Posts on Thursday mornings.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Flip Side-Pavlov's Dog

Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. Proverbs 19:27 NKJV

I had been my dad's caregiver for the first year that he moved in with us to help him take care of his medical conditions. Then the doctors said Dad needed more medical care and eventually skilled nursing care.  I've overseen his caregiving for almost three years and a half years, now. Then, Christ gave me new insight into caregiving, when I broke my heel two months ago and immediately became the caregivee, because I couldn't walk on my leg for 90 days.

The part of being a caregivee that I'd like to address in this post is how I feel like Pavlov's dog on a daily basis. When I need to urinate, I have to grab my walker, or it could be the crutches, but I'm wobbly on them. I sometimes use the walker part way and the transport chair for another chunk of the way to the bathroom, because the palms of my hands get so sore from using the walker so much.
Anyway, I hobble to the bathroom the best I can by one means or the other and by the time I get close to the toilet to disrobe, the urine starts to flow. I usually try to hobble faster, but that doesn't always work. It takes a certain amount of time to remove enough clothing to use the toilet, which makes it even more difficult to get to the

toilet in time. 

All I have to do is see that toilet and  invariably will start to urinate in a similar fashion to how Pavlov's dog would salivate when the dinner bell was wrung. This seems to happen even when I go to the restroom without much of an urge to urinate.

This is embarrassing to talk about, but I've had to call for my husband to bring me a change of pants and underwear, because I couldn't make it in time. I now have a small overnight bag in the bathroom with changes of pants and underwear. At least, I don't have to yell across the house that I've had an accident. 

The big point is, if I feel embarrassed by not making to the toilet in time, what's it feel like to caregivees like my dad who have to deal with this the rest of their lives, not just while a broken bone mends? How do they feel when they have debilitating illnesses like my dad, who has Parkinson's, and has to ask someone to come take them to the bathroom? What about those whom no one hears calling out and they have to lie in their urine until someone changes them? 

If I feel embarrassed by having accidents, it gives me a new appreciation for the feelings of my father and others in facilities who are dependent on others to change their disposable under garments. It's something we all need to consider, since the vast majority of us will deal with some portion of this later in our lives. We should consider treating all seniors with the same consideration we would want in that situation.


Since these are examples of how I've applied these Bible verses to my experience, they may not reflect the whole meaning of the verse.

I'm including You Tube Video clips on caregiving that I found interesting, inspirational, or might be helpful to others, but am not responsible for the content in the videos. Always check first with a physician before trying any suggestions mentioned.
By: MGHOrthopedics via You Tube


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