Just Keep Your Feet Moving

Get up in the morning and put your feet on the ground and just keep moving. This is the advice the nurse practitioner Christina Johnson gave me in reference to facing hectic days.

This past Wednesday and Thursday, I knew I had impossible days. There was no way I was going to be able to do all I had to do. I am in still in that boat. I have got to do my sister's paperwork for retirement and get her social security application supplemental materials submitted. Luckily I went by her house and got her mail to find the request.

I live with shifting priorities, not completing anything is the rule of thumb. I'm hoping in a few months that she will have an income and I can hire someone to help care for her. She is a full time job in itself. Tonight she is being relatively quiet. I have been getting her out of the bed and sitting in her wheelchair.

As much as she would like to take a real shower, she does not relish my suggestion to have her move from the wheelchair to the shower chair and back. But that is going to happen after breakfast tomorrow. Soap and water is good for the soul. And I am shopping for a bedside commode with a detachable arm so she can transfer from the bed to the commode.

Progress has been made in so many ways. It was hard to see at first.

The day after she was first admitted to the hospital, the diagnosis was she would regain her ability to walk and use her hand but the peripheral vision loss was permanent.

Then a week at Emory University Hospital.

Then three weeks at Coliseum Hospital Stroke Rehab. Maybe she would not walk.

Three more weeks at a Nursing Home Rehab when I watched the skilled CNA transfer her to bed in the evening with a TIMBER type of approach.

Coming home, my sister was afraid to get out of bed. Then the at-home nurse and physical therapist began to visit. . They transferred her from bed to wheelchair and back. So yesterday, we began. My sister wanted to give up. I told her she couldn't go on like a sack of potatoes on the bed. Transfer happened.

I know everything will get easier in time. I'm having my garage changed into a room. It will be my bedroom/workroom. I learned a long time ago to hire a worker but not try to micro supervise their work or give too many suggestions. I really just gave a general idea of what I wanted. What Jody has created is great.

I can tell he is a right brained person. He created a large laundry closet and almost equally large clothes closet. The clothes closet would have been the same size except that the garage has two windows and he did not extend the closet over the window. The lack of symmetry would drive some people crazy. I am sort of left brained. Only sort. I plan to do my view facing out of the windows versus facing the doors.

I stopped at a furniture store I use to see if they had daybeds. I had thought of moving from a queen sized bed to a twin bed. My bedroom is going to be an exit outside for the family. We have three other doors; but this doorway will be the easiest to get in the car.  I want a sitting room feel to the room. I have to be careful and not overload the room.

I had thought about purchasing a sofa to sleep on. Have a nice piece of memory foam to roll out in the evening with a set of sheets and a blanket. Me and my two sleeping hounds should fair fairly well. The sofa in mind has two catnapper recliners built in that unfold with an electric motor. I have a mental picture of my sister using one side as I work at my computer or desk.

My sister's recovery does seem dark at times. I expected to take care of my mother this way. I never imagined I would do so for my youngest sister. When I read the reviews of Amazon about handicap equipment, I know there are so many who have faced this challenge. I'm filled with admiration and glad I have not had to do this for thirty years like some.

This is certainly not what I wanted to spend my golden years doing. I'm not being so generous in that this is my sister's only option at this time. As I scold her to stand and not give up, it is just as much for me as it is for her. The more she can do, the better.

One observation I have made in life is that when people run from responsibilities, they don't always have a better life. A piece of me thinks maybe this is all there is. God doesn't exist. But then I also think even if God does not exist, how could I be happy without the companionship of my family.

I do think God exists. My writing is that Southern stuff as this young gal said in a writing class I took. I did not intend to write Southern stuff. I wanted to write the all-American novel. But that Southern stuff is there including the tendency to see Jesus as just around the corner.

I don't think God curses us with illness or responsibilities. Plus, I live a very blessed life. I have a nice home with central heat and air. I grew up in a house where no matter where you stood, you could look out a window. Ventilation and heat were the big issues. Winter is so short, you just stayed in the kitchen where it was warm and covered up good in the bedrooms.

So now, I just plan to get up every morning and work. There is light. At least I believe there is light. Otherwise, why am I able to get up every morning.

 

Comments

  1. you have a lot on your plate, wish you were closer and I could help you. I have worked a lot in geriatrics, keep on track with your health and feelings, I have worked with this so many times, on top of dealing with my parents. Hoping you have a good back up with family, it can be a lot to undertake.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Mountain Man. The situation is what it is. But it is doable.

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  2. God does exist, we live in a fallen world. There will be (sadly) sickness and illnesses and conditions like strokes. I don't know why God allows one to not go through burdens and another have a lot of burdens but he sovereign and God and so I have to trust in him. Care giving is hard word and care givers burn out. Make sure you are doing something for yourself now and then and don't be "Super Woman" thinking you have to do it all. When you can, when she has an income, get that help for your sister. Don't be afraid to ask others to help as they can. And yes, keep your feet moving, but remember that they too need to rest.

    betty

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    1. We learn from these things. This is why I feel being dumb is not that bad. haha

      But I do think there is a purpose in our burdens. To become so handicapped is a tragedy for my sister. There will be good days ahead. I appreciate your kind words.

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  3. You sure do have a tough situation. It's amazing how life throws us curl balls. I hope the light grows stronger for you.

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    1. I was lucky to have that carefree childhood which makes up for having to be a grown-up, eh?

      Your new picture is very attractive. I like it.

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  4. Just don't let her give up. Keep pushing her.

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    1. That I will Alex. She is up now waiting for dinner. Life is good.

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  5. Have to keep moving ahead indeed, life throws so much crap at us that it can be dark at times, but if we push on through a little light may finally show.

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    1. I like that quote, it's not what happens to you but how you choose to react to it. Easier said than done. We're doing OK. I need to write in the morning when I am more optimistic.

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  6. Big cyber-hugs to you, dear Ann! I'm beginning to think of you as the Southern Saint, and if you happen to write that way - all the better ;-) You deserve truckloads of ice cream treats after what I'm sure are long and tiring days for you. There is a lot of good advice in the comments above, from folks (like me) who care about you. Keep that in mind on tough days, okay? And do write about your feelings (I like mornings too). It does a world of good to spill the thoughts to make room for many more and you'll find they will all get lighter with time. I know because hubs and I have cared for three family members over the years. Your new bedroom/workroom sounds terrific!

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    1. When I taught school, I learned I worked with extraordinary people. Now that I've taken up writing, I'm learning writers are also very supportive. Thank you for your kind words. We all have challenges in this world.

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