Saturday, November 19, 2005

Caregiving: fatigue IS the agenda

     How something has to be done to be successful takes creativity and trial and error to keep up with the constant morphing of MS symptoms.

     For example transferring from wheelchair to a car demands a sequence of "it depends on..., and then you do ...". Patti and I have teamed for thousands of successful transfers over the years and my role is almost intuitive, depending on how Patti moves, etc. Equally important is I KNOW when a transfer is simply not going to work and abandon the plans.

     MS symptoms of mental confusion and memory loss make Patti undependable for help. This is most challenging for family or friends wanting to be casual or one-trip caregivers.

     In an effort to improve the ability of others to transfer Patti in and out of a car, I recently purchased a transfer board. I rendezvoused with Patti's parents and hoped to experiment with it.

     (I swear MS 'knows' when I am up to something) Patti was so fatigued before we started she couldn't even pull herself a couple inches out of her chair! I discovered from nursing staff that Patti did not have her afternoon nap and without a nap all is useless. The experiment will just have to wait.

     That was a little before 5 PM. I rolled Patti back in and had dinner with her while she struggled to stay awake. Before 6 PM I physically transferred her into bed, tucked her in, and she was sound asleep. <grin>

     Fatigue IS the agenda with MS, no matter what a caregiver has planned <grin>.

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