25 September 2009

Feeling a Little Vulnerable, Are We?

Scarecrow was sick on Wednesday. Staying-home-from-work sick.

It doesn't happen often. He's a pretty healthy guy. It wasn't bad; the usual cold, congestion, sinus-y kind of thing, and he was only out for a day.

Beyond the usual "Oh, poor baby" sympathy, I wasn't worried about him. As I always do when he's sick or otherwise unavailable, I was worried about me. Makes me feel like a self-centered jerk, (well, it makes me admit I really am a self-centered jerk), but there it is. He's my only care provider, 24/7, as we are wont say these days. We've got no backup. If something happens to him, I'm toast. This is not a good situation, and we both know it. He's really tied down. I'm really vulnerable, and I really don't like it.

OK, so why don't I get off my sorry butt and do something about it?

It's not like the situation just came up all of a sudden. The transition from being totally not disabled to needing help with pretty much everything was very gradual. Not much of an excuse, though, when I passed the point at which I need help for pretty much everything long ago.

I get little encouragement from Scarecrow. He says he's fine with things the way they are. That sure wouldn't be the case if I were in his shoes, but that's what he says. Still, we know we need to have a plan that we can implement at a moment's notice if, for some reason, Scarecrow can't take care of me.

Why are we so reluctant to do that?

Part of it is the expense. It comes out of pocket, and $15-$20 an hour  adds up fast. But that's just an excuse. It's like taking a dog to the vet. It's expensive and they hate it, but you just do it. It's not an option. If Scarecrow can't help me, I still need to go to the bathroom. It's not really an option.

The bigger problem is having another person in our house doing this stuff. I don't know why this would seem like such a deal. We've had assorted construction guys in and out of our house every day for the past nine months. And Scarecrow is not your shy and retiring kind of guy -- he's a total party animal. But this would be different. Way different.

Still, whatever it is that's hanging us up about this, we need to grit our teeth and do it. This was a gentle, polite reminder; next time we may not be so lucky. Being vulnerable is bad enough. But being vulnerable and not having a backup plan is just stupid.

1 comment:

  1. Zoom (or is it doggies?) - it's scary to face the realities of back up care. That's why Skip and I are working on our "Plan B."

    It may make sense to find an agency that takes private pay patients and try out some of their aides to try out your morning and bedtime rituals.

    This will help you establish a relationship with the agency (because there's a whole process they go through to get your situation documented and the like). This way, if you need someone in a pinch, you don't need to get through the whole setup.

    Not sure what they charge in your neck of the woods, but when we use an aide through an agency, we pay $27/hr.