Friday, May 1, 2009

April Showers

My new aide was doing okay until Wednesday. Wednesday was one of my shower days and despite earlier successes transferring me from the shower chair to my wheelchair, this time I wasn't as lucky. The aide didn't exactly drop me, but I didn't make it to the wheelchair either. Instead, she ended up sliding me to the floor when she couldn't get me in the chair. There I was on the floor and naked of course like most people are when they come out of the shower. No one was hurt, but there was the dilemma of how to get me up and there was no way that my aide was going to do that without help.

If there was ever a time that I just wanted to leave my body, this was one of them. I'm lying there naked on the floor and trying to keep my aide calm while I think of a solution. Shouldn't I have been the one who was upset? Anyway, I decided that the best course of action was to call my husband at work, have him come home and get me off the floor. Now my aide is really freaking out because she has not met my husband and this is not the way that she wanted to do it. By this point, I've decided that she really doesn't have a say in how we precede. I have her give me the phone and I dial up my husband while staring of the ceiling. When he answers, I calmly explain that I need him to come home because I ended up on the floor after showering. I emphasize that I am not hurt, but don't want to spend the rest of the day in my current position and location.

Doug comes home and finds me right where I said I'd be, then he takes over. Just like me, he's not really listening to whatever my aide thinks we should do because she's the one who created this mess in the first place. He decides that the best way to handle it is for him to get me up and then she can slide the chair underneath me. I assured Doug that we could take it from there because I just roll on the bed to get my clothes on. He seemed a little reluctant, but he left and the rest of my day was mercifully uneventful.

I should explain that I have a fairly small bathroom with a narrow door opening and it lacks a roll-in shower. At the time we built the house, we thought that we were being practical by buying a ranch and having a shower instead of a tub/shower combo. We didn't know that I was going to lose the ability to walk entirely. Up until now, this hasn't been a problem for my employees but this one is older and lacks much physical strength and endurance. I was drawn to her because of her experience on paper and the unlikelihood that she would have to leave because she was pregnant. I guess I needed to stick with young and fertile?

As you can imagine, I kept going over what it gone wrong and how to correct it. By the next time I was showered, I had figured out my plan of action and I took control of the situation. I told my aide what were going to do and didn't let her try and figure out how to do it herself. My attitude was this is what has worked in the past for me and this is what you are going to do. I really didn't care that she had 27 years of CNA experience by this point; she only had a few days of Lydia experience. I'm glad to say that everything went without incident today and I think that we should be fine. It amazes me how flexible and patient I have become although I will put up with a lot not to have to go through the process of finding another caregiver. However, dropping me is totally unacceptable and if it happens on a regular basis, then that person needs to find another job. After all, I am paying these people and I want to get my money's worth.