Friday, 16 September 2016

Looking After Myself

I've figured out what to do about the commode situation, a solution that involves Ray doing nothing, and Mom not feeling like she should do something, a solution that I can use all by myself, even in the middle of the night, especially in the middle of the night.

I lay awake in bed last night, knowing that my body needed to release, feeling the lower end pressure that warns us all of impending doom. Yet I was in the apartment, in bed, with no access to a bathroom whatsoever. So I started thinking about how I might use the commode chair. I had forgotten the potty section of it back at home, so here I was with a toilet seat on wheels and no way to use it. So I got to thinking about catchment solutions.

The reality is that all I really needed was something to catch my release, and some way of disposing it. Then I thought about all those people who walk their dogs daily, picking up after them as they go. These folks pick up after their pups with a plastic bag and then dispose of the bag in the trash, usually something nearby. That would work for me too. All I needed was a bag, which fortunately my Mom has a few of, filled with wool, sitting in the bedroom.

I emptied a plastic bag and secured it to the bottom of the commode cushion using pins, situated in such a way as to catch the results of my work. I opened the window to create a breeze, clearing the air out of the room. This is very important to Ray, who has a nose like a timber wolf and can smell a foul odor through a brick wall. Then I positioned myself and let nature take its course. Things happened, after which I cleaned myself up, transferred off the commode, dressed, and took the offending bag into the garbage.

Ray was going to empty the garbage this morning. I know this because it was full when we went to bed last night. I just added a very small amount to its contents. He didn't even notice until I told him this morning. It's his home; he has a right to know how I worked things out. While not thrilled about the potential odors, he seems okay with me looking after myself. Me too.


  1. I know there are other thoughts to this post. And I know you will not add them because you are tactful. And I know you probably don't want me to say it.

    If I say something, I hope it opens up communication about the topic to benefit you, or in other words, so you don't have to say it.

    Any accommodation for a person already dealing with their life at risk and having to let go of so much of their life's activities, should be made.

    If somebody is put out for a short time, they shouldn't say anything. They should be so thankful they are not in the same situation. I think they forget that if it was them - because they can never imagine what is happening to you could happen to them - they would want the same consideration. That doesn't mean they don't care for you, it means they're putting themselves first, where they really shouldn't.

  2. It is very possible that Ray is a great guy on many counts, but this seeming inconsideration to your circumstance does not seem right to me. How selfish and petty he is being. I can only hope I never made my mama feel belittled, as she spent the last year of her life in bed......three years prior on the couch. It surprised even me the way I could deal with ALL aspects of her diminished life. Ray should get a clue!

  3. I hope you double bagged it! Just in case!!

  4. Denise, can you say how you helped your mom dress and how you helped get things from the refrigerator? How did you get off work to go with her to doctor appointments? How does anyone take off work so often to take someone to the doctor or to help out in the house?

    My doctor refuses to call me. Ever. The last time, he balked for 22 days and had to be advised by the medical mgt to call me. That was six months ago and the first time I asked him to call me. Now, he says he will only respond if I ask my questions to the nurse. I was told by mgt staff if I am unhappy with his not wanting to call me, I can go somewhere else. And this is a major hospital that everyone says is the best. Thanks.

  5. Ray is a wonderful man who does an incredible job of caring for my Mom. She is 84 years old, suffers from the early stages of Alzheimers, needs almost constant assistance with mobility and with issues with her urostomy. He works his ass of looking after her.

    The fact that he doesn't like his home to smell like an outhouse is no inconvenience or disrespect for me. He is very considerate of my circumstances, and helps a great deal with my stuff when I come to visit.

    He very much has a clue, a very real clue. In addition to doing a lot of difficult care for my Mom, Ray is no spring chicken himself. He is nearly 80! Yet there he is, changing ostomy bags, driving her to and from appointments, cleaning her when she has accidents. I love him, and have a great deal of respect for him.

    He is neither selfish nor petty. He just doesn't want his home to smell bad, and he said so. On the other hand, I have a solution and he will work with it. He carries a hell of a load, and I don't want to add to it. As he says, looking after my Mom is the most important thing in his life, and while he will help me where possible, she will always come first in his life.

  6. Lucille, My mama was not able to wear clothes the last 3 years of her was bed baths, and gowns for her. Home health was certainly a huge help, as was my daddy. He was at the time 75 years old and in relatively good health, By the end of her journey, he had had to have major open heart surgery. My sister and I (she does not live here) hired private care to help supplement home health and Dad. I did have to continue to work, as I was close to reaching the financial goal I had set for myself. My inference was not that I was an altruistic powerhouse, just one of a strong, small unit that made it work I can assure you that she had whatever she wanted from the refrigerator, and her caring doctor would make house calls if absolute necessary. I was more speaking to the fact that I grew up spoiled and years earlier would not have participated in the melee. I have yet to change a baby' diaper as I never wanted children, neither did my sister. You can best believe that I learned to bathe and clean her as well as deal with all her bodily functions. She was my mam. I would live those exhausting times all over again. I am a few dollars short on my retirement, and am now disabled myself. I live frugally, and am financially secure. Do not know exactly what you meant. My parents never gad a whole lot of money, but their 401k was to have 2 children who loved them beyond belief. If only I could go over tomorrow and take care of her one more weekend.

  7. ^ Thank you for explaining everything. You gave everything to your mom. About the refrigerator, I was asking because I can't open the refrigerator and if I want milk I have to wait until someone gets comes over to pour me a glass of milk. I was wondering what happens with the person at home who wants orange juice or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you can't make it yourself. I cannot hire help and no help is available on Medicare. You go on Medicare no matter how old you are after two years of Medicaid. Only Medicaid pays for a family member or friend to help out. Anyone who wants to help by bringing me to the doctor, has to take off work and, as you know, jobs only let people take off work so often. If I can't lift a towel or put on a shirt, it's a really difficult start of the day.

  8. p.s. Yes, you were a powerhouse in the best way possible. Your mother needed that.

  9. Lucille. I was fortunate enough to have had a very good job [buyer planner], so of course I was salaried, and could work odd hours when needed. This flexibility went a long way towards allowing me to be very helpful with my mama. I sent my best thoughts, wishes, and love your way.