The Next Room

Yesterday marked four weeks since I had shoulder surgery. It was the second time on my dominant side making it all the more frustrating. It had been 21 years since the first time and neither of us had much recall of what that period was like as far as what I was or wasn’t able to do and how much Mike had to pitch in.

By the time surgery rolled around, I had worked up such a dread because I could remember how difficult it was to sleep post-op and the long process to rehab my shoulder.

This time would be different in that we’re retired. Hopefully it would make my recovery easier on us as whole.

Mike had to take my place. Instead of being on house arrest, Mike put me on bedroom arrest. Yes, I was quarantined for my protection. Having an arm in an immobilizer and being terribly sore, was not a combination that Jacob could respect or understand well.

I knew there would be things I’d need to let go of for a time. Jacob being clean shaven. Crooked clothes. A chocolate smudge or juice stain.

But, what I had not thought about, would be hearing what happens in the next room. One evening as I sat in the recliner, shoulder iced down and reading, I could hear Mike and Jacob. We were separated by a wall. It was really special hearing them and did my heart good. Mike was singing, “you get a line, I’ll get a pole, we’ll go down to the crawdad hole…” to entertain Jacob. I enjoyed the one-sided conversation as he offered Jacob different options to eat – breakfast pizza, brownies, banana bread.

I heard silverware rattling and knew it was the sound of the dishwasher being loaded. He was in the thick of it – doing everything involved in taking care of Jacob from the beginning of the day until lights out. He left the kitchen clean every evening, kept up with laundry, vacuumed, gave our golden retrievers a bath, delivered breakfast to me, and made sure I got meds on time and had ice ready to go.

Mike didn’t know that I had been listening to my guys. Wanting to be in the middle of them myself. I don’t do well being on the sideline. Often I would watch Jacob via the monitor in his room. I really, really missed him.

More than once Mike suggested I fire him from his position. He had job security whether he wanted it or not! No way was I going to find a replacement.

Within a couple of weeks, he was making tuna salad, meat loaf, and spaghetti. He mumbled under his breath that he might like cooking – with direct supervision. He even made Jacob brownies for his birthday!

I didn’t like being on bedroom arrest. But I never once wondered about my boy’s well-being. It allowed me to focus on my recovery. And, the blessing of a really good caretaker.

Mike earned an A+ from me all the while I sat in my recliner in the next room. A high grade doesn’t mean all that much to my man but maybe it will stop him from threatening a one minute notice rather than a two week. All in fun!


7 thoughts on “The Next Room

  1. I hope you are feeling better Terri. You and Mike are both such special people. I loved the pics and your story, it’s so sweet that you missed Jacob, but got to watch him on the monitor. Xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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