Down the Drain

I thought my disaster days were over.

Today I started to cook lunch with the best of intentions. While something was heating in the oven, I had a clear-up in the kitchen. I took some dirty dishes to the sink, but the sink was already full. With the old dishwasher, I got into the habit of soaking everything before washing it.

So, I had to put the soaked contents of the sink in the dishwasher. Only problem was, the dishwasher had clean dishes in it from the last time. So the first task was to put these dishes away. I use a Pyrex  measuring jug to make my porridge each day, so got two of these jugs out of the dishwasher to put into the cupboard. Then, disaster struck. I must have misjudged the distance to the shelf, and one of the bowls fell onto the ground and immediately shattered into 1000 pieces. All over the floor, things that had been left on the floor, the cats’ food bowls, the works. I’m shrieking at all this.

No reaction from wife, who is next door in the lounge. I later learn she is happily listening to music, complete with earphones.

So, I’m left to clear everything. Fortunately I remembered where the dustpan and brush were – the hoover clogs in 2 seconds flat when confronted with broken glass, so started brushing the floor. It probably took about fifteen minutes, I had to do it sitting on a stool, moving the stool around. It was difficult to stop my dodgy leg from messing up the pile of glass I’d just swept up and was trying to manoeuvre into the dustpan. I had to fix the dustpan with my feet, because of course I only have one hand available.

Everything which had been in contact with the glass had to be cleaned, so all the cats’ things went into the sink. Well, except the sink was still full.

You can imagine how fatigued I was, doing all this. (And while sorting it, the oven had long since beeped to tell me that lunch was prepared.) I’m doing my  best not to lose my temper. It finally gave way when I’m trying to access the taps to re-fill the sink, except I can’t because somebody (might well have been me) had left some pans on the draining board to block my pathway to the tap. The pans were hurled across the kitchen. One of them then broke a couple of gin glasses belonging to my wife, but by them I didn’t give a shit. More work, collateral damage. I gave up on the idea of lunch, for the moment at least.

I finally had some lunch after probably an hour or so. Cold. Shit. The trouble is, the injections I take require me to eat something. At least I’d calmed down. I have to eat – I take insulin so if I skip a meal, I’m fucked.

In the middle of all this, I’m raging at how useless my wife was, I could have really used some help, and she is responding in kind, thinking I broke her glasses deliberately. Once everything was calm, I had to order two replacement glasses, plus of course a replacement Pyrex jug. What a brilliant way to spend my disability benefit, and to spend an afternoon overall.

That she didn’t give a shit, left me to clear it all up on my own, was disappointing. That we will now not speak for the rest of the week even moreso.

Honoured

We feel honoured. One of the cats has taken to leaving us little rodent presents. He’s always been a hunter, but he’s now taken to leaving them in the porch, just the other side of the cat-flap.

The weird thing is, they’re left with a garnish, a few leaves or a bit of grass. I mean, we know he leaves the rodents for us, but does he see the vegetables we eat for supper and think “they’re a funny lot, these humans, eating this green stuff”? Does anyone else find this? Our’s can leave us anything from maybe two or three rodents per day, to a rodent every two or three days, and maybe 50% of the time, they come with garnish, so I don’t think it’s accidental.

Sleep

My hospital stay was a long time ago now, around 3½ years, but it had a profound effect on my sleeping patterns.

As I’ve said before in this blog, I was in for about five weeks. Not insignificant, though I’ve known plenty of people who’ve been in longer. The regime in hospital was quite a simple one. Evening meal around 5 o’clock, thereafter, there was no therapy or doctors. So basically it all went quiet. There were TVs if somebody wanted to watch, there may be family visits, and a lot of people just dozed, it really wasn’t unusual for a lot of people to doze pretty much all the time. Nurses finally turned lights out at around 10pm, and all was dark – not quiet! – until the day shift nurses arrived in time to start at about 7:30am.

So, really, the evening meal was early, 5-ish, and after that, a lot of patients were asleep.

Obviously 5:30-6ish is ridiculously early to go to bed, but even after just a month in hospital, it rubbed off on me. I distinctly remember early days at home, struggling to stay awake beyond this time. In the early days, there was lots of sleep!

Even all this time later, I’m thinking of bed shortly after 9pm, and certainly don’t go beyond 10pm. It works out on the other side, too – this morning, for example, I woke up just before 5am, and got up just after. But that’s because we’re in the middle of summer – it’s different in December, though I always try to be up by 8am.

I remember in the early days. If I was doing something particularly engrossing, I’d stay awake, but otherwise, I liked a nap every afternoon. Nowadays I don’t nap. And, of course, nowadays I’m doing something engrossing every day – I write computer sodtware from home, on my own. That’s probably every bit as challenging as my previous life, although being home alone presents its own issues. The charity work has helped in that respect too – not particularly challenging intellectually, but in easing myself back into a “work” environment. For everybosy who volunteers, it is work and people strive to be just as useful as when they were paid.