Why You Can Never Thank Your Caregiver Enough…

Once upon a time, in a land not so far from here, when my legs worked without pain and I could dance I did not need any help in the world. I was blissfully unaware of how much harder things could be. Now, when I am hungry I have to debate if I should risk trying to microwave that bag of popped corn, or if I should hit the buzzer (obtained via Freecycle) and ask Ye Olde Caregiver to feed me. Usually it is the latter. The apartment is not accessible and that means hauling myself out of bed and to the kitchen. By the time popped corn is ready, I am out cold.

Yesterday he wasn’t here and being that I have yet to really buy groceries in the new apartment, I had to fend for myself. It has been six months since that was the case, and at first I was stumped. I couldn’t cook, standing and cooking is too dangerous and the chairs make me burn my arms up, which leads down the road of scars and infection.  In my fridge there were a total of three options. Beans, a rare blend with cheese and some secret but gluten free sauce courtesy of Del Taco, eggs, and a lot of drinks. So I piled the beans on a paper plate, put it in the microwave and had myself a feast.

That got me thinking, and first I asked permission before writing about him on the blog, that my caregiver takes a lot of crap, just by default. When we go out he fends for me, when I cannot reach something or if I am so low on energy that I do not see the predators coming. he is a shoulder to cry on when my pain meds fail to make it all better. He fights for me, he cooks for me, he moves me around the world, and he even helps me get in and out of the shower.

Without him, I would likely be trapped in an abusive environment. Someday I will list all of the abuses I have dealt with, but, this is a joy. Yes he is a paid caregiver, yet he works four times as much as he gets paid for. Not only does the state refuse to offer overtime, but, I cannot seem to get an extension on his hours. He deserves to get paid, as he does duties not listed by most. He even cleans out the dreaded litterbox.

Some people might wonder why a woman with such a dark past would want a male caregiver. I initially was resistant but he is the right man for the job. Not only can I trust him but my personality detecting cats both adore him as well. I have never felt endangered by him, and that is not true of anyone else in my life. If you have a caregiver or a service animal, how much do they do for you that goes unseen?

Sometimes when I am napping and kick the covers off, he tucks me back in without waking me. He feeds my cats, he even helps them get dressed when my hands are too swollen to work the velcro. He finds my missing pills when the faeries hide them (or I lose them). He does anything I ask of him, including running around town picking up furniture via freecycle. Today he has picked up a couch, a bookshelf, and a desk. I now have actual furniture, which he will dust. Yesterday he moved a TV into my room, cleaned up cat barf, and did laundry. Plus his daily chores which include three meals a day, two meals for the cats, and anything else I can dream up.

He even invents things for me. He is a technological wiz, and he enjoys making things. His hobbies include making games, that’s right, video games and woodworking. I have yet to run into anything he cannot fix or improve. He is one of the dearest people I know.

So thank you to all caregivers. Without you the world would be a dreadful place full of hunger, pain, and without the light you bring. May you never be taken for granted.

The Wheels on the Butt Go Round and Round…

Today is a busy day, and I hurt enough to make me want to not just crawl under a rock, but to make the rock cry to share my pain. This tactic is not healthy but it is very human, so, I must chant the mantra today that makes me feel the best. “Centered, warmth, healing light, none other shall have to face my plight. I am strong, I am beautiful, I am capable, and my bed waits for me to finish my tasks.” A little long but it helps me get going with a smile. I am eating a delicious breakfast made by my Male Person of Awesomeness, while he showers. The cats are both coming on our adventures today.

This will be our first time taking William Shakespurr out with us. Today’s activities consist of Veterinarian, Bank and the oh so fun Wheelchair Repair Trade off.  The wheels under my butt don’t want to go round and round. Since the first day I got my scooter things have been falling off. Getting it out the door to the house the first time I clipped the wall and lost a chunk of the plastic frame. The second time it was better but I clipped a rock at an SCA event (pebble sized) and lost a bit more. A rattle started a bit later and here we are Six Months into ownership of my own Personal Freedom Mobile, and it is broken.

Man of Awesome loaded it into the van and bumped an empty cardboard box, and the box won. The lights died and now half the time it won’t move. The scooter seems to be defective! What a concept right? It has had power issues the entire time I have dealt with it, but, I had no way of knowing it wasn;’t normal to have it whine, vibrate, jerk about, and rattle. The death rattle grew worse after it stalled out in the new apartment. I hit the wall goooood, and broke the plastic frame, and the entire system died for eight hours. I used the wall as a pillow, since my bed wasn’t home yet and everything else wasn;t here yet. I was the first piece of decoration in our apartment, a wall fixture I might add.

All comedy aside, this experience gave me a new light on the scooter. While it sucks horrible in many ways, those ways are made up for by the fact that I can race someone to the car, and WIN. First time in my life. I don’t have to try and brace my bosom so that they don’t smack me in the face, I don’t have to worry about a dislocated knee, I can zip right out there and not even break a sweat. I also have the freedom of leaving the house by myself for the first time in years. I don’t have to hide in my room if I want privacy and solitude, I merely have to get rolling.

The Maiden of ButtWheel Repair has warned that I might not be able to get this particular chair back, and that I might want to look at other designs. What I truly want is just a wheelchair shaped item, no long nose, just a nice, cushy chair. I would need to add on a few particulars, like a basket for the cat to sit in, and my sunshade, but, after that? I could maybe make it around some of the walls in the apartment, or maybe squish into that store that is barely inaccessible. Scooters add to the inaccessibility issue facing stores and their handicapped customers, though they are great for some people.

I already miss my wheels…

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