Caregiving Ain't for Sissies


Caregiving Ain't for Sissies

Smiley_green_alien_sick.svg.medIt's Sunday, usually a day to brew coffee, sit on the porch in dual recliners and take time to read the newspaper. (Yeah, we are old fashioned here and love putting our feet up and sharing the Sunday paper while drinking strong coffee.)

But today, like many days lately, the paper gets read late in the day or not at all. Mom is still in rehab and I feel like we are spinning our wheels. She still says it is too painful to put weight on her left leg. After taking x-rays of her thigh last week the doctor now wants to get a bone scan. Without knowing specifically if either her pelvis or femur are newly fractured they still will not let her weight bear, so tomorrow, two weeks into this, they are going to take her to another hospital for a bone scan of her pelvis and upper legs. They will inject her with dye at 9 a.m. and then two to three hours later will do the scan which takes approximately 45 minutes.

So maybe we will get an answer, and then what? Even though she has not put any weight on this leg for over two weeks, the case manager has targeted this Friday for her to come home. I'm having a tough  time with that right now. First, for the last five days an old back injury of mine has reared it ugly head and I have had pain running across my back and down my right leg. It was pretty horrific years ago and I have been trying not to panic. Tomorrow at 9:30 I have an appointment for myself for my back made before the guys at rehab decided Mom needed the scan. Then yesterday my head started to ache and my throat got all itchy.

So I am sitting here feeling like crap and feeling guilty for not being the perfect daughter. I feel guilty because I won't be there to go with Mom for the scan because I will be going to an appointment of my own. I feel guilty because I just don't know how I can bring Mom home if she can't put any weight on her leg and therefore cannot use her walker to move around.

The case manager seems to think it will be so easy. When I said we have two steps to get into the house she cheerfully said I could learn to "bump" the wheelchair up the stairs. Yeah, with my back hurting, the same back that when I injured it years ago pinched the nerve so badly that I had no reflex in my foot and experienced the frightening reality of telling yourself to hop on your right foot and nothing happening! Not kidding here, I thought "hop" and zero happened. No movement. No nothing. It took months to heal. So the thought of "bumping" a wheelchair using my back isn't on my radar, no matter what she says.

Not to mention how to get a 94-year-old from her bed, to the bathroom, to her sitting room, on the carpet, in the tiny hallway, etc., etc.. So here I am feeling lousy. My head hurts, my ears hurt, my back hurts and I know I am probably blowing things way out of proportion, but I'm feeling overwhelmed and guilty.

They say growing old ain't for sissies. You know what? Caregiving ain't for sissies either.

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Thank you everyone for all the comments_mysql and ideas! And yes, Richard, the big toe on my right foot is not hurting! And looking for the positives here (thank you for that) most of the rest of me is feeling better today. Trying to figure out why I was all itchy and snarky (is that a word?) Hubby took the lovely chrysanthemums he had picked for me from the house and took them to work. If my head clears up we will have solved that mystery. My visit to the doc has resulted in the pain subsiding even more today and he says my back is moving more freely and has given me the okay to go to my \"Backs & Butts\" class this afternoon. The more movement, the more strength the better, just do it gently. For the long run, there isn't a lot of wiggle room in those vertebrae in my lower back and I do have to protect it. He is more worried about the twisting and awkward positions you can get into helping with transfers than pushing the wheelchair. As you have all said, a sick or hurt caregiver doesn't do the caree a lot of good. Still waiting for news from Mom and how her test has gone. I just have to be patient and figure things out and quit jumping to conclusions.


TDM, I am so sorry you and your mom are being put between a rock and a hard place. (((Hugs)))\r\n\r\nWhen my partner twisted her back several years ago, we put our camp toilet to good use. It cut down on a lot of the transportation issues. There are even better portable commodes that come with handrails. There are also temporary ramps available, but I know that slope is still an issue.\r\n\r\nThe case manager sounds clueless to me. I wonder if the staff at your back appointment can suggest anything.\r\n\r\nI think you are doing everything you can in light of some very tough obstacles.