Thursday, June 22, 2017
How ya doin'
When I come upon someone I know, either by accident or design, the first thing I say after “hello” is “How are you?” I expect to hear back that the person is fine or that things have been rough. The conversation proceeds on from there. “How are you” feels like a natural segue into a deeper exchange.
Over the past eight years, I have been taking care of Riley and it has been a chore to say the least. My own physical and emotional health have gone downhill. There has been a host of people in and out of the house whose sole purpose was to help me with the care giving responsibilities and relieve some of the stress. Everyone who has helped has been awesome.
People who talk to me always start out the conversation with the phrase “How ya doin’?” I’m asked that question on the average of five times a day from well-meaning, concerned individuals. Riley asks the same question at least four times a day. It feels that everyone is always asking how I’m doing. It gets exhausting repeating the same answer over and over again. I try to keep it short – “I’m OK.”
How am I doing? Well, that fluctuates from hour to hour and even, sometimes, minute by minute. It depends on what and/or who I’m dealing with at the moment or what answer I’m waiting for each given day. There’s Medicaid, Veterans Administration, social workers, nurses, doctors, friends and family who are constantly asking questions and/or concerned for my well-being.
Decisions that need to be made bombard me daily. All the while, I must go to Riley when he calls me 4 or 5 times an hour. I must answer his questions on things that have no answers.
How am I doing? I’m frustrated, confused, tired, sick and I don’t want to explain the reasons behind the emotions every single day, over and over again. I’m not doing well. Can we just leave it at that?
Riley continues to s..l..o..w..l..y decline. His declining only creates more work for me.
I’m tired. I need a vacation where “how ya doin’” means “Can I get you a fresh ice tea?” Yes, a vacation would certainly help. Maybe a short cruise or a stay at a mountain resort. But, it will have to wait until Riley is gone and I won’t have to pay for a sitter for him. Anyway… it doesn’t matter what I need… I’ll continue to be “doin’” the same way I’ve been doin’ for a long time now. It will get worse before it gets better.
at 10:09 AM