Aug 07, 2017
I have been blessed with having home support for a few years now. Every two weeks I get my laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaned and the rest of the apartment is tidied, dusted, vacuumed and floors washed. To qualify for this precious social support service one must be in pretty bad shape - both physically and financially.
To give you an idea of 'pre-surgery' I would help as much as I could - strip the bedding, gather the laundry together, take things off the floor, etc. I could barely walk, only able to stand for 30 seconds and even sitting to fold laundry or to cut veggies for supper I would get winded, out of breath.
About 5 weeks ago (at 6 wks post-op) my 'girl' resigned to start her own business. You go gurl!
The company she worked for hasn't replaced her yet (at least not for me despite contacting them). I now need to bring it to the attention of the social services folks as it is unacceptable to leave a client hanging like this for so long.
In the mean time, I have slowly been trying to do bits of the housework on my own. Here's what I have discovered:
- Folding warm, clean clothes is equally soothing and satisfying AND a great mini workout. It no longer winds me!
- Making the tub and sink along with their fixtures sparkle is amazingly satisfying and rewarding. Rewarding because I do it much better than my 'girl' ever did, she never made them shine.
- Cleaning the oven, despite being a disgusting mess of goopy, smelly slime and an exercise in contortionism is equally frustrating and satisfying. It took me two days and was a bigger job than I ever imagined it would be. I will not be doing it again any time soon... yet I did it! I CLEANED MY OVEN! Big job = Big satisfaction.
- Sweeping the floor is a lot easier than I ever imagined. OH, wait, I can stand long enough to do it, I can bend to use the dustpan. I no longer 'need' to walk through scattered cat litter (they are a little too vigorous in their burying efforts).
- Washing dishes by hand. OMG is there anything better. I pull up the tall stool, sit and wash all the dishes in the warm soapy water. I practice my brain skills in maximizing the clean water - start with the cleanest dishes and work to the dirty ones. We even have a dishwasher and yet I still wash everything that is left out on the counter. I remember 25 years ago I made a deal with myself... If I washed the dishes I would reward myself by turning the TV off (weird I know but it was a motivator for me back then). Now doing the dishes is a reward in and of itself.
- Washing the floor. I didn't just grab the mop and swipe it over the floor, no I bent over, I used a broom head (essentially a soft version of a bristle brush) and I WASHED the floor. It was cleaner than it had been since moving in (2.5 years ago). I used the mop to swab up the dirty water AFTER scrubbing. I washed the floor by hand. Granted it wasn't on my knees and scrubbing forever like we did back in the 'good ole days'... the chemicals and floor coatings make that unnecessary now. What a rush to see a shine on the floor. I practiced what my mother taught me about starting as far from your exit as possible and work towards the door so you don't have to walk over the wet floor.
Written at 11 weeks post-op.