I hear a lot people say that they hate Mondays, but I must admit, Mondays don’t bother me the way Tuesdays do. Weekends are often chaotic and tiring, so Monday comes as a heavenly break, as I drop Becky off at her day program at 9 am. I say “goodbye” and don’t return for 6 hours. Bliss. Tuesdays are a whole other ball game.
Becky needs help in the mornings. She can now get herself dressed, very slowly, and get herself something to eat, very slowly, but she needs help with time keeping, lunch making, stretching, splint applying, shoe dressing, and standing. The standing is part of the physiotherapy regime to hopefully keep her ankle straight-ish, and help fight osteoporosis. You can imagine that this takes up quite a bit of time and quite of bit of energy, so I don’t appreciate having to also take the garbage out at the same time.
Why are there so many bins??? If I could throw it out my front door in one big package, life would be sweet, but no, it has to be sorted, and catalogued, and inventoried; well, maybe not inventoried. Every Tuesday I run around like the proverbial chicken taking out some garbage, checking on Becky, taking out more garbage, make the lunch, take out the last of the garbage, stretches, splints, standing, and we’re out the door. I already hate Tuesdays, so imagine my surprise last Tuesday when I go out for the third lot of garbage and one: Tom is in my driveway at 8 am, and two, a strange old man is sorting through my recycling box.
“Excuse me, Tom. I have to fight through the throngs”. I said. “I see that” he answered. “I’ve come to pick up the lopper” he said. He often sweet talks me like that. “You know where it is,” I said, as I walk up to this person in my garbage. “Do you mind” I said showing him my armful of plastics and cardboard. “I’m looking for beer bottles”, he replied. Which isn’t a reply at all, really. “There aren’t any beer bottles in there”, I said, still clutching my horde. “I take ’em back to the beer store for the scouts”, he said proudly. “There aren’t any beer bottles in there”, I said again, “They won’t take those bottles at the beer store.”
Now he looks at me. The penny drops. “Oh” he says, “I’m glad you told me, or else I’d be wasting my time”. Like you’re wasting mine, I think to myself. Tom has got his loppers by this time and joins the chat group on the curb. I’m still holding my garbage and I still have to deal with Becky. Can everyone take three steps back! Apparently not. I have to explain everything to Tom before he’ll leave, and I’m finally left standing there wondering what the hell happened. Is this common? Do people often find strangers in their garbage? Do they have to have a garbage discussion with a stranger before using their garbage containers? Anyway, we’re moving forward. I drop the garbage and head back to the house.
Inside the house, the cat has left me a little present of vomit. Don’t have time for that, so I step over it and carry on. We leave for the day program a few minutes late. The traffic isn’t too bad, and then on route, my dashboard alarm goes off for low gas. Now, I’ve only run out of gas once with Becky in the van, and I hadn’t really. The policeman yelling at me had me all flustered and I couldn’t figure out that I needed to switch the air conditioning off. It was over ten years ago, but it has scarred her for life. “OH, NO” shouts Becky. “It’s okay Becky, there’s lots of gas to get you to there.” I have to smooth talk her for the last ten minutes of the ride, praying that the van really will make it. I drop her off and head to the nearest gas station. I am supposed to be spending a lovely day with my aunt, so I don’t plan on going home. I check in my bag for my wallet, which I do have, but realise I’ve left my cell phone at home. “Bugger!” This is the emergency lifeline for the day program. It has been used twice already in just two months, and every centre Becky has been to, has used it. I make a split second decision to go on without it.
I spend the whole day wondering if the day centre is trying to contact me. I imagine Becky at the hospital, in the gutter, or just weeping quietly somewhere. By the time I go back to pick her up, I am ready for anti-anxiety drugs. As it happens, Becky managed to have a ‘normal’ day, thank goodness, although she did have a major argument with another girl at the centre. Oh well. I load her in the van and head to the bank. Becky has to pay her Visa bill today and for some reason, the internet banking isn’t working. She tells me the whole way there about this shouting match she had at the centre. I think I’m getting a headache. Thirty minutes later, we pull up to the bank, and go in. Lordy, Lordy, it’s empty. Sweet! Becky sorts out her bill payment, we put the statement and the bank card back together into an envelope, and go back to the van. We are ahead of schedule. Yeah! I see the envelope on Becky’s lap while I do up her wheelchair in the van. I tell you this in detail, because five minutes later, it’s gone. Somewhere between me pulling in the driveway of our house, and Becky going into her room, she lost the envelope; with the Visa statement and the bank card. Becky’s memory is a bit like swiss cheese; there are lots of holes in it. She can’t remember a thing. After cleaning up the cat throw-up, I spend several hours later that evening looking for the bloody envelope. There was no sign of it. Some days are like swimming through mud.
What can I say; I hate Tuesdays, and this was a doozy.