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Feb 21, 2023

Roll With It

Discussing the impact of his wife getting the flu, I heard a man commiserate, "The whole system shut down." He lamented his plight by referring to housekeeping, meals, laundry, the children and missed time from work, and their physical relationship.

Asking how long her sickness lasted, he exasperatedly replied, "Four days!"

Calculating internally, I considered that I'd logged more than twelve thousand days caring for a wife with significant medical challenges. In a moment of uncharacteristic graciousness, I quietly exited that conversation because I didn't trust my judgment to avoid sarcasm  – which would not have been helpful to either of us.

The unfair job description placed on his poor wife notwithstanding, a medical event can indeed derail plans and routines instantly. After recovering from the flu, a family can usually return to the familiar, but with a chronic impairment, "getting back on track" can often prove impossible. One must create a new normal within the abnormal. After nearly four decades as a caregiver through a medical nightmare that has soared to eighty-five operations, I'm learning to shake hands with ambiguity. Caregiving, like inclement weather, requires flexibility and creativity.

Routines remain essential, but peace of mind requires cannot be tethered to rigidity.

"When life is too much, roll with it, baby!" - Steve Winwood