It is time to go to sleep for those of us that stay up too late.. One way I can sometimes help myself let go of some of the anxiety, depending on how bad it is, is to think of a funny story from work.
As some of you know, I work with elderly dementia patients. They have various levels of Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. (I will do a post about types of dementia and the stages of dementia sometime. )
So, now for my story. ..This is about a feisty old lady, let’s call her Marla. So, Marla never wants to go to bed and if she does go to bed before 11 pm, she always gets up again, She is not allowed to walk by herself because she is very shaky and could easily fall.
She does not understand this and we often find her walking without her walker or wheelchair . So far, someone has managed to catch her before she falls.
So, tonight , she was half way up the hallway, no walker, sliding herself along the wall. I got to her in time and had someone else bring a wheelchair to put under her. We brought her into the living room and wanted to keep an eye on her there for a while.
She decided that she wanted to leave and she to walk back to her room. She stood up from hr seated position in the wheelchair, still holding onto the armrests. Holding tightly to the chair , she began walking and trying to drag the 40 pound, wheelchair along with her.
I looked at her with great curiosity, as I had never seen anyone try to walk and drag the wheelchair along behind them.
She was fairly safe because if she lost her balance, she was going to land in the seat, which was just behind her. But I stayed as close as she would allow, just in case the chair would roll back as she was landing.
She gave me a disgusted look and announced , “This chair is too heavy! Why did you give me one that is so heavy! How am I supposed to carry this?”
I smiled at her, “Well, Marla, most people do not carry their wheelchair. I’m fact I am certain that the wheelchair company does not take that into account, when they decide on the weight of the chair. They are not expecting you to carry it”
Even more disgusted than before, Marla furrows her brow and says, “Well how else am I supposed to get this thing to my room?!”
“Marla,” I am trying not to laugh at this point “you can sit in the chair and roll in it.”
“How do other people carry this chair?” she demanded.
I said , ” Other people sit in the chair and roll it with their feet. That is what other people do.”
“NO! ” She said. They should not make things so heavy that I can’t carry them. I do not want to leave it here.
She continues standing, walking and holding onto that wheelchair , to drag it along behind her. She is making about one millimeter of progress every couple of seconds.
I tried to reason with her. I tried to get her to sit. But she just kept on at it… mumbling… “These damn wheelchair makers! They don’t know what they are doing. How the hell do they expect a woman to carry this damn heavy thing all that way…”
Other people came in to assist at that point. It was late and the girl who works midnight shift said she would take over. I think they got her to sit just before I left. Or her legs gave out and she sat kn her own.
I still can see her in my mind, dragging that damn chair. It is a good thing she did not actually try to pick it up. I was half expecting her to try that next. Well…tomorrow is another day…
You’ve got to give her credit though. She doesn’t give up easy! She probably has more determination that most of us.
Good night. I am thinking of all of you and hope you sleep well. I am also thinking of Marla and hoping she is not up at 3am trying to drag that damn chair from her room, out to the living room.