As the late summer afternoon heated up, I slowed down. I sat down on the couch, ready to snooze off when my notification Bzzzz Bzzzz made me jump. Reaching carefully for my phone across the abyss that is the distance between the couch and the coffee table, I saw there was a Facebook post, I opened it to see Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon had posted a question on their HELPLINE. Sent by a reader (Dear Abbie style) the question was…
“I’m going to be out of town for several days next month. My husband (PwP) and I are both a little nervous about him being home alone while I’m away. What can we do to make this time smooth for both of us?”
I am guessing there is no one else in the house. When I am home alone I plan a few activities with friends such as out to lunch or a movie to give me something to look forward to. Maybe a friend or neighbor can stop by to bring in the mail or newspaper just to make sure everything is ok. Having some easy favorite meals prepared that just need to be heated. And maybe there’s a special treat available (for me that would be ice cream). Its good to be away from each other, it shows both of your strengths.
In April of 2018, I accompanied my husband for 200 miles of the beginning of his trek from Le Puy, France to the coast of Spain, about 1000 miles. I had planned on walking with my friend Alise in Spain after I left Charlie, but a bad fall on my last day of walking left me with no choice but to go home. I was home with our young adult son, who was not too helpful at the time. In fact, I met many police officers and was on a first-name basis with the sheriff’s deputy. Charlie and I communicated by calling each other on Facebook messenger. And as promised, Charlie made a Facebook post each night wifi was available at his lodging.
During this lonely time, I basically sat at home. Grocery shopping was exhausting. I grabbed the nearest shopping cart and made my way to the produce section where I purchased three bags of premade salad to eat for a week. I paid some bills, worked a little on my book, watered the flowers on the porch. Yeah… I was a slug and my mental and physical health showed it. Before Charlie returned I had to hire someone in to clean the house. I had turned it into a pit!
Charlie is a superhero. He doesn’t balk at anything, even the nastiest of messes. He would have cleaned the house no problem. I just couldnt let him see what I had turned into.
I would not have had such a crummy experience if we had planned ahead a little better. Any time he has been gone since then, and it is important that he get time away, we have a plan, like the one I gave fo the actual answer to the person who wrote into PRO.
If you are going to be HOME ALONE, and you are not used to it, HAVE A PLAN!! (and maybe a plan b)