Things are hard right now. Rich is depressed at his increased fistula output (2400mL yesterday) and it seems to him he will never be able to eat again. It is torturous. Every commercial has food. Every social interaction involves food. Food equals love for most people, so it's as if he is being ostracized from a key part of life.

I am fraying around the edges as this all drags on. I am a single parent in addition to being a nurse. Somewhere in there I'm supposed to be an executive in a software company too. There are days I would rather dig ditches than sit in a conference room and have to use my brain when there is no brain left.

Unfortunately, there is not much help others can offer. No one else can manage Rich's fistula, wound, and IVs. I suppose someone could do our laundry. We already have plenty of food, I just don't have time to eat it until 9pm.

I patched a leak in Rich's pouch this morning three times before we punted and I took him home. I then replaced his pouch and left him on the couch to recover. Just before we went home he said that he was "bordering on despondent" over his lack of apparent healing. I have no answers or solutions for him.

This is big stuff. No pedicure will fix this.

Last night I came home to try to get the pool working again. The cover had shredded over the winter which turned the contents of the pool into a swamp. We drained a lot of it to patch a small hole (I've gotten quite adept at repairing leaks these days). I then refilled the entire pool in anticipation of restarting the pump and hopefully cleaning up the sludge in our pool. It was all ready to go last night, so I walked out and flipped the switch on the pump. Nothing. Just a strained groan.

I walked inside with my head hung low. I was ready to replace the pump. I was ready to take a sledgehammer to the pool. All the work of skimming out algae, scrubbing vinyl, and throwing thousands of gallons of water into this bucket and with the flick of a switch it didn't do any good.

After an hour or so I went back outside to take a picture of the pump so I could write a fitting eulogy for it or perhaps research a solution. When I opened the back door, I found my father gazing into the pool. He thought I was coming out just to see his handy work on the pump plug that he'd replaced with a valve that afternoon. When I told him the pump was broken, he hummed thoughtfully. He crouched down, flipped the switch and heard the groan I was lamenting. He turned it off, waited a few seconds, then jiggled the power switch on and off a few times. The pump whirred to life again.

The pump has sat for a while since it's been offline for almost a year. In that time, it had gotten to a point where the gears were in an awkward place. It's like when you stop your bicycle and the pedal is just behind top center and you can't take off again. Much like that bicycle at the curb and that neglected pump, I've felt like we're stuck. We just need someone or something to reset the switch so we can whir to life again.