Saturday, March 3, 2012


This past week we got, for the first time this winter, over a foot of new snow.  I called in to work on Wednesday--there was no way I was going to be able to drive 50 miles in that, then hope that the bus I catch is on time, too, or if it was even going to make it to the bus stop at all.  All morning, DH would get up, have a "snack" and "take a nap".  Finally, I asked him if he was going to plow our driveway so that I could get to work the next day.

He tried to procrastinate, after all, it was only 1pm.  I told him I needed it done ASAP.  I didn't really, but I suspected by this time that he wasn't exactly motivated to do it, so it could take a while.

I watched from the window as he went into his shed to air up one of the tires on the 4-wheeler.  About a half hour later, he came out and from what I could see, was just sitting on the back of the 4-wheeler.  Not moving at all.

After another half hour, he came inside and said the battery was dead.  I suggested he bring the battery in the house to warm up--no, the battery is too hard to get out.  I asked about his battery charger--no, the clamps are too big to charge that battery.  He had this "the world is ending and there's absolutely no getting out of it" air.  I told him that I was going to call someone to come and plow us out (and at the same time thinking "how much money could I get if I sold that 4-wheeler?).  When I really started looking in the phone book, he went back outside with that "I am the saddest, most abused person in the universe because my wife expects me to plow this driveway and it's just not possible" attitude.  He came in five minutes later and reported that he got it started.  He went back out to plow.

I watched from the window.  Once again, for about a half hour, I observed no movement, just DH sitting there on the 4-wheeler.  He was just sitting there.  Then he came in and, with that same "the world is ending" air, he told me that the 4-wheeler was stuck.  (and from his tone of voice, it was stuck with Super Glue and would never ever be unstuck again.)

Again I went through some possible solutions.  Did you rock it? (yes) (I didn't see any of that though).  Do you have any friends who could pull it out with their trucks? (no) (I had canceled the insurance on DH's truck to save money, and right now it has no brakes) Can I help push? (no, stuck too bad).  Can we put something under the wheels? (I don't have anything.)  I was pretty frustrated by this time.  I told him we needed to find a solution fast, because I could not call in to work two days in a row for a snow storm that had already been plowed away everywhere but our driveway.  I asked him "If you were living in your hometown, way up North, and this happened, what would you do?"  And right away he said "I'd get a shovel and dig it out and put the chains on."

What I want to know is why this solution was only possible to him if he pictured himself in a different place and time?  Mental illness is strange, for sure.  The driveway got plowed.

When he came back in, I was setting up his meds for the week.  I thanked him for doing the plowing.  He asked me if I'd seen "That Guy" around lately, as his PDOC had made some adjustments to his meds.  I said no, actually, what I had seen, for the most part was very good compared to when DH was working.  But then I added, "I do notice that it seems like when you're confronted with a problem, it's um....very difficult for you to see solutions, it's.......and DH piped in: "It's like a minor problem becomes insurmountable."

Yes, that's it.  And DH, although he couldn't apparently do much about it, had the insight to recognize that.


perphila said...

It's heartening when they see that and it gives us poor hangers on some hope. It's waiting for them to see them next step that can be a nail biting experience.