And, crying, I probably will do, as I try to write this essay!
About 6 1/2 weeks ago, I broke my kneecap. (See previous essay.) Approximately 4 1/2 weeks ago I went again to the hospital … to diagnose and treat blood clots. (See another previous essay!) Saw my Doctor this past Thursday. Kneecap is healing in exact correct position. I am to wear this brace four more weeks … next appointment, Dec 27th. That will give a total of 10 weeks with the brace. The doctor did indicate I could take the brace off a little … I am too scared of falling so I am certainly not going to be without this brace too much.
In two weeks I am going to Erin’s graduation from Boise State … obviously with the brace on … and with a cane.
Now, during all this time … my horrible last 6 1/2 weeks … this Assisted Living Complex has instituted an order that anyone taking Pete … or a similar resident … from bed to chair … or from chair to bed … MUST use the machine to lift him! Pete no longer will help transfer himself! That means he will no longer use his body to move himself from bed to a chair or back. That means he will not practice this movement in context. That means … whatever ability he now has to move himself bed to chair or such … that ability is the max he will attain. He will not get better. Pete’s health … or lack of good health … has been my total focus since his fall/TIA. And, now, this institution has ordered a stop to his physical growth!!! I am just devastated. Y’all know I spent over 50 years teaching math … and I remember an analogy … when a little one is beginning to walk … what if we carried the little one each time he or she tried to walk!!! Sure, they would get where-ever sooner … but they would not learn to walk!!! That is my feeling on using the “lift” with Pete.
I did take the opportunity to explain myself to Rose … the nursing health director here. The situation: in a similar case at another nursing home, such a resident … i.e., heavy in weight … fell while being transferred by hand … and those involved are suing the nursing home. It is also true that the staff/aides could be hurt if the resident fell … and the resident could also be hurt. I mentally understand all of this … but I do not want Pete’s growth to be stopped!
And … all this time, I am in my brace … can’t even take a shower without help!
Pete is so confused he does not know if he is to help in a transfer — or just wait for the machine to lift him. So, of course, if he is asked to help, he does not understand what to do. He only learns something by repetition in the exact same circumstances.
I will grant that rather than the “lift” machine the staff here has brought in a “sit-to-stand” machine. It does have him “hanging” from two arms … but in a position similar to sitting. I am still trying to follow that machine … but it is so close to the machine they used at Belle Maison that it is difficult to watch them use the “sit-to-stand” with Pete.
And, my reaction … I can’t talk about it to Rose, the aides, Craig … without crying. Not very professional in a serious argument! Craig and I know that we will not move. Their arguments are solid, and we will find the same situation where-ever we might go. We are continuing our private physical therapy for Pete — 30 minutes, twice a week ($45.00 per session.) In this therapy, the goal is to have Pete develop a solid practice of transferring … chair to bed and back … so the assisted care institution will not worry about his falling.
People … it is difficult … and expensive.