Easter weekend

Basset-spring-in-airCAREGIVING: It snowed for a few minutes on Easter. No one was surprised. I am usually the first person to make fun of the neighbors who leave their Christmas decorations up until Easter. But, this winter has been a good excuse for everyone. My snow blower is still sitting on the front porch. A few feet away, the daffodils are trying to push up through the road sand, mud and a matte of dead leaves. So, who am I to judge.

The last little hunk of snow near the kitchen door should shrink away today or tomorrow. Marty has tried to work on his basset tan on the few sunny days we had. And I have shovelled a winter’s worth of his deja poo off the deck.

A funny Easter card from my sister-in-law, Trisha referring to my dual religion status of Jewish and Easter rabbit.
A funny Easter card from my sister-in-law, Trisha referring to my dual religion status of Jewish and Easter rabbit.

Easter weekend worked out okay. But Kathy and I ended up being without aides for most of it. Saturday, our health agency had an ‘in-service’ training session that the aides were supposed to attend. So, Pat was at that most of the day. I knew about it weeks in advance. So, I knew I would be changing Kathy, cleaning her and getting her dressed. It also meant I would need to skip my Saturday ritual of going to the dump / recycling center. And shopping. But it gave me a chance to work around the house. I think another load of supplies came on Saturday.

Pat did come Saturday night to get Kathy ready for bed. Usually while she is taking care of Kathy, I ‘take care of Marty’. He gets so excited when there is a visitor that he is underfoot. So, Marty and I go to bed. He settles down and I read on my phone or watch TV on it. I have enjoyed a BBC comedy called “Nurse.” It’s about a visiting nurse who visits various patients with assorted behavioral health problems. It is funny even though it is very close to home. I  don’t believe it has made it to US television yet.

Pat was more than halfway finished with Kathy when she came in and said, “Hey Peter you need to take over. I feel like I am getting sick.”

She apologized and was out the door. She got sick out in the street. She called later on her way home giving me the details. She suspected it was some renegade clam chowder she had for supper that was bad. I finished up Kathy. Warmed up her nightgown and put it on with some lotion and put some extra Balmex cream on her. Pat had really finished the hard part.

On Easter Sunday we got a call from the agency that Pat was still sick and they didn’t have any replacement workers. That wasn’t surprising since they have a lot of trouble hiring and keeping aides now. And it was Easter, too.

I did pretty well getting Kathy ready. When I have to do everything by myself I space tasks out more so that I don’t kill my back. I changed her first. That is what I would want if I had slept in wet pants. I change the bed pads. I find that to be the hardest thing for me: rolling her back and forth to clean her AND have her end up in the right spot on the bed: centered on a sandwich of water-repellent pads. The aides can get it right on the first try but something always gets messed up. There will either be no pad on one side. Or she has slid down to the bottom of the bed. When I pull her back up so that her head is in the right place, then the pads are too high and her butt is back on the sheets. I get my exercise. Then I wash her legs and change her socks and leg warmers if she has them on. And prop her legs and feet on pillows so that she won’t get pressure sores.

Then I take a break. I take a shower and have another cup of coffee. Then I give Kathy her morning medicine and refill her feeding machine. I finish dressing her and put a new top on her so I can wash her nightgown for Sunday night. I don’t really give the same kind of bedbath that the aides give her. I put more lotion on her and creme on her face. I have to clean her left eye several times a day with water and a drop of tear substitute. It just seems to get filled with eye crud that dries it shut.

Homemade yogurt.
Homemade yogurt.

On Easter I did made some yoghurt. It came out well. I had to buy a thermometer for my new coffee-making routine and not guessing the temperature really helps. I added a few capsules of Kathy’s probiotic to the mix before I incubated it in the lukewarm oven. I still might buy a yogurt maker.


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