Fearing our worst fear
By Samra Jones Bufkins
For some unknown reason, I became deathly sick to my stomach last night. Because of the timing, I’m blaming it on the 9th inning implosion of the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the World Series, but I digress…
During one of my trips to pay homage to the porcelain god, the thought crossed my mind: “What if this is serious and I need to go to the hospital?”
It’s possibly the most-reported fear of family caregivers–what if something happens to us?
I might as well be alone in the house. Bill can’t use the telephone anymore, and I’m not sure he’d know to go to a neighbor for help. Plus, I’m wondering if it’s food poisoning or a virus (we ate from the same pot of chili) or something he could get.
We caregivers can’t get a break. We can’t even get sick without worrying about a zillion things.
But then something comforting happened.
I was curled up in a fetal position on the bed, and Bill came in with a cat. He brought the kitty to me, put him down, and stroked my hair, not saying anything.
A couple minutes later he came into the room with a glass of ice water.
After my last trip to the Temple of Earl, Bill was waiting with a washcloth soaked in cold water. A box of Kleenex was on the bed.
I crawled into bed, groaning, and he turned off the bedside light, something he NEVER does.
About 2:45 am I got up to get some ginger ale out of the kitchen. He had turned off most of the lights and turned off the TV before coming to bed. I can’t remember when he did either of those things.
Somewhere, in the remains of his intelligent, funny and compassionate brain, there was still a spark of concern, of the ability to lend assistance, and to care.
It was a brief but welcome flashback to the guy I married.