Quadriplegia: paralysis of all four limbs; tetraplegia
~Tied up with an invisible chain
As I stretch and place my feet on the floor, I blink the sleep out of my eyes. There are days I wish I could sleep as long as my brain would allow me. Instead I glance up at the clock and realize that I have already spent too much time laying around. You depend on me, without me you can’t begin your day.I often reflect on all the things in life that people take for granted. The gentle placing of their feet on the floor and the ability to stand and walk into the bathroom to turn on the shower. Things are very different for you dear husband. I roll you onto one side and then the other so that I can place the sling underneath you. I position the Hoyer with it’s legs under the bed so I can put the sling straps onto the hooks. The Hoyer works just like an engine hoist. I carefully raise the arm of the Hoyer, gently lifting you off the bed.
Once you are lifted enough to clear the bed rails of your hospital bed, I then maneuver the Hoyer to strategically place you over your shower chair. All the while being very aware of your Colostomy and Catheter. Once you are sitting as comfortably as you can I must wheel you through the house to the bathroom that is actually connected to our bedroom. We call this the “Nuts and Butts” parade. Through the living room, up the ramp to the dining area and then down the hall to the bathroom. We are unable to enter the bathroom from our bedroom due to someone’s ass backwards setup of the the toilet which is directly in front of the doorway, blocking wheelchair access. We start your shower with a good soak and a brushing of your teeth. You get a good scrubbing from top to bottom and then we reverse the process back to the room and into the bed. Once you are lotioned up and dressed I must Hoyer you one last time into your wheelchair. This entire shower process takes at least one and a half to two hours. Next you get your water, pills and coffee. Now I can finally take a moment to fill my favorite spot on the couch and plan for the next round of duties. I challenge each and everyone of you to imagine yourself having to get your partner ready every single day before you begin your own day. Imagine how much earlier you would have to get up or how much later you would be getting to bed. As the caregiver of my husband, I cannot just think of myself, I am responsible for another human being. As a caregiver, my job is never done.