Wife Invents Caregiver Holiday

One of my responsibilities was “The Meds.”

Last Saturday my wife surprised me. “Today’s a holiday.”

I was as eloquent as ever. “What the?” Oh yes. I’m a man of many pith.

“It’s Caregiver Appreciation Day. I’m taking you out to dinner!”

Our time at Club Meds was finally over. We were going home.


A week before my wife’s surgery I met a guy out on the town who had heart surgery only four days earlier. He was out on the town! I made the mistake of telling my wife she might be overestimating her recovery time from shoulder surgery.

To think I used to have an ass before she kicked it off.

Since then I’ve learned all about The Shoulder, the most important part of the human body. Knees? Please. They got nothing on the shoulder, the most versatile joint off all time. It moves in more directions than any other joint. Bar none. You can live without all other joints but not the shoulder.

It’s been about eight weeks and I’m here to say: Never underestimate a shoulder.

Tom’s Law #42
Never underestimate a shoulder.

Oh how a world can change overnight! I was her surgery companion. Suddenly I was The Guy. You know, the responsible one. Doctors were explaining things to me and shit. Me? There must be some kind of mistake! But no, it was me.

I was responsible for the sippy cup in the recovery room. I’m the one who MacGyver’d her oxygen mask when the nurse snapped at me that it couldn’t be fixed. I’m the one who drove her home and stood in the living room thinking, “Oh my God. It’s all on me.”

Over the next eight weeks our lives underwent a radical change. I was the caregiver. I was in charge of pillows. Cooking every meal. Doing all of the shopping. Cleaning. Driving. The donning and removal of shirts and bras. Medication management. Personal trainer. Masseuse. All of the above.

I eventually adopted the name “The Hopper.” You need anything, ma’am? Just let me know and I’ll “hop” to it. I come from a long line of hoppers. My wife enthusiastically tested the limits of my hoppiness.

I did my best. I gave it my all. And I thought I fell far short.

Apparently, though, somehow it was enough to warrant the creation of a new holiday. Caregiver Appreciation Day. Since this is a new holiday I’m here to explain the traditions of this wonderful day.

  • There are no lights to hang. That means it is a holiday without stepladders and requires minimal effort!
  • The holiday commences with celebratory dining at a restaurant in a different town. My wife chose a BBQ place. I ordered the smallest thing on the menu which literally was an entire pound of meat.
  • After the meal comes the abduction to the trendy grocery store. This is done without the caregiver’s consent. While in the commerce facility the caregiver’s vertebrae may shoot out like frisbees.
  • Back at home comes the most crucial tradition of all. It’s known as The Adult Beverage with Alcohol of Enormous Size. This is similar to a regular drink except the alcohol content is off the hook, yo. My wife selected traditional Caregiver Day ingredients like tequila and orange juice. (Also known as What The Hell Have We Got?)
  • This is followed by a quiet introspective moment where the husband says a silent prayer. “Thank God we’re still married and I didn’t FUBAR the whole damn thing.”

BTW, don’t think I didn’t notice the acronym for this holiday. CAD. Well played.

Happy Caregiver Day to all and to all a good night! God bless us, everyone!

8 responses

  1. Everyone I’ve known who had work done on their shoulder has had longer recovery than those who’ve had bout anything else done. Glad Mrs. O is well enough to give you a pat on the back.


    1. Thanks! Honestly I think it’ll be a full six months to a year before she’s completely back to normal. And that’s supposed to be 90%. It seems there’s still a spot the surgeon skipped. He made a command decision while he was in there, in addition to doing a little something else that was never discussed in advance. I’ve asked the Mrs. to guest blog about the whole experience from A-Z. We’ll have to see if she’s able to flop her arm up on the desk long enough to explain it for us.


  2. Good for you! Congrats on continuing being THE MAN! We never doubted you.


    1. Thanks. But I sure did.


  3. WTF? Are you talking about ME when I’m in NEED! Damn it man, where’s my pillows? I’m low on beverage and it’s time for my massage. Don’t forget the straw this time. Jump to it Hopper. STAT!

    P. S. thank you honey for taking care of me. We almost divorced on the second week, but I took enough meds that I can’t really remember what I was pissed about. It’ll come to me…eventually.


    1. People! I implore you! Imagine two full months of this!

      I have no idea about that second week fight but there is a dark hole in my memories about that time.


  4. Cadman. Strangely appropriate. Did you sneak some of her meds before writing this post? Sounds all very delusional to me.

    Glad to hear Mrs. Abyss is on the road to recovery. With you in the driver’s seat of her rehabilitation, I’m sure she’s not nervous at all. 🙂


  5. When I realized the holiday was about calling me a “cad” I became so excited that I blurted out a tweet.

    The pain is still just as bad as before we started. Over two months in and an entire year of recovery seems like a really, really long time. Of course I’m here to help with boyish quips like, “What if the doctor fucked up and it never gets any better?”

    Florence Nightingale has got nothing on me.


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