When an outing goes well, the caregiver’s craft is unnoticeable. I thought I might invite you behind the curtain to a ‘caregiver’s translation’ of the previous movie and entry about Jubilee Day.
“… we headed out early…”
ü two (2) care facility staff using a lift get Patti up, Depends changed, dressed, and transferred from bed to wheelchair and ready for pick up
ü me driving our wheelchair accessible van with a ramp transport Patti.
“… street fair vendors are always fun for Patti…”
ü Patti’s wheelchair needs to be pushed “defensively”. In crowds, people often trip over wheelchairs. With arms filled with food or packages, people cannot see a wheelchair.
ü Because of MS visual impairment, I need to “describe” the world around Patti to her, clearly and entertainingly.
ü MS short term memory loss and impaired reasoning confuses many transactions. Though on the other hand, some can be quite amusing.
“… enjoyed southern pulled pork barbeque sandwiches …”
ü MS impairs Patti’s ability to hold a sandwich. I separate the pulled pork from the roll and hand her one forkful at a time to eat.
ü Because of MS related dysphagia I must monitor her eating to insure she chews and swallows, often verbal cues are required.
Patti can never be left unattended which also means the caregiver cannot do anything independent such as visit a bathroom yourself, etc. Fortunately, our daughter accompanied us. Ever tried to carry food and drinks and push a wheelchair at the same time?
“… a well deserved and air conditioned afternoon nap …”
ü I physically transfer Patti from wheelchair to bed to change Depends and clothing. After her nap I reverse the process followed by laundering clothes and bed linens.
ü While such transfers place both of us at risk, I have to ‘roll the dice’ when away from care facility staff and equipment.
No matter how the story is told Patti still HAD a fun time. … Yet as Paul Harvey might say, now you know the rest of the story.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer