Simple pleasures

This little piggy went to rehab. This little piggy went home. 

This little piggy had salmon, this little piggy had none … 

And THIS little piggy went “wheeee wheeee wheee wheeee wheeeeee!” All the way home.

Since the stroke, Tom can’t flex the toes or upper part of his right foot. So I manipulate his foot for him just to give it a stretch, and while I wiggle his toes I recite the little piggy poem. I try to make up different words each time so that I make him laugh.

There are few greater pleasures in life than making Tom laugh. He doesn’t hold back. And he makes me laugh so often, I’m really proud of myself when I can return the favor.

His smile is just a tiny bit crooked, but he can laugh.

Being a caregiver, even in a hospital with great nurses like at University Hospitals, is something like being a parent. You get up in the middle of the night to smooth his blankets. You get tired standing while you feed him, and sometimes you make a mess when the rice falls off the fork. You don’t always know the right thing to do, especially when he is fussy. 

You live for his smiles and laughter.

Open up the station doors, here comes the choo-choo train, open up the barn doors, here comes the turkey, open the garage door, here comes chocolate pudding…

I’m clumsy wielding a fork and I force Tom to take bites that are too big. He makes faces but he deals with it.

He chews and swallows. He eats. He laughs. 

He can raise his right arm a little. He can grasp a sponge block with his right hand. He’s raising and holding his right leg up to a count of more than 5. 

Today he can sit upright without falling over. He sat in a chair twice, for 30 minutes and 45 minutes. Friday he fell over onto the bed, and could only sit for 15 minutes in a chair, with a strain.

He’s better. And he didn’t lose any part of his cognition or memory.

He asks the doctors and nurses questions. He narrates his medical history with color and clarity. He offers insights about his habits. 

He makes us all laugh.

Tonight we watched an animated Pixar movie, “Big Hero 6.” I fell asleep toward the end because I was so relaxed. We liked the movie. I loved the simple pleasure of watching a movie together.

He can see. He can hear. He can understand the dialogue. He can follow the plot. He gets the jokes.

He can laugh.

Today’s penny is a 2000. The year we met. The first time he made me laugh.

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