Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Too Much Quality Time?

If you read my profile, you all know that I work for my darling hubby, Mr. P.  Usually, I go into work 2 or 3 days a week, do some bookkeeping and all the other things that need to get done that no one else will do and call it a week.  However, since Mr. P's big accident (see May 28 post) we have pretty much been attached at the hip.  

Because of his injuries, Mr. P has a difficult time driving (as well as sitting, sleeping and walking) and that means that added to my titles of wife and co-worker, I have added chauffeur, secretary, maid and personal fetcher of things. 

Mr. P needs to go to physical therapy twice (soon to be three times) a week.  This is usually at 8:30 am (remember, I used to work only 2 or 3 days a week, which meant I could sleep in - OH, NOT ANYMORE!)  So, our usual midweek day goes as follows - Up, showered, pot of coffee and ready to go by 7:00 am - this gives me an hour to coax Mr. P out of bed, get him set up with his lovely shower stool, lay out his clothes, find the fixings for his bandages, gather my belongings and his, pack the car and pull it up to the front door and get him to his physical therapist on time.  

I used to find a comfy chair, bring a good book and call it some quality alone time during his sessions.  Quite recently, his therapist has decided that I don't deserve any alone time and has put me to work.  Apparently, I am now a physical therapy assistant.  My new position of PT Assistant consisted of playing catch with my husband for 20 minutes yesterday while the lovely Julia (his PT) attended to other patients.  This would not be such an onerous task if not for the following 2 things:

1. I spend 24 hours, 7 days a week with the wonderful Mr. P already

2. I was actually getting a paycheck for being a PT Assistant.  
But alas, there is no money to be made by me in this new position.  
No, I actually have the pleasure of PAYING for this privilege.  You know, the good old co-pay for insurance.

After our invigorating 60 minute workout, off to work we go.  While in the car, Mr. P hooks himself up to his Bone Stimulator that I mentioned in my earlier post and it takes just about the right amount of time for it to do its thing on the drive from therapy to the office.  

I need to state here that I have always valued my commute to and from work.  I love the silence and being alone with my thoughts and just the privilege of a small period of time, if only 20 minutes, without husband or children or anyone needing something from me.   But as of January 20, 2008, this pleasurable commute has become but a mere memory.  Mr. chatterbox sings, talks, makes noises, and plays the annoying Punch Buggy Game.  I'm sure if you have children, you know this game.  Arriving at work, bruised and battered (because I ALWAYS lose the punch buggy game) we get Mr. P into his office.  

One good thing about work is that as soon as we get there, our loyal Studio Manager, Toni, takes over for me and I do get a small reprieve from the tenuous job of catering to Mr. P.  The problem  with this is that a lot of the time, by 11:00 am, I have run out of things to do.  This is where surfing the net, shopping, and chatting with co-workers rears its ugly head.  In other words, I waste A LOT of time.  I think about all the things I could and should be doing.  At home, running errands, etc.  Instead, as the glorified babysitter, I sit and wait for the time when Mr. P will run out of steam and need to go home.  For the most part, this is usually by 2:00 pm. Back in the car and home we go.  Another VERY LONG commute as we revert back to the talking, singing, noisemaking and again, the wonderful punch buggy game.  

As Mr. P makes slow progress in his recovery, I am proud to announce that he has resumed the daily task of making supper.  He is an amazing cook and it is somewhat comical to watch him tool around in his wheelchair balancing his supplies on his lap, the armrest and whatever other available surfaces he can find and reach.  Again, the only problem with this scenario is, if he can't reach it, he yells for me.  I have resigned myself to the fact that although I do not have to actually prepare and cook the supper, I still have to be available to perform the duties of "fetcher of things".  Hence, my new official perch on the barstool at the counter awaiting instruction.  

After supper, Mr. P is tired.  After all, it has been a long and grueling day for him, if not productive.  Remember, reconstructed left leg, broken right hip and a broken back.  It is usually about 7:00 pm at this point and if we wait much longer, Mr. P will not be able to navigate his way upstairs to bed.  Once he is settled, back downstairs to do dishes, sweep the floor, finish the laundry and yell out to the kids (wherever they may be) to lock up when they come in for the night.  Back upstairs to FINALLY get some relaxation, I am counting on Mr. P being deep in his blissful sleep by this point. 

As I lay down to settle in for the night I recall the days of independence, solitude and having time for me.  I wonder if there is such a thing as too much quality time for a married couple, but quickly count my blessings, as I could be like many others out there who are truly alone and crave companionship.  Too much quality time?  Definitely so.  Preferable to being always alone and lonely?  Definitely so.  So I look forward to the day when Mr. P is back on his feet - figuratively and literally, but until then I will continue to be the wife, the co-worker, the secretary, the maid, the chauffeur, and the personal fetcher of things.