Schedules, stairs and sacrifice

I'm a very schedule-oriented person. I do certain things at certain times, and I like to stay on track with those certain things at certain times.

One example of my anal, control-issues-on-parade behavior is that I write my daily post at the same time each morning. I allot myself one hour, from 7:30 to 8:30, to get it done, then use the few spare minutes left to read a post or two from other bloggers before moving on to my next scheduled item for the day (walking the dog).

I like to stay on track because as a basically unemployed person, if I don't create my own schedule, I fritter away the day and accomplish nothing. I like to accomplish things. Plus, I know there are a few readers of my blog who anxiously await my post each day and know when I post, and I don't want to disappoint them or throw off their schedules. (Hi, Mom!)

Well, my schedule is now out the window, thanks to a leg in a cast. Not my leg -- Jim's.

(First let me point out that this is not a bitch-session about Jim or his foot/leg/cast/situation. He feels sufficiently guilty about screwing up my schedule, and I'm honestly not writing this to make him feel worse. I just need to explain my schedule snafu -- in the true sense of what that word's an acronym for! -- for my sake, if no one else's. Kay, Jim? I love you, honey-bunny, sugar-snookums!)

So last Thursday, Jim had what we thought would be a minor procedure done on his foot. The out-patient surgery had been scheduled for quite some time. He had several visits with the doctor leading up to the procedure. He received reams of information. My primary part in the plan was that I'd accompany Jim for the procedure since he'd be, 1) on drugs after the surgery, and 2) unable to drive right afterwards since his right foot was the subject.

As we waited for his drugs to kick in, the nurse mentioned something about him being in a cast afterwards (which we knew) and on crutches (which we knew) for six weeks (which we didn't know!). Six weeks! Six weeks? Six weeks of me having to drive Jim to and from his new job? Somehow that little tidbit of information was lost on the way to preparing for this procedure.

(Note to wives/girlfriends/significant others: It's a good idea to attend doctor appointments with your partner if there's any chance his medical condition will have even the slightest impact on your life.)

Okay ... so six weeks of playing chauffeur and altering my blog-posting times (it'll be around 9:30, Mom, by the time you see my posts). I can handle that. I'll complain a little because my schedule will be disrupted, but I can handle that.

But there's so much more to the schedule disruption than just driving Jim here and there.

First of all, Jim has to keep his foot elevated for 10 days. Which means he pretty much does nothing but sit with his foot propped up. That's fine. I understand. I'll alter my schedule and do his chores -- vacuuming, dinner dishes, making the bed, scooping the dog poop -- in addition to mine. I'll bring him his laptop, his water, his cellphone, his snacks, his anything and everything he needs. Not that big of a deal. (Not yet, I should say. We're only on day four.)

The bigger deal is that, as you may recall from this post, that we have lots of stairs in our house. Lots and lots and lots of stairs. Jim is unable to maneuver the majority of those stairs.

He can manage the stairs down to the family room. But he can't manage these stairs:

These are the stairs up to our bedroom. And to the bathroom Jim uses to take a shower. And to his office. And he won't be going up them for probably six weeks -- or at least a pretty good chunk of that. Which is fine with me, at this point, because I have an overwhelming phobia of my loved ones falling down stairs, and imagining Jim trying to conquer these stairs on crutches -- or even sans crutches -- zaps my brain a bit.

So we've set up his main command central in the family room, and he showers in the main floor bath. I pick out his clothes each day and bring them down the stairs for him. And I make a bed on the family room floor for him each night, so he can sleep with his foot propped up on the ottoman.

And I go upstairs to bed -- by myself -- each and every night. And that, people, is one of the weirder aspects of this in-sickness-and-in-health venture we're on.

I'm truly not one of those women who can't sleep without my husband in the bed. In fact, I sleep better when he's not there. Which happens quite often, actually, because Jim suffers crazy insomnia and typically roams the house for much of the night anyway.

But just knowing for a fact that Jim will not be coming to bed, that I'm the one shutting off all the lights and locking all the doors and hitting the sack in a dark and quiet house is weird. And uncomfortable. And unsettling.

And I have to do it for six weeks.

But I suppose I really do have the better end of the deal. How weird it must be for Jim to know he can't see his bedroom, his bathroom, his office -- all up those stairs -- for six weeks.

It's those stairs, in particular, that have us both hoping Jim's foot heals quickly and he's put into a "boot" sooner than expected. Well, the stairs and my screwed-up schedule.