What does Rachel do all day?

Eye drops.

No, okay, the eye drops take maybe a cumulative minute out of each 24 hours. Plus about forty minutes total of active waiting, since there are three drops that need to be administered four times a day, but you have to wait several minutes between each drop so they don't wash each other out. (The pharmacist suggested 30 minutes, but the directions from the optometry specialists said this was overly cautious. If we were waiting at least 30 minutes between each of 12 drops, it really would be a most-of-the-day project.) So the bottom line is that I have to be both at home and awake at roughly four-hour intervals throughout the day. So the rest of life gets organized around that.

That and getting dinner on the table sometime between 5 and 7 p.m.

(And doing the dishes.)

But the eye drops, I think, will be the defining feature of spring 2008. They started a few days before the cataract surgery, and continue for more than a month afterwards. And just as soon as we finish the drops on the right eye, it'll be time to schedule surgery for the left eye, which starts the whole thing over again.

GrandDad will have to learn to administer his own eye drops for the week and a half that I'm out of the country. I think we'll start practicing next week. I expect to resume the task when I return, although I will feel a little more free to occasionally make plans that require me to miss a dose and leave him to fend for himself with the little bottles of drugs.

The other major thing I do is drive around. GrandDad doesn't particularly like to drive, and he's already given up night driving and as much highway driving as possible, so I chauffeur whenever we go somewhere in the evening or in the next town over. His drivers license will lapse during the interval between his two eye surgeries, so there will be a period of some weeks in which he'll be dependent on me for transportation, but then he'll go in to the DMV and pass the vision test with flying colors.

I think we get out quite a bit more than he did on his own, because of the night driving thing, and because of having someone to share cultural opportunities with. We've already been to hear the Air Force Band, the Navy Band and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin. This week we'll attend a Broadway Revue and a production of Handel's Messiah. With his hearing aids, GrandDad sometimes has trouble making out the words that are being spoken/sung, but he can still enjoy the music.

There's plenty else to do, fit into the spaces between doses, appointments, and dinner prep. (Cleaning the rest of the house, for one.) But I'm finding a rhythm three months into this gig. It's nice to be living life at the speed of 90 for a while.


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