Thursday, April 25, 2013

"It Takes a Village"

Rare traffic jam in our small village
It really takes a village to be a caregiver.

I am substitute teaching one morning this week and the plan is that neighbor/caregiver Kenny will not monitor hubby. Instead, Sally will pick up hubby about 10 am, see if he has had his morning pills and drive our two husbands to the senior center for their lunch and activities until 3 pm when she will pick them up and drive my husband home. I will be home by 5 pm after substituting.

Wrong. Hubby does not answer the door which puts Sally and Jake into a rescue mode. I happen to check my cell phone and see messages from Sally and a text from Kenny. I am team teaching third period with another teacher and have fourth period off for the teacher's conference time. Leaving the other teacher I check out of school saying I have an emergency at home and I will be back at 1:15 for fifth period and the rest of the teaching day or I will call them.

As I am driving home I call Sally with my iPhone and use the speaker phone. Having tried to reach me, and not succeeding, she has called 911. Kenny has meanwhile come by and Kenny has a key to the backdoor. Kenny goes in and checks on hubby who had diarrhea and is sitting on you know where in a mess (undoubtedly from the antibiotics he had been taking). Why would he want to answer the door! Now hubby doesn't have memory of sitting on this throne since then. He says he didn't answer the door because he was in our backyard. I tell Sally to see if she can cancel the 911 call.

Meanwhile neighbors have come by and tried to find open windows. Water and cookies are provided for Sally and Jake. Sally has missed her dental appointment and both husbands will not be at the senior center as planned.

I stop at the senior center on my way home and explain why our hubbies will not be there that day. I have decided this day to keep my cell phone on in the classroom for just such emergencies, and tell the senior center to always call my cell if there is a problem.

I get home at about 11:45 and the small circular driveway is full of cars. In addition to Sally and Jake's car, Pest Control has come to service our property. Our volunteer lawn mower Wayne is there to mow the 7/10 of an acre property. The sheriff has been there and checked hubby's vitals and he is resting inside and is fine. My pastor's wife calls me to talk about senior care while everyone is there and I try to keep the conversation as brief as two women ever can. The village is there or has been there it seems.

Sally and Jake leave--their day went caput! I spring into action and clean up the bathroom and start a load of laundry from the mess. I make lunch for hubby (he was going to get lunch at the senior center). I pay the pest control people, thank Wayne and arrange for us to take him to dinner that night. I make it back to finish substituting for the remainder of the day.

Since this day, I now text Kenny and know what is happening with hubby and can make a phone call between classes if need be. Folks, do not call me while I sub--just text. I do not want to disturb the education of our fine youth by my answering the phone, but I do want to know what the village is doing elsewhere with my fine hubby!



  1. Isn't it fantastic to be surrounded by so many caring people! Hope hubby is well again now, in that department at least :-)

  2. I remember having days similar to what you've described. Thank God there was a village to help out .....

    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. You have a good village there.

  4. With all this, I might have to "lose" my phone and mimic an ostrich. I am amazed every day by you!