My carpet needs to be vacuumed. Garbage cans linger on the curb. Clean laundry is piling up at the bottom of the stairs. Dishes are stacking up in the sink. Why? Because I went for a hike.
In our hectic, unrelenting lives, even the tiniest of hiccups can turn our days upside down. The daily demands of work, family and friends—don’t stop. Ever. And the momentum of life sometimes feels as though it’ll knock us to the ground and run us over, like a steam roller flattening a cartoon road runner.
Last weekend I sprained my ankle while I was hiking. A minor hiccup. It wasn’t even bad enough to see a doctor. “No sweat,” I told myself. “I know what to do: rest, ice, compress and elevate.”
But I failed to account for the momentum in my life.
This week is the last week to get early pre-school registration and of course, I hadn’t visited all the schools that I wanted to see. So, I found myself hobbling around from school to school in the rain. Not to mention shuttling my daughter to her weekly play dates and activities. I abandoned the less urgent matters and opted to rest when I could.
My carpet has colorful cracker crumbs mashed down into the fibers. The garbage cans are now rolling around in the street. And a dish tower just collapsed with a worrisome ‘crunch’.
Plus, my ankle still hurts.
Now, I am certainly not comparing a sprained ankle to lung cancer. But I have been thinking that if this minor glitch in my health has put my household into such a state of disarray, what would happen when someone has a major health issue which leaves them (even partially) incapacitated for weeks or months? Who brings in their garbage cans?
Enter the caregivers. Those often-thanked and seldom-helped people who know that just putting out the garbage cans isn’t enough.
And what happens when a caregiver sprains an ankle?
I shudder to imagine…