The Uncanny Valley

In body-snatcher type movies, there’s always one little detail that the aliens or whoever get slightly wrong, which makes our heroine go, “waaaait a minute, something’s not right here.” In some of the poorer-quality movies, it’s very noticeable, like, maybe the guy’s thumb is on backwards or something. In the better class of film, it can be as subtle as a slightly-altered hairline. This is what I’m dealing with now.

Yesterday, we took The Artist Formerly Known as Cletus The Pirate to the dentist to get his tooth [temporarily] fixed. Easy enough! He had a root canal a few weeks ago and so now he has a temporary crown in place of the snaggletooth he’s been sporting for the past two months. It looks… normal?

BUT IT DOESN’T, ACTUALLY. Let me explain.

Are you familiar with the concept of the “uncanny valley?” It’s a term coined in 1970 by a Japanese scientist named Masahiro Mori. It’s how he described his observation that as robots/computers get more life-like and “real” looking, our acceptance of them rises… TO A POINT. There’s an undefinable line which, when crossed, we start to back away slowly. So it really IS a fine line between “cute” and “creepy” as anyone who owns a Cabbage Patch Kid can tell you. Mori noted that as a robot’s looks (and, I guess, behavior?) approached this unseeable borderline, our feelings toward it drop into a valley (see what he did there?) of strangeness and dread and a general feeling of freaked-out-ness.

This does nothing to explain why I feel like that all the time, unless you’re all robots, which would EXPLAIN SO MUCH.

So all of that is to say that now we have this [temporary] tooth replacement and it’s maybe a half-millimeter too short and IT IS FREAKING ME OUT. It’s a tiny, tiny, TINY difference but y’know I’ve been looking at his face for almost 30 years now (we first met in 1993) and while we’re not the fresh-faced weirdos we were in the 90s, I’ve been there for all the changes the years have brought so I’ve had time to get used to them. This is very subtle but also VERY SUDDEN and IT’S SO WEIRD.

To compound the weirdness, I’m a Cute Deaf Lady and rely on reading lips to understand most of what people say so I *have to* look directly at his mouth when he talks. This all seems like some kind of cruel taunt from the universe, which… I probably deserve it but oh my god enough already.

The permanent crown will be installed on December 2nd and it will probably not be exactly “right” and I will have to figure out how to hike through the uncanny valley and come out on the other side. Or maybe I’ll just feel weird about it forever, who knows. He’ll probably wonder why I always seem like I’m just about to laugh but I do that when I’m nervous!

Still, even my not-exactly-right-looking husband is preferable to the toothless wonder I’ve had! And getting this tooth fixed is a HUGE relief to him, too. I know he’s been struggling with handling video calls and whatnot (although, the other day I heard him say “put the video on, you have to see what my tooth looks like!” I assume he was talking to a client or the president of the company or someone equally important. Who knows). One step closer to 100%!

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Baby, You Can Drive Your Car

Dudes!

I let Freddie drive the car yesterday and today. It went well, which was not quite what I was expecting! I let him drive to Starbucks yesterday and that was… scary. He saaaaaaays he can see okay and all of that but homeboy was drifting far-ish to the right and pulling into a parking space was… interesting. His reflexes seem okay and his car is one of those judgy bitches that will automatically hit the brakes for you if it thinks you’re too close to the car in front of you.

I do not like this feature because um, HELLO, if I’m riding your ass it’s because you are going 65 in the left lane so MOVE OVER, SUSAN. But nooooooo the car gets all finger-waggy about that. Still, it’s a good feature to have if you’re trying driving for the first time in two months.

Today I let him drive all the way down to Flemington, where his physical therapy is. That’s a 20-minute ride on a pretty busy road and he did very well! I didn’t grind my teeth nearly as much as yesterday! Parking is still challenging, though, so we might work on that. Or, I’ll just have him park far away and take up however many spaces he feels he needs. We’ll practice and see how it goes.

We’ll also need to work on parallel parking, because we can’t be a family where NONE OF US can do it. I am very very very bad at it, so I usually don’t even bother to try. I will park a full half-mile away from a place and walk if I have to. Sure, I could practice and get better at it but I could also go out and run a couple of miles and get better at it and you certainly don’t see my sexy ass doing THAT, do you? No, you do not.

The driving thing is definitely going to be helpful. That will take a little of the burden off of me, and give him a bit more freedom to do stuff without having to be concerned about me sitting around, waiting. I’m still going to keep him on a fairly short leash, especially with Fun Weather coming up, and I realllly don’t think he needs to be driving at night, which starts at 1:37PM right now. But he’ll be able to take The Teenager to school when and if we ever start doing that again and that will be… yay!!

Next week is a big week!! We’re finally getting The Tooth replaced, so any of you who have seen his crazy face on video, enjoy it while you can because it’s going away and he’s going to look slightly more normal. When he can tell I’m having a down day or if I’m feeling stressed or sad, he grins at me and I can’t help it but it makes me laugh. I felt bad about laughing at first but it’s so absurd, the way his face looks, that I can’t help it. What a nerd.

The only downside to all this recovery and improvement is that I am going to have to start helping out around the house more. I can’t keep saying “it’s good for you! Part of your recovery!” EVEN THOUGH IT IS! I have a list the rehab place gave me of activities that are good for people with brain injury and all of them involve things like laundry and other housework!

Sigh. I knew it couldn’t last.

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Progress!

Today should have been the FUNNEST DAY OF THE YEAR. It’s Halloween! It’s Saturday! We get an extra hour! There’s a full moon! Last year we had talked about having a big Halloween party this year because why not? We hadn’t thrown a good party in awhile.

Then the world fell apart.

Then MY world fell apart.

So here we are, putting things back together, piece by piece, like the most fucked up Lego set ever devised. We’ve been busy, so I only purchased pumpkins YESTERDAY. We carved them up this morning. And anyway, if you’re not doing your holiday decorations half-assed and at the last minute, are you even doing your holidays right?

Our Boy Wonder continues to improve. His vision is still crazy but his left eye has a lot more mobility than it did a few weeks ago. Rehab is helping and the eye exercises he isn’t doing regularly enough are helping too. That’s a very hopeful sign that maaaaybe this thing will resolve itself without surgery and we can put a cap on this adventure sooner rather than later.

Memory and cognitive function is improving, too. He’s been doing the New York Times mini crossword puzzles and the other day he branched out into the big puzzles, which force him to use his brain in different ways. Some things are still elusive, though – when we were getting ready to do the pumpkins this morning, he couldn’t find the word for tablecloth. He had “placemat” and then “the thing you use to cover the table” but couldn’t find “tablecloth” in his brain. He got there eventually but we bump up against these kinds of walls sometimes. I am getting better at not just immediately supplying whatever word he’s looking for but it’s hard!

He is getting close to wanting to try to drive the car, but I’m still not sure I like that idea. Driving in New Jersey is a challenge at the best of times and only the strong survive. If his eye mobility keeps improving, I *might* allow him to drive around town a little but there’s no way I’m letting his crazy ass attempt the Somerville Circle or route 22. Yet.

As for me, I’m still tired. I made the mistake of really looking at myself in the mirror the other day (something I generally avoid) and whoa, I am one tired lady. I’m getting a reasonable amount of sleep but this tired is more of an existential tiredness. I have been in crisis mode for one reason or another since December of last year. Life exploded and just never really let up. People are like, “whoa, how do you handle that?” What choice do I have? This is what I have been given to do, so this is what I do. “Oh you’re so strong!” Am I? What would it look like if I wasn’t? I can’t just up and abandon my whole life because it got weird and hard. That’s what life is. You do what you are given to do. If you’re lucky, you get a break sometimes.

That said, this would all be a lot weirder and harder without my kick-ass personal Rescue Squad. Individually and together, they have fed me, listened to me, laughed at my jokes (especially the really bad ones), sent me hilarious pictures, offered up their time and energy to help keep this boat afloat. Everyone should have a personal Rescue Squad like mine. Soon I’ll be in a place where I can try to repay all of this kindness, so everyone be on high alert for hugs that go on WAY too long and inappropriate butt-touching, because that’s how we show love around here.

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I’M TIRED

So it would seem that my caregiving lifestyle is catching up with me. I’m tired, y’all. Like, “want to sleep all day but can’t because insomnia” tired.

It’s fine. I’m fine. None of this is new. It just sucks.

Also, somehow, my entire body itches? I haven’t changed my laundry detergent or body wash or allergy pills or allergy shots or anything like that so WHAT GIVES, STUPID BODY? I keep scratching my head and wondering if I have lice (I don’t).

Some of it is stress/anxiety. I tend to absentmindedly scratch the backs of my hands when I’m HELLA STRESSED and I’ve been trying to not do that but… [skritch skritch skritch]. Keeping my hands busy helps a lot with that. EVERYTHING ITCHES. I took a shower to see if that would help. It did not.

I asked my therapist about it. She said it could very well be a psychosomatic reaction to stress/anxiety and I should try taking a Benadryl to see if that helps. The only problem is that Benadryl will put me RIGHT to sleep and since I’m the Prime Mover in this family right now, I can’t exactly do that.

So I scratch. I’m doing MOST of the self-care stuff I know how to do but it’s no match for the amount of sheer nonsense I had to carry around for so long. A couple more days of discomfort and I should be through it. It helps that things are getting back to normal here, too.

One-Eyed Freddie is doing a great job with his recovery. I have allowed him to go back to work a little bit so he is a HAPPY SHOUTY MAN about that. He is managing his TBI-related anxiety a lot better this week, too. After a particularly fraught day that included a lot of coffee, I nixed caffeine from his diet for a few days to see if that would bring him back down to earth. He slept a lot those three days, hahaha. But then he talked with his doctors and got permission to have A LITTLE bit of coffee each day (not half a pot, which is customary). He suggested decaf at one point and I nearly threw him out of the house. We don’t talk like that here!

Now that he’s allowed to have SOME coffee, he’s been feeling pretty good. Yesterday he folded all the laundry! We’ll see how long I can get away with “it’s part of your recovery, Sweetie!” Years, maybe?

The vision thing is something we will just have to be patient about. There are eye exercises he can do that will help, but it will take time to either resolve on its own or it won’t, in which case there is a surgical repair option. He needs to be patient.

Raise your hand if you think that’s going well. [ha]

That, I understand. He’s always been a “make this happen, right now” person and there are a lot of things in this recovery that just take time. He can’t control all of it, which is anathema to his personality and he’s been pushing up against that a lot. I tend to repeat “control what you can control and let the rest go” which is very unlike me but that’s something I’ve been working on for YEARS. I can’t control everything [yet] so why waste the energy trying? There are other things that need to be done with that time and energy.

But he’s an energetic guy. Kind of like a puppy, and when I can see him getting all torqued up, we go for a walk. We walk and talk and judge the landscaping in the neighborhood and talk about what our life together is going to look like going forward. We’ve always been more or less on the same page so we’ve never really sat down (or walked around) and really talked about what we want things to be like, so it’s been interesting to do that after all these years. It’s also nice to know that we are, as ever, on the same page about most things. While it sucks that we needed a near-death experience to do it, it’s nice that we are spending this kind of time together.

SO I GUESS WE’LL KEEP HIM, YOU GUYS.

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Homer Improvements

This has been a busy week for our little family of three. EVERYONE has appointments this week for doctors and therapists and allergy shots and tutoring and and and and AND!! Lots and lots of things on the calendar this week.

And the mostest funnest part of it is: I get to drive everyone everywhere every day. Because I’m the only one who can. Driving Mr Daisy has suggested that he be given the opportunity to take some of these errands off my hands, but I am not at all confident in his ability to see well enough to drive himself around, much less letting Raritan’s Answer to Homer Simpson drive the car with MY PRECIOUS BABY in it. So the answer to that, so far, is “hahaha you’re hilarious.”

I mean, he’s only had this eyeglasses fix for a week – he’s still getting used to it. I maaaaaaay let him drive around the block a la Rain Man and we’ll see how that goes, but I’m not letting his crazy ass get on a highway anytime soon.

And I just watched him empty the dishwasher (it’s part of his recovery!) and there were a couple of times where I could see him stop and think for a minute about where to put something away. Most of his recall is pretty good, but there are some little things he does that make me do the confused dog head-tilt, all “barrrooooo?” Luckily, we all have a sense of humor about it. Well, I do, anyway. He’s getting there.

He had a root canal on Tuesday to prepare for getting a crown on the broken tooth. That was SUCH a minor part of the accident, that it’s kind of annoying that it’s probably the biggest hassle to fix. He broke that tooth when he was a little kid and has had a partial cap on it for decades. It got knocked loose in the crash and the surgeon just took it out altogether. It’s for the best but HE LOOKS CRAZY and I’m starting to GET USED TO IT which is NOT A GOOD THING!!!

Speaking of crazy, that’s another thing that WE ALL have been dealing with. He’s been coming to terms with the accident and the consequences thereof and that has been, understandably, crazy-making. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week telling him that all these feelings are more or less normal aside from everything being SIZE EXTRA LARGE as a result of TBI. Feeling all your feelings in CAPITAL LETTERS is a well-documented side effect of brain injury, and knowing that has helped me stay patient and cheerful (I KNOW, RIGHT?) while he navigates these crazy waters. Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep The Teenager afloat as she figures out high school in this Brave New World and the amount of demented cheerleading I have to do on a daily basis is WEARING ON ME.

I’m so lucky that I have a massive support system looking after me and making sure I don’t murder anyone. It’s working… SO FAR. But yeah, it’s hard. We had a nice conversation the other day about the emotional load I’m carrying and how if I get to the point where I’m asking for help, that’s kind of a big deal. It’s a continuation of a theme I’ve been yelling about since The Teenager was a baby – this house is my workspace and as such, it should be respected, at least a little. And right now, EVERYONE IS HERE ALL THE TIME so now it’s EVERYONE’S workspace and we all need to work TOGETHER a little harder to keep the place running. I’ve never been willing to do it all and I’m even less willing now. It was a good talk and will go a long way toward alleviating some of my stress. Bonus: nobody will get murdered! Probably!

It helps a lot that folks have reached out to Freddie, too. He really appreciates all the calls and texts and stuff, so keep doing that because it helps keep him centered and less wrapped up in his own head. I can only do so much, so it helps ME, too. Someday, if we’re ever allowed to have parties again, we’ll throw a big one and everyone can come. Bring your own booze.

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RETURN OF SHOUTY MAN

This has been a very busy week for us! We have seen doctors and therapists and dental people and eyeglasses folks and had tons of fun!

Actually, the biggest missing puzzle piece was added yesterday when we got the prism film stuff for his glasses. It’s exactly what it sounds like – prismatic sticky bits that go on the one side of his glasses so his uncooperative eyeball stops seeing two of everything.

I can’t imagine how stressful that is – can you imagine having to deal with TWO OF ME? I’d run away from home.

It looks so weird, you guys. If you look at him head-on, you can’t really see the film but his left eye looks like it’s moved inward about half an inch so his eyes look too close together and it’s CRAZY. But he can see again and doesn’t need his cool pirate patch anymore, so I suppose we’ll call that an improvement. I tried looking through the glasses myself and it did not go well. Not only are his eyes already way worse than mine, but my brain just DID NOT want to even try to figure out what was going on there. I might have given myself a stroke.

Surgical recovery is going perfectly, we won’t need to see that doctor again for a month or so. We swung by the outpatient rehab that was suggested just to see what they said, and of course they’re like “oh we need to see you twice a week for the next little while” and yeah, maybe that’s true, but not for a $60 copay every time. We have a couple of sessions scheduled and then we’ll see what happens after that.

Next week is SUPER FUN – root canal time! I’m sure Freddie is super duper excited about that! I’ve had a root canal and I don’t think it was all that bad. The tray of things they plan to stick in your mouth can be a little daunting, but I’m not fazed by dental things so it didn’t bother me that much. Lay back and do some yoga breathing and it’s fine. We’ll see how he does.

The biggest indicator that he’s getting back on track is the RETURN OF SHOUTY MAN. He’s been taking work phone calls here and there and holy god, he is loud. SO VERY LOUD. Even when he’s upstairs, through a closed door, SHOUTY MAN CAN BE HEARD. The other day, we were on the phone with the insurance company and since the weather has been nice, we have windows open and SHOUTY MAN TELL NEIGHBORHOOD ALL THE BUSINESS! Not that anyone was around or would even care, but his voice does carry and I’m sure he can be heard from the street. It’s cute! He gets annoyed when I make fun, but WE ALL LOVE SHOUTY MAN.

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My Turn!

GONNA DO A BIG SCREAM.

I wake up at least twice in the night, usually. It’s because I’m 45 and I drink a lot of water so I have to pee a lot. This is easy enough to do whilst half-asleep, but if we ever rearrange our bedroom, I’ll probably die.

So the other night, I got up like I usually do and took a step and my right knee decided to have some kind of pain party. So now, instead of being hurty because I did things to it (like, say, jumping split squats or something else horrible), it’s hurty ALL THE TIME and making my life difficult.

We have discussed my approach to medical issues before. The “you’re not dead, there are no bones sticking out or spurting blood, therefore you’re fine” way of life has worked out pretty well for me so far. But I can’t very well bully Freddie into participating in his recovery and ignore my own nonsense, can I? I lose the moral authority I need for yelling if I do that, so I made an appointment to see my doctor and we’ll go from there.

I have always had trouble with my knees (thanks, Ma) but this is worse than usual AND it’s my right leg so if I am incapacitated and can’t drive, we’re fucked because Cap’n Handlebars isn’t allowed to drive and The Teenager refuses to learn. She’s only 14 but come on, kid! Take one for the team! So let’s hope this is something that can be helped via a brace or something and not require immediate surgery or similar.

In other news, Greybeard The Pirate is doing okay. We have had to have some discussions about how recovery isn’t going to be a straightforward process – there will be times when he feels like he’s regressing and there will be days when he doesn’t feel like he’s getting any better. That’s all normal and he needs to accept that. So far, so good. He’s been great about recognizing that he’s doing fantastically well, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

Today is the one-month mark, by the way. ONE MONTH. It feels like YEARS. Time is weird.

Recovery is going well. We are waiting on this prism film thingy that will stick onto the one side of his glasses and help with the double vision. If, for some reason, it doesn’t work, I hope someone out there has a spare room that I can live in because I will run away from home, I swear. But since there wasn’t any other option offered, I’m confident that it will work just fine and I won’t have to leave my family to save my sanity. Once he can use both of his eyes and not rely on the eyepatch, the pirate jokes will dry up but he will be much more useful to the outside world. It’s very hard right now for him to read and type and the texts he sends me are hilarious. Between him not being able to see and autocorrect, it’s a whole new language he’s speaking.

Everything else is going VERY well. I am allowing him to walk around the neighborhood on his own now, which is good for him. The dogs are super pissed off by this, though, because they’re both absolute maniacs on the leash so he can’t take them with him when he goes out. Maybe if they were LESS UNTRAINABLE, they’d get to go on walkies too! But while he’s got balance issues and my knee is falling off, the dogs will have to be content with pooping in the backyard like everyone else.

The tooth situation is also resolving nicely. He still looks absolutely bonkers but he’s going to have a root canal and a cap or a bridge or something which is a lot less hassle than an implant, so that’s good. It’s still going to be a giant pain in the head but a bridge situation is a lot quicker than the implant would be. I have both (my dental x-rays usually elicit a “wooooowwwwww” from folks who aren’t familiar with them).

We’re starting to see some of the bills bounce off the insurance now, too. Thank goodness we HAVE insurance because some of the numbers I’m seeing are basically imaginary amounts of money. The final bill from Morristown Medical Center is listed as “pending” which… yeah. It can stay that way for awhile because I’m not at all interested in what that is going to be. The rehab stay (5 days) came out to just under $9,000 and we’re on the hook for some of that. It’s fine. We just ran the household budget and it’s all doable! It just sucks. The healthcare system in this country is fucking bullshit.

Overall, we’re doing fine. Near-death experiences seem to be a thing that we can handle but I don’t really want to do it again anytime soon. Yesterday he said, “I guess I’m not going skiing this year.” NO, YOU ARE NOT, CAPTAIN DEATHWISH. For the next little while, our sporting life will be contained to things like jigsaw puzzles and strolls around the block. We’ll postpone our foray into the Circus Arts until 2021.

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Jigsaw

Not-So-Evil Knievel has been home for about a week and a half now and we are starting to get some answers to some of our questions. It’s a process! On Tuesday we saw the maxillofacial surgeon again, and he said everything is still looking great and healing well and it’s all good.

Yesterday we saw the neuro-ophthamologist, which was the biggest piece of the recovery puzzle. That doctor said that the double vision is being caused by something called “left sixth nerve palsy” which sounds…. benign? Apparently this can resolve on its own over time but if not, then there is a pretty simple procedure the doc can do to fix it. The thing is, the timeframe is WAY longer than Impatient Man would like. The doctor won’t even consider surgery until this has been a thing for six months.

Yay? OH BOY. I know the double vision issue sucks. He can’t read for very long and he can’t really type, so reading and answering email is a long and exhausting process, but we’ll figure something out. There is a thing he can get for his existing glasses (prism film?) that might help a bit so at least he can look out of both eyes and not have to wear a patch all the time like some kind of deranged suburban pirate. But getting some answers to that part has been very helpful to keep him from climbing the walls!

He is anxious to get back to work and I totally understand that but we also want him to get all of his pieces stuck back on first. Today we’re visiting an endodontist to have a look at his teeth and see if there is any additional damage to the front tooth he lost most of. I want to post a picture of it but he’s self-conscious about how it looks (rightly so, because it’s HILARIOUS) so I can’t but he might, on his own. With luck, it will be an easy fix and if we’re REALLY lucky there will be something temporary they can give him until the permanent fix happens, whatever that is, and he can stop looking crazy and start looking more normal.

His basic functions all seem to have come back strong. I’ve been making him handle dinnertime, and he hasn’t poisoned us or burned the house down yet so that’s good. He’s handling a lot of his medical phone calls and appointment-making, which is also excellent. I still have to drive everywhere but that’s perfectly fine with me. He’s walking a lot better than he was even a week ago but I still don’t want him wandering the neighborhood on his own just yet. So I have to take him out for walkies, like he’s a dog.

He does poop inside, though.

Overall, things are going well. His memory is pretty good, other executive functions are pretty good, and once we get the double vision under control, he’ll be pretty close to his normal self. We’re almost a month out from this thing and the progress he’s making has been excellent.

This was a very boring post. I promise I’ll have something funny to say very soon.

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Pushing

Our Boy Wonder has improved a lot in the couple of days he’s been home. The first night, he got in bed and just didn’t move again for nearly 12 hours. He’s normally a very active sleeper, with the flopping around and the occasional screaming, so for him to be so still was a bit concerning. I kept waking up and putting my hands in front of his mouth to make sure he was breathing.

He needed that sleep, though, and got up Tuesday morning and looked miles better than he had before. We spent most of the day talking and making lists of which doctors we need to see and other things that need to get done.

We have acquired a Google Home thingus, so it’s a lot easier to remember stuff now. We can yell at the house robot to remember it for us, instead of putting it in our phones or writing it on the kitchen whiteboard. Yay, technology! Having all the appointments in one place will make it a lot easier for us to schedule everything without overlapping things too much.

He’s still having double vision, so he’s supposed to wear his cool eye patch and switch eyes throughout the day. We don’t do this quite on the correct schedule because SOMEONE gets GRUMPY about it, but we’re seeing the neuro-ophthalmologist next Wednesday to get some answers about what’s up with that and a treatment timeline, because we really would like him to be able to see the correct number of things. He can’t drive until he’s cleared by a doctor, so guess who gets to chauffeur him around? This girl, right here!

I think it’s payback from the beginning of our relationship when I didn’t have my license and he had to drive everywhere. Hilariously, he will have to take a drivers’ ed course and pass a test before the doctors will clear him to drive. He SAYS that when he feels ready, he’ll just… start driving but GOSH it’s awfully hard to drive when you don’t have KEYS because your SUPER AWESOME WIFE HID THEM FROM YOU.

So stay tuned for THAT, because I’m sure he’ll accept all my decisions with total calm.

His balance is pretty good and he walks pretty well, but because his peripheral vision isn’t working on one side, I am not about to let him walk around by himself just yet. What if he trips on the sidewalk or misses a step and falls and lands on his face? We just got that put back together! So we take our constitutionals around the block and for now, that’s enough. Homeboy gets tired.

And that is the theme of our days – he wants to Do All The Things but his body is telling him “slow down, dummy!” I had originally planned for this week to be a total week of rest but, as most of you know, he’s not made that way so he’s Doing All The Things (That I Will Allow Him To Do) and he’s getting tired. And when he gets tired, he gets a little frustrated because he’s not back 100% right out of the gate.

I TOLD YOU GUYS HE WOULD DO THIS. Didn’t I?

We did get his glasses fixed, which has improved his life a lot. I’m only a little mad that the glasses I fought to have made are basically useless, but maybe we can get the correct lenses slapped into those frames later on as a backup pair. He does appreciate the amount of yelling I had to do to get them made, but they just aren’t as useful as they could be. So we got his original glasses put back together and that will be fine until we see the Eye Guy next week and figure out our next steps there.

He does have limits, though. He took a couple of work calls and had a journey to the eyeglasses place and then we went for a short walk to deliver our ballots to the drop box and he was just wiped out. I also made him cook half of the dinner because I was on a Zoom call, so he had to follow a recipe and his brain just got really sleepy from all that exercise. But the soup he made came out perfectly so those functions are all intact.

I have no doubts that he will be back 100%, it will just take time. If you didn’t know him before all of this, you’d never know anything had happened, aside from the dents in his face and the sweet eye patch he has to wear. He will be fine, but I keep telling him that it’s going to take time and he’s going to have to be patient and stop pushing so hard RIGHT NOW. The time for that will come, but for right now he needs to take his foot off the gas a little and coast for a bit.

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Shawshank’d

He’s home.

I went up to the rehab this morning for what they call “family training” which is a weird thing to call whatever it was that I did. I sat in on his therapy sessions and they talked to both of us about what kinds of things we’ll need to do at home in order for him to continue to improve and be safe.

We will still have to see quite a few doctors over the next little while but the big important thing is that he is finally home, after more than two weeks. He was wheeled out to the lobby but he left the building on his own two feet.

AND NOW THE FUN BEGINS. My instinct is to jump up and assist but he needs to be able to do all that stuff on his own so all I can really do is go “you okay? You need anything? Are you warm enough?”

ET CETERA.

Now that the horrible medical-intensive part is over, I think I might be able to breathe again. For the past two weeks I have found myself taking deep breaths every now and again like I’d been forgetting to breathe normally throughout the day. I think maybe I can relax a little.

Thank you to everyone who has called and texted and Facebooked and stopped by and kept me going through all of this. Thank you from the bottom of my cold, black heart. This would have been a lot harder to go through it alone.

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