheri


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