A Good Week

Changing Roles
Andy went back to work this morning.  He had been home sick for two days. On Tuesday he had rather extensive oral surgery. Wednesday morning his face was so swollen, the right cheek ballooning to twice its normal size.  He needed soft foods that would not lodge in the wound, a day of ice packs and heat packs the days that followed. He had planned to go to work all week.  I convinced him to take a sick day, which turned into two.  By today the swelling was down, even though for most people the third day the swelling is the worst.  In Andy’s case, only the first day was especially bad.  His strength and resiliency is amazing.  He is a tireless activist who works late into the night.  One week he had less than 2 hours sleep every night.  I don’t know how he does it.  He can keep up a work pace that would exhaust a twenty year old.
But this week he was really laid up.  I had already boiled beets and carrots to make borscht.  I removed the beets and carrots from the broth.  I cooked the beet greens and added a dollop of crushed garlic, added honey and balsamic vinegar, to taste.  Usually I serve my borscht with shredded beets in a purple red broth.  This time I pureed it.  I added a scoop of yogurt.  Sour cream is traditional but yogurt is healthier, and with Andy on antibiotics, the probiotics in the yogurt help replace his natural flora.
I made a run to Trader Joes and picked up lots of soft food: lentil and split pea soups, crab cakes, polenta, hummus, yogurt, ground beef, soy ice cream  (it’s lower in fat than regular ice cream has no cholesterol, and tastes great,) juice, bottled pears in white grape juice and milk.
For breakfast on Wednesday I made him French toast; for lunch, borscht; for dinner, polenta and crab cakes, with tomato hummus as a sauce.  Thursday morning I made him oatmeal, which I pureed.  I left during the afternoon to bring some borscht to a friend who had just been released from the hospital and to run a few errands.  Andy had left over crab cakes and polenta for lunch.
For dinner I bought food at an Ethiopian restaurant.  This morning Andy went off to work with leftovers from dinner the night before.  For dinner I made a skillet meal of ground beef (extra lean,) pureed onions and parsley, minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms.  I seasoned it with ground pepper, salt, oregano and ground New Mexican chili.  I served it with pasta and cuatro formaggio.
Andy is so devoted and patient with me.  It was a blessing to be able to take care of him when he was sick.  It was a relief to be the supportive partner.  So often I am the sick and needy one. This week heralded my return to my work.  This move has been overwhelming and I feel that I can now finally get back to writing, taking pictures, studying and activism.
Morning Rain
This morning I woke up to a soaking rain, a deep rain, perfect for tea and journaling, morning in bed and hot soup.  Andy’s car wouldn’t start so he took mine, so I was a shut in today. I had planned to go down the hill to get my developed film.  I want to get a library card.   It will have to wait.  Even with the sun it is hard for me to get around Echo Park without a car.  I am only a few blocks from the corner of Alvarado and Sunset, but on a hill that makes walking there rather prohibitive.  Today Bob was going to come and put in my ramp so that I can get my scooter out the door and into the world but the rain has postponed that effort.  I will need to test the scooter to see if it can get up and down the hill.  I am in the process of getting a wheelchair lift for my car so that I can take my scooter down the ramp and onto the lift.  In the meantime my explorations are limited to those requiring short walks or to opportunities where I can get someone’s help in lifting the scooter out of the house and into the car.
The Americans with Disabilities Act allows me to make, at my own expense, any changes to a rental unit necessary to accommodate the disability, so long as I return the residence to its original condition when I vacate the lease.  There are some subsidies, but for disabled people who share the rent with another person, these funds are often unavailable as qualification is based on household income. (Even if the disabled person merely rents a room in the home!)
There is also a program to assist with the expense of home security systems.
Here’s the link:_http://www.lacity.org/lahd/hndywrkr.htm

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