Just What the Doctor Ordered Part II... Caroling?
Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
61Trip End Jul 11, 2013
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So my sister Carol arrived a couple days after my sister Connie left and I guess Care-valescing doesn't work nearly as well as Con-valescing so maybe it should be called Carol-ing... We actually did sing a lot...(OMG including a version of the ever popular medley (?) "Gary Indiana/Happy Birthday" which we subjected our nephew James to… poor kid may want to skip birthdays altogether from now on to avoid any future scares like that one!)
Okay… so unlike Connie, Carol DOES do things HALF-WAY... Mostly because she FORGETS what she was doing...
She is NOT determined, informed, focused, thorough, analytic, practical, logical (and probably thinks SuperTramp is an awesome jumping apparatus for the back yard...)
Just kidding. She IS strong and aware and ALMOST as loud as Connie and I are. And, anyone who can command the attention of 75 Middle School “Bandies” with just a raised hand and raised voice IS POWERFUL!”
She is as goofy as they come but sometimes her pure honesty and straight-forwardness are so abrupt you gotta wonder if the game board is not missing a few pieces... (she'll be the first one to tell you that…) Admittedly, her memory, on some level is so bad that like her sister (me), when telling stories she has to squint and look up in puzzlement and really think about whether it was something that really happened or if she "made it up." I've found, we often have different versions of the same event (mostly for the laugh).
Carol & I are also generally confused these days (often for the laugh) and I believe we either have some of the same "wrong" memories or just happen to have "made up" some REALLY SIMILAR ones. (Chew on THAT ONE for a while!!!!)
Wow…I may be pondering that one for a bit myself....
Anyway, Carol also has a beautiful heart . She is also fun, and silly and sentimental but even her children think she's strange. And she is. The perpetually painful part for me is that when I'm with her, I am just as strange as she is... and I LIKE IT!
Many have heard the favorite stolen line I’ve been using for years that “I live a personal summer.” Well, Carol too, overheats on a fairly regular basis and can often be seen ripping off layers of clothes in the middle of a conversation… occasionally forgetting if she has any layers left…. But I digress….
So back to The Artful Odyssey... I'd had the surgery, had my toughest days with Connie, had an interlude where Diane & Pete monitored my exercises and moaning and grunting and remarks that went something like "Owowowowowowowowow Shit" "OWOWOWOWOWOWOW Shit!" Shiiiiiiit!!!!! And from various rooms in the house... I'd hear "Are you OK?" “Mare, maybe you should stop doing what you’re doing?" ”But Doc, it only hurts when I go like this...”
So we warned Pete about both Connie and Carol and, well, I think he thought we were exaggerating. Anyway, the first moment we are all together the "Caroling" begins… with a HA-larious story about an experience as a timer at a Middle School Track Meet last week.
So guided by the principle that “laughter is the best medicine” Caroling was “Just What The Doctor Ordered” (Part II). After I called Carol crying one day, telling her how amazing Connie was and that she’d be "a tough act to follow" Carol insisted on a “no compete clause.”
So, this therapy – Caroling, took a different tack and I swore (yes, me!) that even though “it only hurts when I laugh” I lumped it all right in with the “progress pain” my PT David and I had so aptly named.
So I have to say, while Connie was the Queen of “Press and Seal,” Carol pretty much sucked at it. So before showering (wish I had a picture but we’ll consider it a good thing we don’t) after Carol got through with me, I looked like a kindergarten cellophane project on steroids. (Guaran-teed this is NOT a visual for the faint of heart.)
I continued with my now staggered PT and Carol whipped me and beat me through supplemental exercise sessions. I had named a bunch of the exercises, usually with a song line or song title. Carol (being the music teacher she is) had Googled these songs, excerpted and played them while I performed the exercises. Sometimes my “form” was a bit weak since I was doubled-over with laughter and desperately trying to avoid embarrassing myself in any other way.
I did get to go on my first “outing” while she was here. Our friend Bob had been back a forth between the hospital and his Rehab Center and there were some concerns when Connie was here about whether it was a good idea for me to visit at that time. The conditions had changed so I was able to tag along for this one. Bob Martin and his late bride Betty (Iggy) were like second parents to me and when trying to figure out our how the friendship began, as Carol had said “I don’t know…we just always knew you.”
It was a great outing and Bob was animated, “feisty” and in great spirits. Merriment abounded. Son Michael cares for him on a minute by minute basis and he and Diane care for him day by day, constantly trying to predict and anticipate his needs and next “move.” I’m learning there a great many of our friends who have parents in a similar situations…seemingly equal parts joy and heartache.
So we capitalized on the JOY side and Bob got us belting out some patriotic songs and show tunes that were then stuck in my head for days! (a totally scary place to be!) But we sang (Caroled) and Bob was entranced by the Brag Book (of pictures) Carol had put together for the visit. But then, Carol makes everything fun.
It was just what the Doctor ordered!