Today is three weeks since I let Gilligan go home. Most of the time, I’m able to push it out of my mind. Until I look at my hands.
The last month of his life, I had my hands in water much of the time. Each time I cleaned him or picked him up or handled the soiled towels, I scrubbed my hands. The last week, I was bathing him daily. I hand fed him and held the water bowl to his mouth. And afterward, to the sink and wash, wash, wash. It wasn’t just water, when I lifted him up, my hands would be covered in urine. I didn’t care.
Right after his death, my nails just began to split and peel off. Right down to the quick. My cuticles were ragged and red. I found little cuts all over that I have no idea how I got. I’ve been cliping my nails and trimming my cuticles. I’ve rubbed oil into the base of the nails and slathered lotion on my skin. Slowly, the damage to my hands is healing.
My heart – not so much.