Two weeks ago, my 74-year-old father called and told me that he’d fallen and broken his leg in three places. By the time he called me, he was already in the hospital and they were planning on operating the following morning. He’d had another health scare back in November, so I was extremely worried for him, but surgery went well. In order to make sure everything stayed in place post-surgery, he had to have a metal cage put around his leg with pins going into his skin to hold the bones where they were supposed to be. Icky, but sure, fine. After my son had his heart transplant, he was brought back to his room with his chest still open (covered with surgical saran wrap) and it stayed open for a few days–I’m not super squeamish about medical stuff. The plan was to wait for the swelling to go down and then the doctor would operate again and remove the cage/stabby apparatus. But, in the meantime, the doctors didn’t want my dad to stay in the hospital because there’s a global pandemic going on.
So, since my dad can’t care for himself at home right now due to his leg being in a medical bear trap, the doctors sent him to an assisted living facility. A week ago, my dad called and told me that the facility had three positive test results for COVID-19. Then, the call I was dreading came last night a couple of hours after I wrote yesterday’s post–my dad tested positive for COVID-19.
All things considered, he’s doing well. He doesn’t currently have any symptoms other than a positive test result and he was transferred to another facility. Which is good news so far, but I’m going to be honest–I’m a little freaked out right now. I’m very worried about him and I hate feeling helpless.
Who knew my saving grace was going to come in the form of a ridiculous cleaning challenge? Certainly not me.
By deciding to continue to push forward with this challenge, cleaning the house (and deep cleaning the living room) kept me occupied today. Plus, since I’ve been doing routine maintenance all week, today didn’t feel that bad in terms of time or effort because I was just doing small things to keep my house clean and I wasn’t starting from scratch. Or I was distracted due to the effort of trying not to think about my dad and all the scary “what ifs” I’m not ready to deal with yet. That’s not to say I’m trying to ignore my feelings, but cleaning like a 1950s housewife kept me from lying in bed all day in a depressive state while binging multiple seasons of America’s Next Top Model and eating my weight in junk food.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t do anything practical to help me process what’s going on–Jon and I met with our therapist via video chat today, and Jon and I have also talked a lot about my dad one-on-one. Right now, I’m exhausted. The house looks great, I did the therapy thing, and I even drank more water today than I have any other day this week.
On the plus side, the designated deep clean weekly chores have all been completed for this week, according to the challenge schedule. Since I have a “free day” of sorts for tomorrow, I’m planning on using it to deep clean the laundry room. Then maybe I’ll finally lose my mind and bake myself into a pie.
If I’ve totally bummed you out with this post because you were expecting the introspective, feminist analysis I promised yesterday…my bad. In its place, please enjoy the new music video from Michael Franti & Spearhead for his song “This is How We Living” which is one of the only things that held me together today.
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