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Life in the slow lane
Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2019 11:20 AM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1285

I read posts here and there every so often that describe a person with diminished mental faculties whose body works fine. I admit, when I read them, I entertain ( for a moment or two, ) the thought that it would be such a help if Barbara was still hale and hearty of body. Of course, I quickly realize that my life would be infinitely more difficult than it already is. Still, it would be nice if a trip of five feet or so from her chair to her commode could be accomplished without me having to coach her through every step. What would, in the normal world, be a 2 or 3 minute potty break, can take 20 minutes or more.

Recently, our health plan wanted to schedule Barbara for a colonoscopy, since she has a history of polyps. After a lengthy discussion with the gastroenterologist, we finally settled on a less invasive colonography. I had gotten all the required liquids and powders, along with the instructions, and then just sat there - thinking. Barbara's movements, of late, have been even slower than her normal " slow " speed. More than once, I have escaped being pooped on as I attempted getting her Depends pulled down only by sheer luck and a fast neck jerk. I considered my options. I read the instructions again. Finally, I cancelled the appointment.

For a time, I considered my decision as a selfish one. With time though, especially now that I am up and awake after 4 1/2 hours of sleep, a back aching job of getting Barbara on her commode, and feeding her her breakfast one slow spoonful at a time because she shakes so much, I think I made the right decision. A 24/7 caregiver doesn't get extra hours. If anything, we get less. Sometimes, it's a lot less.

But I consider myself lucky, in a comparative sense, because once I am able to get her into her chair, I know that if I walk out of the room for a few minutes, when I return, she'll still be there. I don't have to hide the car keys, or depend on little fiblets to make it through the day.

Time to go. I am called to commode duty again.

Sometimes, even the best decisions don't seem so good.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2019 11:39 AM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2365

Aww Chris, your such a good guy. I agree, there are positive aspects when they are immobile. Mom could no longer escape as quickly as she did when she walked, BUT, she did manage to open the doors in her WC. The whole battle is exhausting. I think you made the right decision. 

I feel bad for them and us caregivers. Your poor DW.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2019 2:59 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2329

Chris, I agree,  you made the right choice.  I have to be honest, my way of thinking, is like this:

Balance.  The more advanced he goes, the more I let go, and give myself more care.  Time to drop this, then that, then let go.  It probably doesn't seem like a balance, but I interpret it like that.  (or maybe it's a seesaw....I'm not sure exactly what I"m trying to say, but I just feel it).

Anyway, I've been thinking lately what decisions I'll be making when this or that.  But, it looks like dad and I got a long way to go...I mean, look at him in that photo.