Spousal Caregiving: Hair-raising Adventures at the Wave Pool.

Over the last two years his legs have become very painful.

Deb, his daughter, took him to the swimming pool to exercise his legs and feet.  He loved it.

I was hoping this would become a regular father-daughter outing, going to the pool and then to the Senior’s Centre for lunch, but no such luck. Twice. That was it.

So we planned to go to the pool together.  But I had to get a bathing suit.  This was a a bit of an undertaking so Bev, my oldest daughter, came with me.  She approved something that looked more like a mini-dress than a bathing suit.

They have a family change room, Chris informed me.  I could not get my head around how it might work to have men, women and children all changing in the same room.  Because of my Asperger’s, it made me anxious.  I tried not to show it, but I admit, I did keep asking about the family change room.

We went once. Exhausted from the walk from the parking lot to the change room, Chris asked me to use one of the wheel chairs to wheel him to the far side of the pool.

When we came out of the change rooms, Chris seemed surprised to see parents and small children splashing in the waves.

It’s usually just seniors, he said, adding, And they don’t usually have the waves on when Debbie and I are here.

It is a wave pool, I noted.

The waves were not buoyant, like in the ocean.  Instead they nearly knocked us down.

Shortly after we got into the pool, they announced that for the next fifteen minutes? The waves would be turned to their highest thrust!

Some nine and ten year olds rushed over to where we stood clinging the edge of the pool nervously.

This is where the biggest waves come!  one freckle-faced boy said ecstatically.

We spent the longest fifteen minutes of our lives clinging to each other and the edge of the pool, being thrust unsteadily backwards with each wave.

In desperation I looked around and saw a bench around a pillar in the pool, about ten feet away from us,  where we could sit out the waves.  But I didn’t dare try to move Chris there.  What if he fell?

We haven’t been back again.  But I’ve since learned that the seniors’ swim is weekdays 10 to 11 a.m., without waves.  That’s when we’ll go for our next swimming adventure.

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

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