Too many times caregiving is a lot like skipping stones on a pond …
The other morning I received a call advising me that Patti had an episode of emesis after going to bed. (Why when our language is so rich with synonyms for vomit does medical jargon choose boring?) Anyway the nursing staff was “advising” me, as required and offering Patti’s theory that it must have been something she ate.
Something she ate? Hey! I cooked dinner that night. A delicious thin sliced chicken breast sautéed in a Caribbean Jerk marinate with fresh steamed green beans and strawberry/banana yogurt for dessert.
The other day I received an email from dear friends asking about a TV comedy “The Office”. They’ve known us long enough to remember the Pre-MS Years when Patti worked for over 10 years in a paper company office as a buyer which is the fictional working environment of the sitcom. … I have tried a couple times to interest her in the show thinking that perhaps her long term memory might click. … NO success to report.
Last night putting Patti to bed I noticed her bed rail was missing. Where does someone misplace a bedrail? Asking the charge nurse I was reminded that with Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis progression she no longer needs one since she cannot get herself even up in bed much less out of bed. While yes I was aware this was one of those things I guess I just blocked.
Through too many years of home care I had knick named one of Patti’s symptoms, jack-in-the-box sleeping. It used to drive me nuts. Patti would want nothing more than to get into bed to sleep, and only minutes later want to get up and out of bed. If unattended or unassisted she would fall and be found on the floor.
Somehow seeing that missing bed rail dramatically demonstrated progression, and gratitude for the shifts of caring eyes watching over her.
… and just because the last several stones sunk into the pond … well, you don’t give up believing you can skip the next stone across the water.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer