Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday's Tumbles and Stumbles ~Stop Helping Me!

The stumble of the week is being a caregiver to a man with a caregiver/helping spirit. This has actually been going on for over a year now, but it almost made me loose my cool this week.

As my husband becomes more debilitated and helpless, he continues in wanting to assist me and the hospice aides in his care. He'll struggle to change positions in the bed for better access for us while we are attending to him. This increases his pain levels and leaves him gasping for breath. Reminding me of a fish out of water. It would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

No, I don't want to disable him or hurt his ego, but things would go along so much smoother if he'd stop helping me or us.

He had an accident over Thanksgiving weekend not the spilling something or falling kind, but a bowel issue, of the runny kind. Now mind you, I only have one working hand, but I'm changing pull-ups on a 60+ year old man. He raises his bottom for me to slide a disposable pad underneath him. I was thankful for this even though I could have slid it under him without his help. I grab the wipes, scissors, and a clean pull-up from their bags and I'm ready for action.
Hubby:"What do you want me to do?"
Me: "Nothing. Just be still. I got this."
He grabs the bed rail and rolls. "Well, I could roll on by side."
Me: "No, roll back the way you were and stop trying to help me."
He lets go of the bed rail and flops on his back again. A brown stain appears underneath him.
I grab the scissors preparing to cut the sides of his pull-ups. "Don't move."
Hubby turns towards me, "Huh?"
I just manage to pull the scissor tips away from his belly as he turned. "Don't move!" and I show him the scissors. He nods and turns back onto back. The brown stain is now larger underneath him. I'm beginning to wonder if he really was easier to change a diaper on than my two-year old grandson. If this continued, I'd have to change his sheets too.

I cut the sides of the pull-ups and lower the front half.
He lifts his rear end up before I'm ready. The back portion of the pull-up clings to his buttocks for a moment and then flips mess side down onto the bed.  It was then I noticed it was only half on the pad. The other half landed on his sheets. Just as I had suspected each time he had raised and lowered his rear end, the waste was creeping up over the waist line of his pull-up. Now, both sides had mess on it. I'll have to bathe him to get it all off of him.

I let out an aggravated groan. Now I'd have to change his sheets too. I threw a blanket at him to cover up. "This mess will take a bath to clean up."
Hubby: "Okay."
I returned with a basin of warm water and soap. He had pulled his bedside table next to the bed to make it easier on me."It's warm so it shouldn't be so bad."
I pulled on the bedside table so there would be enough room for me to get close to him for the washing part. It resisted. I pulled harder. The table tilted and the bath water slid off the table. When it hit the floor, the splash upwards soaked my jeans and my shirt. Now I'm cursing under my breath as I pick up the empty basin. "Don't touch the table again."

I cleared it from the bed power cord and positioned it where I needed it. Now not only did I have to clean him up, change his sheets, but I had to change clothes too.
Once I returned with more warm soapy water, I bathed him clean. This time he didn't move unless I asked him to. I pulled the soiled pad out to cover the messy pull-up and put clean pull-ups on him. Changed the sheets before he even realized it.
Hubby: "Do you want to help me into a chair while you change the bed?"
Me: "It's done."
I picked up the soiled bedding and put them into the hamper, changed my clothes, and plopped into the chair by his bed exhausted.
Hubby: "I'm sorry, honey. I was just trying to help."
Me: "Babe, I love you, but please stop helping me!"


  1. He had the right spirit, but it only made it worse, didn't it?

  2. It's hard when people try so hard to help but only make it worse.

  3. Unfortunately, it goes the other way too. Sometimes Tom "helping" me makes it harder for ME; then I snap and then feel awful that I just snapped at the sweetest person on earth.


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.