27 May 2010

I Know, I Know...

Why do I hate this idea so much? I know I need to arrange for some home health care. Scarecrow is currently doing everything for me -- everything -- 24/7, literally waiting on me hand and foot. He insists he's OK with that, but even he admits we need backup, just in case. If anything happens to him, I'm toast. I know I need to do this. I really hate the whole idea -- we both do -- but I know I need to do it.

OK. So. I dig out the list of referrals I got from the MS society a couple of years ago. I'm looking at the list. From the names, these places all seem to specialize in services for senior citizens. I understand the overlap between services for seniors and services for people with disabilities. I was prepared for that; at least, I thought I was prepared for that. I was perhaps not as prepared as I thought I was. And of three suggested contacts, two are apparently out of business.

That was actually a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I finally got tired of ignoring the item on my to-do list. I contacted the MS society for a more recent list of referrals. I figured it would take them a couple of days to put it together. It was in my in box 10 minutes after I hung up the phone. I hate it when that happens.

OK. So. I've got a list of referrals from the MS society. I'm looking at the list. From the names, these places all seem to specialize in services for senior citizens. I'm still not prepared for that. I'm going to call one of these places. I might as well start at the top of the list. I'm looking at the list.

In years past, we always spent a good chunk of Memorial Day weekend at the Northwest Folklife Festival. I haven't tried it since I've been in a wheelchair. It gets pretty crowded, particularly if the weather is good. I'm not that big on crowds in the first place, and in my experience places that are crowded, standing up, are claustrophobic sitting down. I did Pike Place Market on a sunny summer afternoon a couple of years ago when my brother was in town (and ran over somebody's foot, to their considerable and noisy dismay), but I haven't been brave enough to try Folklife. Maybe, if I get a better way to drive my chair, I'll brave the butt forest next year. If I run over somebody's foot, at least I'll do it on purpose.

While I'm at it, here's a shameless plug for the group I used to dance with, and later played music for. The Eclectic Cloggers are dancing on the International Dance Stage at 1:50 PM on Monday (May 31). Music by Minnie Pearljam. If you're in the neighborhood...

OK. So I'm looking at the list. It's six minutes to five. Scarecrow says he's ready to go home.

Tomorrow for sure.

Why do I hate this idea so much?


  1. I think of having my own PCA (personal care attendant) every now and again to help me with putting my clothes away, and getting the laundry done when I want it done- not when DH gets around to it. Also I'd like a few of my favorite things cooked once in awhile - something else DH doesn't much like to do. But the thought of having a complete stranger come into our house bothers me. I know DH would be close at hand, so safety is not in question, my privacy is.

    That said, I have a good friend who has a PCA from Catholic Community Services, and the two of them have become good friends. And since they go to lunch with [several of] us together, I {we] have become friends with her as well. So my message to you (and to myself) is to put the thought into the universe that you will get the perfect care giver available for your needs.

    Let's do that together.

  2. I have gone through MANY caregivers and companies. I got lucky twice. You have to be patient and kiss some frogs, but the right person is out there and yes, it is a pain in the neck. But when you find the match---Nirvana.
    Swedish used to have a great service, well, good, it all depends on person they send out. Privacy? I gave that up after my first uterine surgery. I have enbraced it. Don't even think about it now. I did NOT go to any MS society. Swedish will send you a big book full of many companies that can help. I don't get the "for seniors" issue...maybe you will get to visit my joint one day and see things anew in that regard. I would love to have you both and you wouldn't have to stay long...consider it.

  3. That age thing was weird when Patti first starting looking for help when she could still self-direct her care. A lot of trial and error involved because frankly it is about how you relate to a specific person as much as it is about skills. When you are used to a spouse caregiver you have no idea how much is unspoken or unasked, until you start to hire help.

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

  4. Webster - You're on.

    Diane - The visit to your joint might happen soon :)

    Patrick - You mean hired help won't be able to read my mind?