Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just what do I do around here?

My 22 year old daughter is doing a bit better after her car accident. She is in a cast after surgery to fix her broken ankle, she has broken ribs, she has stitches, and more bumps and bruises than I can count. Her life at the moment is pain killers and napping and hopping to the bathroom using a 2 wheeled walker.

Today we had the insurance adjuster from Autopac (public car insurance) come to the house to assess my daughter's health needs and help start her personal insurance claims. What a monster pile of papers to fill out! She should get 90% of her salary and expenses like the crutches and walker and ambulance bill will be taken care of immediately. Other costs and benefits will be sorted out soon.

The lady asked her what she would normally do for chores around the house and what her other responsibilities are. Emily and I were saying she does the cooking, a lot of the laundry and housework and drives me around a lot. The lady turned to me and rather harshly asked so then what do I do around here? I was kind of stunned for a minute, tried to think of something I actually do and take responsibility for around here, and I drew a blank. I told her that basically I do nothing. I guess I looked pretty normal just sitting there; you can see some problems when I am walking or trying to carry things but the short term memory loss and other cognitive problems are invisible disabilities.

Emily quickly explained that I have had a stroke and have some physical and cognitive limitations. And then she added that I can't do much without supervision. She told the woman that I can't be trusted to turn the stove or iron off and that I loose my balance on the stairs. Basically she said that she is normally responsible for me while my husband is at work.

Oh my goodness!

First, how sad that my daughter feels such an overwhelming sense of responsibility at her young age and secondly how little they trust me to cope on my own even though I am doing much better now. I did know all this deep down, but hearing it said to a stranger was heart breaking.

I do try and keep everyone else around here organized, and think I do pretty close to my fair share, but I feel pretty darn useless about now.

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