(originally posted in Caregivingly Yours May 18, 2012)
Wednesday, two months after successful lung cancer surgery, everything came back together for the first time. Our world returned to its normalcy.
In other words life is now just as it was before surgery, only 8 weeks later. I have no loss of abilities, restrictions, or pain.
Why should this benchmark start any different than any other caregiving day as I spent too many hours on the phone and on hold working and stressing as Patti’s POA on looming changes to Patti’s Medicare supplemental insurance?
With the cooler part of the day wasted it was time to mow the lawn, walking approximately a mile while pushing a 60 lb (27 kg) mulching power mower in 86˚F (30˚C) temps.
Next I drove to pick up Patti. Exiting her care facility assisted dining room she was quite sure her diner had been “bangin” but had no memory of what she had just eaten.
Heading out to a nearby park for a push and roll (a gentlemen never discusses a lady’s weight but let’s say Patti weighs more than a lawnmower) I pushed her for a one mile loop stopping for some hamming it up in their amphitheater, “all the world’s a stage”.
Then the pièce de résistance (insert drum roll)
… a one person unassisted transfer of Patti from her wheelchair to her bed, followed by undressing and changing her for sleep.
Unlike the miles of pushing, transferring is about lifting non-ambulatory weight. Even after transfer, while many people have changed and dressed an infant, a non-ambulatory adult is the exact same principal just exponentially more upper body strength involved.
It was a godsend that the care facility era was already in place before surgery and recovery took me out of the daily equation for two months. Patti was safe and completely cared for.
Though it’s a bittersweet return to normalcy for me as Multiple Sclerosis memory and cognitive symptoms confound Patti even realizing or remembering any loss in outings or absence of me transferring her to bed the majority of nights each week.
Normalcy? An interesting concept isn’t it?
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer