Supper fixed: Check. Kitchen cleaned: Check. Laundry caught up: Check. Tickets purchased for grandson Sam’s high school musical this weekend: Check. Someone secured to sub for worker who could not come tonight: Check. Lunch meat and Chinese slaw in the fridge for whoever might show up at Woodsong this weekend and will not have to go hungry whether I am here or not: Check. Coffee pot ready to be turned on in the morning: Check. I feel organized at least and in better shape than a week ago because of our daughter Jeannie.
Jeannie was kind enough to take a week off work and come down from the northern part of the state to help me with Katherine’s care. When she first said she might come this week if I needed her, I had no idea what to tell her. (She had to know quite a bit ahead to arrange to take off.) I told her we might have an all new staff by this week and we might not need her. But fortunately, she decided to come anyway.
I am so happy she did. Not only have I loved talking and visiting with her, but we have accomplished a great deal that would never have been done without her here. Most of all, despite my hopes for a new staff making our help unneeded, that did not happen and I do not know what I would have done without Jeannie’s help. I started the week tired from last week, but with Jeannie’s and a new night aide’s help, I had good sleep every night, and I had time off when needed during day shifts to keep searching for a day aide for next week. Best of all, I think all my time on the phone and on the computer doing background checks has resulted in locating at least three good people and some possible substitutes even though the day aide is still not completely settled.
It is amazing how much juggling has to be done when you are involved with other people’s lives. Let’s see. One worker got called back to a job she had been laid off of. One new worker decided the work was too difficult. (It is hard work to constantly readjust someone in constant pain.) But at least she recommended someone Katherine thinks will be helpful. One college student worker, who comes three nights a week after class, came by for gas money. and before she returned, we had a message from her boyfriend and mother that she had had an accident and been taken to the hospital for a check up. Suddenly one of us needed to spend the night. She says it was a fender bender and she was not hurt badly but she hasn’t been able to work this week. However, we have been extremely pleased with the replacement sub. We were able to get an excellent aide two mornings this week, but her husband needed some doctor appointments before his scheduled surgery next week when she won’t be able to work after Monday. Jeannie and I filled in the morning, afternoon, and as it turned out, the evening hours too.
I thought I had the evening hours covered and was excited to meet the woman from a nearby town that I liked so much on the telephone. (She was friends with my second cousin and wife.) But the first evening she was to work, she called to say the part for her car had not come in until that afternoon and the mechanic could not get it completely fixed that day. That story was consistent with what she told me about not being able to start until her car was fixed. Her phone call came at a most inconvenient time as Jeannie and I were trying to get Katherine out of the wheelchair-accessible van and into the dentist office for an appointment we were already late for. Of course by then it was too late to find anyone else for that evening. She told me how sorry she was and assured me she’d be there the next evening. The next evening, however, she called one hour before she was supposed to be there to tell me she had decided she did not want to take the job that she had acted so glad to get. Ah well. I was grateful not to meet her if that was the kind of person she was. We coped.
On Tuesday, Gerald had driven the van to Carbondale for Jeannie and me when we took Katherine to a specialist that her infectious disease doctor wanted her to see as soon as possible. These kind of trips are so difficult for Katherine, but yet necessary. We were almost on time. Kind of. And the new doctor and his nurse were tremendously impressive just as is Dr. Linda Bobo, the infectious disease doctor. It felt good that these two professionals were reasonable and holistic in their approach to her multiple health problems. (So many highly trained neurologists we have dealt with have acted as if she can function as easily as someone who can use their legs and hands. To me, sometimes their lack of sensitively has been shocking.) But there on Tuesday she was treated with respect and concern. Nevertheless, they wanted her back tomorrow for some testing and a helpful procedure. As an example of their understanding, her visit with this nurse tomorrow can be whenever we get there before four o’clock, rather than at a set time. Regardless, it will be a hard day for everyone.
I have someone hired in the morning to help me and Jeannie till noon, and the regular Friday afternoon aide (in school all week) has recovered sufficiently from her sprained ankle to also help tomorrow. (This long-time aide is evidently is doing some remodeling that caused the sprain. A couple weeks ago she had hurt her arm severely while working on her porch.)
One thing about relying on other people is that you learn many people have many problems. You are not alone in having difficulties. That is both good and bad. You wish that no one had problems and that you did not inconvenience others with your problems and that you were not inconvenienced with theirs. Yet you face the reality that life is full of difficulties and it is best to try to help others and allow others to help you.
I heard Jeannie reach Woodsong a bit ago. Now I must get to bed and be at Katherine’s house as soon after 7:00 in the morning as I can in order to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Things may not be going swimmingly, but at least we are staying afloat.
Causes Sue Glasco Supports