Day 49: Reality check

Wednesday, May 22: I originally wrote this post on the night of the 22nd, when I was more emotional and possibly not viewing things in the most compassionate way. I feel asleep before I added in the photos and then got busy the next day… So now I’m a bit behind… I have since re-processed the 22nd and I am glad I didn’t post it right away.  I now see the situation with more understanding and feel bad that I was so upset that day.

Original Post:

Soooo… today didn’t start off too well. After breakfast, Fred thought it would be a great idea to wash the RV. (He really has some strange compulsion when it comes to clean cars.)

In my mind, we’re on vacation in paradise. Why on Earth would you want to waste time washing your car when you could be on the beach!? And why would you waste your precious energy you know is so limited right now?

He was thinking it would be just a quick job, like the old days when he could knock it out in 2 hours, shower, & grab lunch. But, sadly, that is not what happened.  I felt it was a predictable outcome but I know he still has to push himself to see what his true limits are.  And I think he forgets to take into account little things like the freaking hot, sweaty heat… that zaps healthy people in their prime.

I gave him a good, wifely, piece of my mind when he told me what he wanted to do. But he was dead-set to do it anyhow, so he did.

I understand the urge to do what you used to do. I did really stupid stuff after my back surgery. I had to learn my own limitations and I disregarded the advice of my loved ones. Fred is just 1,000 times more stubborn and determined than most people. He is always going to do what he wants, until the end.  I have immense admiration for that fire in him that keeps pushing back against his prognosis. 

So about and an hour into the job, he had finished 1/2 the RV and was exhausted. He drained his energy tank completely and finally came back inside and sat down, thoroughly defeated. He was so disappointed in himself for failing to finish and being so fatigued. He looked so sad. Selfishly, I was mad at him because I knew the day was basically over now at 10am. But then I felt sad too because I understood the frustration he was feeling with his body and his life. You just can’t be mad at a man who is suffering so much with his new reality.

I helped him hydrate and cool off. And then he rested for a few hours. While he was napping, I walked around the RV park, talked with my mom on the phone, and waded in the bay, looking at the shells and fish.

I scouted the paddle board rental facility just behind the RV Park. I really wanted to try stand up paddle boarding today. I got back to the RV and Fred was just waking up. He said he felt much better and he wanted to try “Whataburger” for lunch. We’ve been seeing the commercials on TV and it looked great.

Since he seemed to be feeling better, I also wanted to find a swimsuit to try paddle boarding in the afternoon. For some reason I forgot to pack a swimsuit for this trip. I don’t know what I was thinking to go on an epic road trip without a swim suit.

After a bit more resting, we left for Whataburger. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a mobile RV washing guy in the park working on another rig. We got his business card and asked what his rates were. $150 to wash the whole RV! I called the number on the card and tried to schedule something right away. That’s a totally worth it price!! ( As of 5pm on 5/24/19, we never got a call back to schedule anything – that’s just bad business). 

The Whataburger was disappointing. The fries were way too salty and the burgers were just average. We watched the manager while we eat. She was running around like crazy trying to appease angry customers because the kitchen was doing a horrible job getting the orders right.  We ranked our road trip burger experiences, placing Whatabuger near the bottom, but still far above nasty White Castle. 

After lunch we hit a beach gear shop and I bought a swimsuit. Then we went back to the RV so Fred could rest some more. I was very tempted to go paddle boarding while he slept. But we had talked about going down there together so Fred could watch me fall 1,000 times and laugh at me. So I didn’t do it. I wanted us to experience it together.  I went for a walk on the beach instead and then came back and did some yoga. 

After Fred woke up, we hung out in the RV until dinner time, just resting and reading. My brother made it safe and sound back home today from his military training, so I chatted with him for a bit to organize a visit. Instead of driving out to see my brother today, we decided to keep it low key and just have dinner at the taco place we both loved on the beach.  We arranged to meet my brother tomorrow after he got off work.

Fred and I had a few deep conversations throughout the day about fighting to feel normal and embracing every moment of life.  I get scared for him when I see him so tired and my emotions over run me like a wildebeest stampede. But Fred calmly reassures me every time that everything will be ok.  I believe him. 
We brought the day to a close by walking down to the bay and dipping our feet into the water. Then we sat and watch the sunset together.

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