Life of the Temporary Caregiver – a Short Story






Being alone, without a spouse, has elements of what it might be like to be in prison; I read a lot, I write a lot, I lift a lot of weights, do a lot of aerobics and take lots of cold showers. Thankfully, no one makes me bend over for the soap.



I am not totally skipping this week by not supplying a growing up story, but I am cheating a bit by providing a short, ‘real life’, expose. As I sit here writing this, my oldest boy, our first baby is in the next room suffering from a very bad bone break. He lives in Chandler, AZ and rides his bicycle most days to work in Tempe. We received a text from him on a recent Thursday saying he was in the hospital and that he had likely broken a hip bone.

Say no more. I immediately knew he would need help with transportation and just basic necessities such as food preparation. One of us, either myself or my wife, would have to fly down to Phoenix for an extended stay. We are presently both not working outside the home but Kim had a couple of things on her calendar the following week. I had nothing other than a repairman for grout and tasks associated with listing a home for sale. Kim could take care of overseeing those in addition to her appointments.

So here I am again in Phoenix. I flew out the very next morning, arrived unscathed in PHX, took an Uber to the house and drove over to the hospital. Just watching my son in severe pain brought back my own memories of bone break pain documented in a 3-part story I shared back in May.

As it turned out, my son’s bone break was not a hip, but the ball joint at the top of the femur. Holy cow – a clean break, all the way through the bone, just below the ball joint. It took a lot of thinking about ‘baseball’ to not show any tears. I could see the tremendous amount of pain in the couple of times I saw tears leak out of my son’s eyes that evening and trust me, every parent out there reading this knows she/he would gladly switch places with a child in pain.

He survived the surgery the following day and as you could see in the pic at the beginning of the story, he received two steel pins to hold the two pieces together and to help set the leg straight again. Each patient’s recovery is different, but I’m estimating a minimum of six weeks before he can attempt to drive a car and/or return to work; most likely longer.


Evil will be conquered!

I will give him some credit. He’s using a walker to navigate around my one-story ranch, (his place has steps), and is attempting to do most things on his own. Essentially, I am cooking his meals and cleaning up afterwards. I take time each morning to drive to his house where I care for his two cats; Butters and Chunk.

I will return next week with the first part of a story I broke in two. Both parts are written in draft form already. I will leave you with two things this week. The first is a thought:

Having family that a person can depend upon when a crisis occurs is irreplaceable and carries a very high value. I’m sure my son is appreciative, but it’s also reminding me that my family once stepped up to care for me when I broke my leg and tore up my knee.

The second thing I will leave you with is a very funny video of a comedian doing a bit about pain and the Emergency Room. It’s ‘clean’ and hilarious, especially if you’ve ever had to visit the ER. I hope you take the time to watch this. It made my injured son laugh so I know it will also make you laugh.

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