Being Appreciative: Caring for a Family Member


Hi friends,

Appreciation and gratitude are something I am always trying to be aware of. It was taught to me early on by my family, to be thankful for our blessings. Even when things aren’t going well, I try to look at the positive side and to be appreciative for the good things, or think, it could have been worse, or to see the lesson learned from the experience (even unpleasant experiences since these may later be “aha” moments, or as they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”).

This past week has been one where I have been truly appreciative. My husband had knee surgery. Being the wise, assertive, and independent man that he is (love him for these qualities), he didn’t seem too overly concerned with the surgery, or at least he didn’t relay it to me. I, on the other hand, being a woman, was trying to plan things beforehand, to read about it, so we would be prepared and know what to expect. I was concerned mostly for his health and well being, but also about trying to adjust my schedule for the surgery date he selected, so I would be available to take care of him. He had already postponed the surgery once due to work commitments. His work schedule is even more demanding than mine, so I adjusted as much as I could once he selected the new surgery date.

I wanted to be prepared, so I set-up the guest room downstairs for him in case he couldn’t go up the stairs to our bedroom, bought his favorite snacks and drinks, some easy to make meals, had some magazines ready and prepared his ice machine (for the knee). He also did some pre-surgery preparations, such as buy the ice machine, crutches, and setting up his mini-office in the bedroom since he had to have bed rest the first day. He had his laptop, iPhone, Blackberry, tablet and iPad mini on his nightstand. He set-up our computer table (looks like the trays used at hospitals, the wheels slide under the bed and the tray fits over your lap) on his side of the bed. He was already working a few hours after we got home from his surgery. By the next day he was on phone conferences and working from home. His home office is just across the hallway from our bedroom, but he did not use his office for three days. I think it is the longest he has gone without using his office. By the fourth day, he went into his office, so I knew he must be feeling better.

Having helped a friend who had knee surgery, I knew the recuperation process can be challenging. My husband’s knee surgery was to fix a torn meniscus and some injuries to the bone. So, it wasn’t as serious as a knee replacement surgery, but it does require care and therapy. The surgery also required general anesthesia, which is always nerve wrecking for me, particularly because I have an uncle who went into a coma and is now handicapped after having complications with anesthesia from a simple, routine surgery. My husband thought he would be driving and back in the office after three days, because the doctor told him he would be up and moving in three days. Which really meant, minimal activity and barely walking on crutches.

I enjoy taking care of my husband, this week has just been a different type of care. I have gone up and down the stairs so many times every day, it is almost funny. I have brought him his meals on trays, ice and more ice, his phone, his clothes, drinks, if he needed something, I got it for him. I started to remember stories my sister and friends – who are moms – have told me about how exhausted they are at the end of the day because they just don’t stop. They joke that they would fall asleep anywhere at the end of the day, they are just that tired. That is how I felt. I have very long days and have been exhausted many times before, but this was different. My sister laughed when I told her about my week and how in a way it reminded me of how tired she tells me she feels at night. I was so tired, I don’t even remember dreaming. The night’s sleep felt like a blink, literally, like I had just closed my eyes and laid down for a few minutes. But, this is just temporary –  on Saturday, I got to sleep in a few hours, my baby (hubby) is an adult after all and managed ok without me for a few hours that morning 🙂

This week, I am thankful for many things – in particular our health, that his surgery went well, we have medical insurance, live in a country with advanced medical procedures and excellent surgeons and hospitals, that my boss and colleagues were understanding and supportive, for the good wishes and prayers from family and friends…that my hubby and I have each other to take care of the other when one of us is in need.

Have you taken care of a family member after surgery or an illness? Have you been taken care of by a loved one when you had surgery or were sick?

Good night….I am starting to reach that point of exhaustion and still have to fill the ice machine one more time and remove my make-up before I can go to sleep tonight.




This is the electric ice machine, it is pretty amazing, it circulates the cold water under the pad which wraps around the knee.

Pictured above are my hubby’s crutches.

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