I think the thing that bothers me most right now is that there are so many things I’m not supposed to do. In any given day, I do probably 40 or 50 things that are now on the list of restricted activities that aren’t allowed lest they give me congestive heart failure and leave me in a Terry Schiavo-like state. From carrying groceries in the house to climbing out on the roof to replace the bulbs in my security lighting, stuff I do all the time is a big fat no-no. And it’s making me pissed off at life.

I know my house isn’t the cleanest house on the planet, or even the most organized, but I do have some pretty stiff routines and things operate like clockwork. And now the springs seem to be popping out of the clock and I can see stuff falling apart all around me.

I know lots of people have volunteered to help, (my girlfriend most of all) and I appreciate that a lot. But actually asking them to do that is hard. And when I do ask, sometimes it’s hard to coordinate getting the work done, because they have their own lives, too. And god love ’em, I don’t think some of them have any concept of the amount of stuff I do in a single day. I have a list of furniture that I need to move around to make my recovery more convenient, and one of the people I asked said, “oh that will only take a couple of hours.” Unfortunately it will take about 7 or 8, actually.

I have roughly 3 weekends left before surgery to accomplish everything I need to do. Stuff that’s an absolute must:
– going to court to testify against the guy who was stalking my girlfriend (April 4)
– a sleep study to figure out what to do about my sleep apnea (April 5)
– implementing all the recovery guidelines and recommendations, which includes…
– re-arranging furniture so I can sleep and so care-givers can help me
– cleaning the house a certain way to ensure sanitary conditions
– getting a living will
– getting my taxes done
– a weekend trip
– considerable work on my website since I won’t be able to touch it for awhile

The other thing that sucks about this whole deal is not just that my day-to-day routine stuff is disrupted, but my big one-shot projects are all on hold, too. It’s not just that I won’t be able to mow the lawn every week, it’s that I planned on aerating the lawn this spring and putting down 40 pounds of grass seed. It’s not just that I have to weed the flower beds each week, it’s that I need to put down 800 pounds of mulch on the flowerbeds.

Stuff I planned on doing this spring that I now will be delayed in doing, due to my stupid heart:
– aerating the lawn
– mulching the flower beds
– cutting the pipes out of the kitchen
– repairing the drywall behind the kitchen sink
– painting the kitchen cabinets and walls
– repainting the foyer in a different color
– jackhammering out the stairs at the side of the house and the useless stairs in back
– hauling the extraneous queen box springs to the dump
– refinishing the small book case and the large chest of drawers
– tearing the bathtub out of the working bathroom downstairs
– helping Stephanie cultivate and plant a garden at her house


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. lisa

    i went through some of this on a much smaller scale when i broke my arm. reading your to-do list, i wish i could come help 🙂 i like to get stuff done, even if it’s not my own stuff! and i like to help.
    but i can’t… so i will offer these two ideas:
    first, perhaps this is a chance for personal growth– learning how to let go and relax, when life demands that of you.
    second, the cleaning at least, and possibly other tasks, could and perhaps should be hired out if you can afford it.

  2. Jaq

    Here’s a link for a living will/durable power of attorney for health care:
    I know it’s killer to not be able to do what you want, and the best-intentioned folks still won’t do stuff the way you would. If you can, stay focused on what you’ll be able to do once you’re off restriction.
    Will your insurance cover the cleaning/re-arranging? Since both are necessary for your smooth recovery, might be worth checking out.

  3. Steph Mineart

    lisa’s quite right; I keep telling myself to let it go and relax. But then I see something I want to move, and I think, “stupid, dumb ole thing I can’t move! Damn it! Where’s my magic wand?” 🙂

  4. lisa

    this might be worth mentioning to your cardiologist, since the frustration and anxiety of this situation is not all that great for your heart.
    when my father had a heart attack, one of the meds they put him on to prevent future attacks is an anxiety medication that, in small doses, does not really have any side effects. it basically makes you relax and chill out without making you feel high or loopy. i took some for my mom’s wedding and it was very helpful. it’s also given to cancer patients during chemo phases, to help them handle the emotional stress of chemo.
    it basically just makes you not mind stuff so much 🙂

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