I am starting with a warning, a warning to any woman who become disabled and her husband takes over the housework, make sure you go around your home and go over how to clean every single thing that is in your home, I do mean EVERYTHING, miss nothing and be precise. Adam decided without saying anything to me yesterday evening to wash two art nouveau style hanger that are in our hallway. Both were beautiful and both were made to look like ivory and gold, but in reality are made of some kind of ivory coloured compound, painted in what I would call old gold. I bought them not that long after we moved here and for what they are made of they weren’t cheap but they were perfect for my chosen positions for them. Without house being Victorian they have these half light windows above some of the door so that daylight can get into the central hallway, I found them blank and stark and the hangers added interest and style. With both of us being smokers and the hangers being high up, I guess he thought they were badly covered in years of nicotine and were just filthy, so he used bleach and hot water to clean them, rubbing hard with a sponge. The result, well we now have two horrid looking plastic disasters. I have to say that I do see the funny side, as he spent quite a while trying to get them clean, but in truth, they were probably clean in seconds, just from the water. He now has another task to do, repaint both of them with gold paint, but he has learned the lesson that collection of other things in the hall which are all of the same style, need only spray glass cleaner in the future.
I suppose those of us who have always been the main person who cleaned our homes, all have the details of the objects we live within our heads, somehow I just thought that he knew about how I cleaned everything and the reasons why, but why should he. None of us are mind readers and none of us have the same interests, but we still expect those around us to know just what is what and why or how anything works. This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last, but it really does make me wonder not just how our home will look in future years, but also how we will get along when I need his assistance more and more. I have this fear already that we are going to have argument after argument, as he try to get me to eat food that just isn’t right, or even possibly that I hate. Almost daily he offers me things that I would rather die of starvation than eat, right now it is a form of politeness as he makes his own food in the evenings, but I honestly can see him in the future cooking things that he like and him expecting me to eat them. Being a perfectionist, makes me hard for anyone to care for to that extent, just like my home, I like everything just so, just the way I would do it, or prepare it, or care for it, perfectionists don’t make good patients.
I know that I have come a long way from the person who would get ups 2 hours early just so I could do some housework before I went to work, I can now sit in a none perfect room and be content, not jumping up every few minutes to fix or clean something. But inside I am still the same person and nothing would make me happier than to have someone who could come here and put my home right, exactly as it would be if I was the one doing the caring. Once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist and nothing, not even my health can really change that, I just wish for Adams sake that I could change it. I have learned to try and put myself in his position, knowing him as I do and being grateful for everything that he does for me, as he isn’t the most domesticated person on earth, few men are. Looking at myself now and myself 10 years ago, there has been such a change in personality that it feels even to me as though I have been two different people. What worries me though is that final step that I will have to make one day and that is to hand over everything, including myself to Adams care. It has taken me 10 years to hand over and accept with humour when things go wrong in our home, I haven’t got 10 years to learn how to hand over and accept his help with gratitude and not picky anger.
I expect everyone who has ever been independent to find that kind of change to their lives hard to handle, so anyone one who has been furiously independent and is a lifelong perfectionist, is going to find it even harder. I know that I will have no choice, just like my home, I one day will not be able to look after myself and I know already that I am failing to care for me, so the time when someone else will need to, isn’t as far away as I would like. I hold onto one hope, that is that just like when I could no longer daily clean the living room and weekly blitz it, instead of being angry it wasn’t done, I became grateful that it was cleaned once a month, I will also learn to be grateful for anything that he does for me, no matter how wrong or how minor.
Chronic illness pushes you into living in ways you might never have thought would happen, it changes more than just the way you live, it changes even your personality and forces you into being grateful for what you would have taken for granted. I never thought I could change so much, or be such a different person, but I have and I guess that everyone has to whether they want to or not. I never thought that being ill would have this effect on me, the person who I know was once referred to as the “Dragon lady” by her staff, seems to have turned into a pussy cat, not quite a kitten yet, as I still have the odd claw that reacts before the brain. I suppose I just have to look at it as an adventure, a journey into the unknown and try to not be too frightened by what is waiting ahead of me.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 07/04/12 – My life was a mistake?
I seemed very set back yesterday in my childhood, not just in my two blogs but also all day long in my mind. I know I do that at times and I think yesterdays journey was totally triggered by the fact it is Easter. Like everyone else I have good and bad memories but unlike most I have more time to think about them, I’m never totally sure if that is a good or a bad thing. Living in the past isn’t a good thing for anyone to do too much, but it can help to heal the bad memories. A memory can sit in your mind like an Ogre waiting to squash you, sometimes that Ogre is hiding in……