Caregiving Ups and Downs – Calling 911

Painting of the Ups and DownsI shouldn’t have waited to call 911 for help.  Actually, not really 911 – the non-emergency one.  The ups and downs got to us.

We’ve been enjoying life each day in new ways.  We did make it to the concert two days ago and had a blast.  The Venice Art Center was an easy venue for Larry – small, no stairs or ramp, or tables, to navigate around.  The band, Mike Imbasciani and the BluezRockerz, played blues from 1928 to 2018, influence by rock, folk, and country.  They were loud and fun and people were dancing in their seats and in the aisle.  Big up!

Yesterday we had visits from the CNA and the hospice nurse to do wound care on the pressure sore on his heal, which didn’t look any better.  Bummer.  The nurse also brought up the fact that he is up for recertification in hospice.  If he gets “live discharged,” meaning they don’t think he qualifies, we’ll have to reconnect with all his doctors, go through a sleep study to get his Bi-pap machine ordered, and see a respiratory specialist to find a way to get his Cough Assist and suction machines again.  And no more CNA for showers.  UGGG!!!  Big down!  We’ll worry about that when the time comes.

It was a beautiful afternoon and Larry came out in his wheelchair to walk Bear with me.  Then we lit a fire in the firepit and enjoyed cocktails outside, while I cooked dinner on the grill.  His butt hurt sitting in his wheelchair, so after dinner we moved him to his lift recliner. We watched a fun mystery on TV and ate chocolate cake.  Big up!

Then, in trying to transfer him back to his wheelchair to go to bed, something happened.  I was holding him and he was leaning on the walker but somehow we lost his balance and he didn’t have the strength to hold himself up and I didn’t either so he slid to the floor.  No fall, no crash, no injuries.  But now he’s on the floor.  Big down – literally and figuratively!

Months ago, that wouldn’t cause much of a problem.  We had a method of turning him to one side and getting my knee under his armpit and then helping him get one foot under him and with a chair nearby to lean on we could get him up.

Normally I’d call a neighbor for help but it was 10 PM.  I didn’t think we’d be able to do it ourselves but he wanted to try.  We tried once and he felt so heavy.  I almost lifted him myself but couldn’t.  He insisted on trying going the other way, moving the wheelchair around him.  I said “one more try is all I’ll give you.”  No dice.  I called the non-emergency 911, they came (in a firetruck with lights flashing so we’ll have neighbors calling today) picked him up and all was well.


This morning I can hardly walk.  Somehow I did something to my foot in my attempts to get him up.  It’s hurting in multiple  weird ways.  Huge down!

It’s frustrating, uncomfortable, and inconvenient.  And I feel stupid for not calling for help in the first place.

Lesson to self – things have changed.  What used to work may not work.



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