Elly continues to have a pretty good attitude about her life these days. She continues to be stoic, stubborn and private. My take on these issues means that we will have a long, hard, road yet to travel in terms of sticking with caregiving for her until the end! She continues to be resistant to allowing us to give her help or assistance. We are on the cusp of helping her to understand that some things are going to change. Elly has a chronic edema issue with her legs and declining kidney function. These will stay with her through to the end.
Our Wound Clinic visit was quite wonderful yesterday. Inge, our nurse, was welcoming and got Elly to talk a little about her history while she worked. AH & I had gone shopping for recliners on Saturday so I had to ask Inge if a recliner would make a difference in the swelling of Elly’s legs. We’ve already played Goldilocks and The Three Chairs this last week but She hasn’t found the most comfortable chair that she already owns yet! Inge was sweet, understood and validated the kind of Power Lift/Recliner we had looked at and decided on. Elly was very interested in having a recliner with buttons to put her feet up with and Inge encouraged the NEED for that kind of chair. As I got Elly into the car, I mentioned that we could go look at the recliner Inge had suggested since the store was just “around the corner”. She didn’t protest much.
Elly was able to walk into the store and sit in the lift recliner that was her size, sitting right by the door! I explained about the different sizes, what the chair could do and that she needed to play with the buttons! After a short time, Elly wandered over to the last chair in the row and sat in it, complaining about how big the chair was and how it was too low, the others too high. I saw Goldilocks with white hair! This was enough to help convince her that the first chair was more her size. By now, the salesman came over. I warned him that we already knew what we wanted, he wasn’t to discuss a price in front of Elly and that we had a history with Craig from Saturday’s shopping with AH. All we needed was buy-in from Grandma.
Poor guy, of course, Elly badgered him about the price. I emphasized to Elly that first of all, she needed to figure out if the chair was comfortable, we were already committed to purchasing a chair but it had to be the right chair. The salesman demonstrated the power buttons and helped to find the right positions for her. She seemed happy about all the attention. She asked about the price again so I told Elly that we would be purchasing it for her but it would be my chair after she was gone. She told me, “Then you better put your name on it!” She didn’t let up though and asked how much! I told her that it was more than her $250 Lazy Boy Chair that she had right now. She asked how much again! So, I said it cost as much as a couch! To this she replied, “Oh, so it’s more like $300.” I was laughing and just couldn’t even look at the salesman at this point.
Settling on a fabric was a little dicey because she wanted the dark blue fabric and I had pointed out the sand colored one. Her comments were, “Well, the blue would match the blue walls. This blue wouldn’t show the dirt from when the kids come and play with the chair. Oh, I see something now! This sand color would go perfectly with the hardwood floors!” I pointed out that the walls and couch were blue and that they may clash with the dark blue and the sand might be better for the chair. She asked me then, “Are the walls blue?” I smiled and the salesman smiled. We established the sand colored fabric was perfect.
So, I confirmed with Elly that she wanted us to order the chair. She still resisted saying that she would feel “guilty”. I told her that would be her problem but that she could think of it as her birthday present. She said, “Well, how many birthdays do you think I will have?” I told her that she had told me she wanted to see 100 so she had about six more to go! She laughed and said that would be fine but that we couldn’t get her any more birthday presents then. I agreed. Since I didn’t want her to hear the price, I told the salesman to go ahead and order it! He looked confused so I asked him how long it would take? He said possibly two weeks if there was one in the warehouse so I quietly told him that I would be back to do the paperwork. So I turned to leave with Elly and she asks me, “Aren’t you going to give him your phone number?” Smart cookie! So I walked back and gave him my phone number. She was just smiling as she left the store. I called Elly’s son and let him know about the chair and that she accepted it. He called later that evening and she told him about him without hesitation.
This is only step one in the process. AH has all kinds of HIS IDEAS about how the furniture needs to be moved/removed to fit in the new chair. I already feel like a punching bag trying to keep him happy and Elly happy with fitting us into her small house! My mantra is: This is HER HOUSE and CHANGE is practically IMPOSSIBLE unless it is HER IDEA! Tell me how it can be her idea and I will listen! So, I told AH that until the chair arrives, he will have to keep his ideas under wraps!
So, back to Elly’s legs… we did see some healing with Elly’s cellulitis in both legs. I took the Juxtalites to the Wound Clinic , hopeful that she would have fewer lesions on one of her legs to be able to wear them. The Juxtalite is a special compression wrap for the leg that will replace Oona boots for now. Elly will be wearing this every day from now on. She was able to transition to this wrap for one leg, the other is still too weepy from the edema. I will now get to remove the wrap for bedtime and install it in the morning.
This morning, Elly was up very early at 6:30am waiting for me to come out and “do the wrap”! She said that she liked the way it felt on her leg. Yaaay!! I now have another “caregiving” task that fits more the profile when most people think of caregivers!Related