The Challenges of Home Life – Opening a Can of Beans

As thrilled as I was to be home, it also was a real challenge

I couldn’t drive.  Of course not!  But have you ever not been able to drive?  Not just a week or a month, but like months.  If I had never driven then maybe it would not have been so bad…maybe?

The brain tumor specialist and physical therapy doctors recommended we wait to see how things progressed before we made any decisions.  Shoot, I was getting better, braver, or just gutsier.

The longer I was home the more I tried to do things, like cook for instance.  They had tested my feeling on my right side and I could feel hot and cold.  So let’s try to cooking some hamburger in a skillet.  My left hand could do all the work and all I needed the right hand to do was keep the pan from moving.  So I placed my right hand on the skillet handle and tried to squeeze, oh well it was on it so let’s move on.  The next thing I knew my index finger had moved just barely touching the pan.  Oh crap, my eyes are saying HOT to my brain, but my finger is not moving…now what, but then my finger did move, slowly away, but it moved.  The next day at PT I told/showed them what had happened and everyone was thrilled at first, this was a step in the right direction, but then I got in trouble for doing it!

cancerThen there was the day I decided to make chili, ok, hamburger in the pan, this time I used a big pot, forget the skillet.  The only bad mistake is the one you don’t learn from, right?  Chili seasoning, this smells great John won’t believe this when he gets home, now let’s put in the beans.  How do you open a can of beans with one hand?  Now the anger and frustration sets in.  One thing that I really have trouble with since the surgery is my frustration and anger.  I tried everything, even a pop bottle opener, the one with the pointed end.  No luck.  When John got home I broke down and he finished it for me.  He said just tell me and I will get the stuff ready for you before I leave…he was so supportive.

It seemed like it was a trial and error period.  What didn’t work, you found another way to make it work.  John put up hand rails going down the stairs on both sides.  I needed one going down then the other going up.  He took the clothes downstairs so I could do laundry during the day. I was capable of doing some things, just not everything.

The more things I tried the more things I found I could do, just with my left hand and it took longer, longer, longer.  I walked with a leg brace so when the weather was nice I could walk around the block.  But, I had to be careful not to fall.  I couldn’t get up if I did.  My friends would call and check on me, but they were at work.  They would try to make arrangements to pick me up for lunch or get together for dinner.  John was a real trooper always taking me.  I wouldn’t order food that had to be cut up.  I ate things that I could handle or ask the waitress to have my sandwiches cut in half.  I still do.  My frustration level at times was more than I could handle and I wondered why, why, why me….

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