Thursday, November 03, 2005

Caregiving: one morning in November

Pictured is Tuesday afternoon’s cook out, we brought Patti home for that Shangri-La afternoon. Grilling Delmonico steaks under a November sunset, north of the Mason-Dixon line, is weird but I could learn to like this. <grin>


It gets better with two seasons in one. I get my winter with an early morning kiss of frost, and a cup of steaming Italian Roast coffee while walking and crunching over the frosted grass blades. On the other hand, reality is trivial to the rest of the household. The cat demands me to flick on the gas fireplace in front of which she hypnotizes herself deep into the feline center of the universe. Also enjoying the gas fireplace, our teen age daughter needs to check her email and IM her friends who she will see ‘live’ in only a few minutes when she drives the 2 miles to school as soon as I have scraped the windshield or warmed up the car. (After all I ENJOY winter.)


Looking at Patti’s schedule, she is waking up in a toasty room with 2 to 3 attendants who will get her up out of bed with the assistance of a mechanical lift. She will be bathed, again with so many high tech devices and lifts our homecare method seems almost medieval. As Patti needs 100% assistance with all Activities of Daily Living including dressing, personal hygiene, etc., I know how long even one of these activities took to accomplish when it was just me trying to help her. With at least 2 attendants and lifts she breezes through such activities. Getting up in the morning is no longer a function of hours.


She is then taken to the assisted dinning room for breakfast. I see that today’s menu is scrambled eggs, cereal, English muffin, coffee, and OJ. Home care breakfast was ‘catch as catch can’ and frankly was often brunch as it could take that long to get her up.


For Thursday morning Patti has wheel chair exercises and then “corn pitching” for a morning activity. Tossing ears of field corn into baskets for a fun exercise and group activity/game.


By afternoon it’s back to 70 degrees! Depending on how I can juggle my day either I will pick Patti up and bring her back for a cook out or swing by with her scooter and take her for a scooter excursion through the park or on an adventure before sunset.


Weather certainly has disrupted and destroyed so many lives this year. We may as well celebrate 'kind and gentle' weather and not take it for granted.


  1. I often marvel at how devoted you are...

  2. I am heartened by your devotion. I know she probably can't. But I often wonder what Patti is thinking and feeling. I've heard tell that it is harder to be "taken care of "than  it is to "care for".
    Blessings to you both.


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