Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cabin Fever

We've been snowed/iced in at our house for several days. I think (the days are all a snowy blur) our last time out was either last Sunday or Monday. Fortunately, I had stockpiled lots of food, we have oodles of books and videos, Dish Network and a functioning computer - so I was good to go. So was Don, for the first couple days. After that, he began to get restless. He would go to the front door and open it, looking out. Then he would go to the back door and open it, looking out again. He's, by nature, a hands' on, do-it-yourself kind of man, and being inside without the opportunity to break the monotony was killing him.

I had tried to break the ice and clear the walks and driveway a couple times, but it was much too thick for my limited strength. Thursday evening, Don's youngest brother came by, and he didn't have much more luck than I did.

On Friday morning, a friend and his son came by and completely cleared the driveway for us. They had barely finished when Don was ready to go out and get something for lunch. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect, but took him to Qdoba (quickly becoming his favorite place) anyway. That evening, we went to the church for game night. Don took his banjo, and he and Tom spent some time pickin' and grinnin'.

Friday night, we had four more inches of snow. So, Saturday morning, I got out (much to my husband's consternation) and shoveled the driveway again. The snow wasn't wet, so it wasn't a terribly straining job. I easily (well, that may be a slight exaggeration) shoveled all the way down to the concrete - from the house to the street.

Later, Don and I were watching some old pictures scroll on the screen saver of the computer. Pictures of the two of us playing with the grands while camping in Southern Illinois. Pictures of Don working on bicycles with our younger grandson. Pictures of Don flying kites, playing ball, working, enjoying life. Suddenly, I understood better why he was experiencing cabin fever so terribly. It wasn't just the past few days that had taken away his freedom, it was the last three years. He does amazingly well, I think, with the limitations he's been handed. But there's still a longing for the former days. Cabin fever was just an excuse to be "normal" again. To not be held in by four walls. Freedom to move about. Freedom to interact with others.

As long as I'm able, I vow to allow Don to live as normal a life as possible, despite his restrictions. Lord willing, there will be few prolonged periods of cabin fever. He deserves to be out among his friends and family. And I deserve to be there right beside him!

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