Sunday, 13 November 2011

Time for a rethink

It's a gorgeous day here.  Bright sunshine, blue sky with no clouds in sight, and dare I say it, almost warm.

Of course, I can't get outside to enjoy it - I'm sitting at the desk, looking out, my plaster casted leg propped up on a bag stuffed full of clothes due to go to Oxfam, the next time I'm fit enough to pass by.

Howard is out in the garden, hanging out the laundry, tending to the hens, and planting my Spring bulbs.  As I usually do all the planting and sowing, I wrote him out step by step instructions for flower bulbs, alliums and overwintering broad beans and peas.  This included information on the potting compost mixes for each.  Now,  I'm not one for precision, but Howard, being a graphic designer, is used to working in millimetres.  So three parts compost to one part grit or Perlite to me means for every three scoops of compost, add some grit.  If it doesn't feel right, add a bit more of what's lacking.  Howard measures things EXACTLY.  Mind you, I should have known.  When we started at the first allotment, ten years back, he used a ruler to space the seed potatoes.  And the completion of the pruning of the Southernwood along the front path will wait until I am fit to do it myself - without a ruler.

I can't complain really.  He's had to everything around the house since I've been laid up, rather than just his usual tasks.  Every morning before leaving for work, he's made me a packed lunch plus healthy snacks to keep me going through the day.  Until buying a spare electric kettle late last week, he was also making a couple of flasks of just boiled water so I could have tea throughout the day.

As I'm relatively immobile, I'm not expending the usual amount of energy.  Therefore, I don't need the usual ration of carbs.  But if you're bored, frustrated and being punished with daytime TV, what lifts your spirit?  Cake.  Or biscuits.  It's a struggle to get downstairs to the larder, and I need both arms to brace myself when I drag myself back up the stairs, so I have to make sure my ration for the day is eked out.

This has meant a re-think of my diet, concentrating on lean protein, vitamin rich fruit & veg, plus good sources of calcium.  So lots of fish, chicken, vegetables (especially brassicas) and good quality cheese.  Any bread we eat is the best quality - sourdough, rye or sodabread.

It has been enjoyable sitting down together and planning what we both will eat.  We try to put thought into what we eat anyway, but having to adapt meals for someone who needs to build up strength without adding extra calories has meant we cannot fall back on traditional simple comfort foods.  That said, as a reward for so much hard work, I ordered a pizza on Friday so Howard didn't need to cook.  I ravenously knocked back my share and had heartburn till the morning.  Lesson learned.

Howard is a good cook, though he does prefer the reassurance of instructions.  I have no complaints about the catering.  Last Sunday he made a Spanish style casserole of chicken, tomatoes and butterbeans.  He managed to stretch it to make two lunches by setting aside the chicken thighs and pureeing the rest of the dish to make a soup and a salad.  Last night we had a panfried fillet of Mackerel, with a warm salad of bacon, fennel & carrot.   The rest of the carrots and fennel, along with some onions, leeks and celery, will be finely chopped and turned into a soup to last us for a couple of lunches.  The first day it will be finely chopped veg in a broth with pearl barley, the second day it will go through the blender to make a thick soup.

Once we've had a successful new meal, I'm trying to write down the details and keep it on file, along with the written instructions for garden tasks.  Howard is going to do the same for the various tasks I delegate to him, plus emergency info, such as the location of stopcocks in the house.  So if both of us are indisposed, the poor creature who has to look after us will know what to do to keep the house ticking over.


Sisters of the Blog said...

When i broke my leg in 2005, it was a very bad injury, and my DH had to do everything as well. We came to appreciate just how much each of us does for the household. I never really did master steps while on crutches and found that if i had to navigate them at all, it was safest for me to swallow my pride, sit on my my bum and pull myself up or slide down the steps.

As it was winter time, i made a 'sit-upon', having learned that skill years before in Brownies (like Girl Scouts/Girl Guides). My rudimentary model was several thick newspapers piled together, wrapped in a thick plastic bag, which i taped shut. I fashioned a belt made of clothesline that i taped to the bag, so when tied around my waist, i could sit down and keep my bum from getting wet as i safely navigated the outside steps.

It made me appreciate how many little things i took for granted, and while Himself did not do everything exactly as i would do, i was grateful that he was willing to do them all the same.


mrsnesbitt said...

Aliums - my favourite. Can't wait to finish our lounge so I can have my bargain curtains cleaned and hemmed and hung up at the windows. They feature aliums and have ordered our avocado carpet to match...........ooooooooooooh how ambitious!!! Makes a change from beige! (She says with fingers crossed!!!)

Blue Shed Thinking said...

Now have the heavy duty cast on, which has been shaped so it is difficult for me to walk. (Got rumbled when they saw the state of the old cast). As I pointed out, if all I can do is lie in bed, watching daytime TV and drinking tea, I need to be able to get to the loo safely.

Never mind, don't have to go back for another 4 weeks, but I plan to have sussed how to get around on this cast before the week is out.

Plan for tomorrow - list places I want to go come pay day, then phone them up and ask if they provide wheelchairs for customers in my position.