Monday, December 26, 2016

Keep on Keeping On to the New Year

Today, my sister had her first shower in about three months. I had bought this shower chair that slides from one side to another. The hitch was getting her on the chair.

To get on the chair, she had to slide from her wheelchair to the right side. She is partially blind to the right. Add to that all of her practice to move is to the left, her strong side. Subtract from that my stubbornness. Add to that she was scared to do it. She wound up on the floor. She almost made it but a change in plans caused her to move back to the wheel chair which can move even when locked. It wasn't a fall. I held her weight and lowered her.  Good thing I had mopped the floor with bleach previously.

I retrieved the trusty lift. It had never been used; much less put together. The instructions were who knows where. Good thing I had read them and remembered the advice to use petroleum jelly to get the mast of the lift to slide into the base.  But she was lifted to the shower chair within ten minutes.

The shower took about two and a half hours. I did not time it. This includes the time lost moving her to the shower chair and for getting my sister dressed and our daily exercises to work her right side. It normally takes about this long to get my sister together. Besides having the remote to the satellite for the television in the living room marinate in diet mountain dew; everything is going well. Most of the remote works. Hopefully, the rest will work as it dries internally.

Even though my body can be quite creaky, I have been fairly strong in helping my sister. It comes in handy being of good pioneer stock. My sister has the strength, just not the balance. Add to that some of the weird things her right side can do. When moving from the bed to the wheelchair, she said she wasn't going to be able to stand a long time. I look down, her right leg is lifted. She is standing on one leg, I have her to lower to the bed for the next try.  I don't think I could stand on one leg.

Tomorrow, we get in and out of the car two times. I have casually said we would stop to eat in a restaurant. My sister is keen on that. Creating castles in the air comes too easy for me. If she is game, I will do it. I will bring the lift. Meanwhile, we are going to the doctor's office. Tonight, I will burn the midnight oil to get her disability paper work done.

My adventure with online shopping continues. Vetmed is a vendor for Walmart. I purchased a Bariatric commode with foldable arms. The one we have now is rickety and I have it braced against a wall. This commode is supposed to hold 1000 pounds. With my sister's problem, she will not take offense at that weight load. My thinking was force. We try to lower slowly to manage the drop. But in case we don't that 1000 pound sounds good.

Well the commode was supposed to be delivered on December 21. It was delivered December 22nd to some lucky woman in Sacramento, CA who took the package from the UPS driver. I waited until the next morning to make sure it was not somewhere around my house in Fort Valley, GA during the clear light of day.  I've sent an email. With Christmas and the 1 to 2 business day wait, well who knows. The negotiation of the lift that was never delivered has made me reluctant to complain.

I can imagine the wonder of receiving that gift to the folks in Sacramento California.

It could be coincidence that they ordered the same thing. I looked up my street address and there is one identical in Sacramento on Google Map.

Meanwhile, the weather is wonderful. The rain is regular and short. Some of us have bad colds in the house. My bully dog is enamored with my sister. She has a hard time believing that she can't sleep on the hospital bed with my sister. I've been sleeping on a mattress in the floor of the living room so I can hear my sister if she needs help at night. It is getting crowded with the bully, my chihuahua mix and sister's dachshund. We use four blankets. The chihuahua and dachshund roll up in a blanket. The bully likes the idea and now does the same thing. I have a major yard dog with sensitive skin and a major case of the airs.

I'm getting the house ready for New Years. We have a big New Year's meal. We eat hog jowls, black eye peas, turnip greens, crackling bread. We are even buying a cake from the bakery. We have a lot to celebrate. Another year and we are all still together. My brother comes to ours and then his wife's family. Her family makes a pork roast, sauer kraut and dumplings. It sounds good. If I wasn't going to be so busy making our meal, I would go to hers. Frankly, both meals are a bit hard on us mature folks.

What do you serve for your New Year's feast?

Louise looking at my sister.

Two old ladies chilling

BoDuke being his cute little self.


  1. Sounds like the perfect meal to bring in the new year.Making a chocolate cake with dark chocolate chips,pecans and dates on top tonight.

    1. Dates on a chocolate cake sound good. Crossing the mid-west one time, I came across a church cookbook of home recipes. Expecting something different, I bought it. I recognized almost all of the recipes. So much for Southern cooking being different, we just grow more vegetables and have a longer growing season for them.

  2. Care giving is not for the fainthearted and it sounds like you are doing great with what you have to work with. I'm glad your sister was able to get a shower; I'm sure each subsequent one should be a bit easier? Our traditional New Year's Day meal when I was growing up was pork chops and sauerkraut but my mom added lima beans to the sauerkraut so the sauerkraut wasn't so sharp. Haven't had it in years, but miss it and can still remember the taste.

    Happy New Year if you don't post between now and then.


    1. Necessity certainly drafts you into caregiving. At first you are too busy, then you know you're too busy and then you adjust. It could be much harder. I was reading about a homeless man dying of cancer trying to find a home for his dog. Thankfully someone reached out to help him. He couldn't talk due to a tracheotomy having been done several years before. God bless him and the person who decided to help him.

      Porkchops and lima beans sounds good. I love sauerkraut. My aunt used to make chou chou. Her version was a type of kraut and it was so good. Chou chou is usually a sweet cabbage relish here.

  3. Pups sure look relaxed. Weird what the body can do sometimes. If they hadn't ordered one and it just got mixed up somehow, those people were sure getting a wtf moment haha same old same old on new years day here as it is just another day.

    1. Orlin and Cassie will make the day special, maybe. Ordinary sounds pretty good. But if you lived close enough, you could pop over and eat.

  4. Hope your 2017 brings health and happiness to all. I love your dogs.

  5. Cute puppies.

    You are working so hard to do for your sister. Obviously it's a blessing you have the time and ability to do so. Does she have children or anyone else to help?

    1. Strokes are not for the feint of heart. Today, we got in and out of the car several times. We get better as we go. After a trip for a pedicure, manicure and getting our eyebrows waxed, her outlook and mine improved. It will get better. I think she will eventually walk and use her right side much better. It is just going to be a long row to hoe. But we will get to the end. You said a lot with having the time and ability. I'm just surprised with my physical strength. The Lord gives you what you need when you need it.

  6. You have such an unassuming, good-natured view of the daunting task at hand, dear Ann. May your blessings and strength be as enduring as your caring heart.
    Due to the odd assortment of guests we had at Christmas, we didn't have our traditional tamale fare this year. It's my guess we will at New Years since it will be just us and our grandson, who is fascinated by fireworks these days ;-) It doesn't seem so long ago that he was frightened by the sound of crickets in the dark.
    May your New Years be as relaxed as your dogs seem to be!

  7. Tamales sound good and much healthier than hog jowls.

    I will say, me and my sister are close and we are really close now. Tonight she was pooped and slid on a board into bed. I shoved her so that she positioned well and sat down on her bed as we moved in tandem. It takes a good nature to deal with a tough situation. My dogs Louise and BoDuke have figured out we are taking care of my sister. They are pretty cute doing their part.

  8. love of you both sisters is inspirational dear friend!!!
    thank you for giving us glimpse of this treasure!
    glad that meals of your family gatherings sound very delicious !
    we either do not celebrate any special day without cake .
    wishing you a wonderful new year !

  9. It is really a test of nerves being a minder for someone so handicapped. One may not expect the strength they still have. Some are just too weak and one inadvertently may push them into difficult postures. Still it is a noble act to take responsibility for, Ann! How have you been keeping Ma'am? Happy New Year to you and happy hols! Hank's new year meal will be the special Briyani rice with hot mutton curry!



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