Blog 47: Last Man Standing

Even though Bill, in January 2012, needed help with standing up and sitting down and walking, we were still able to cope.  But then one morning, late in that month, I found much to my dismay, that I could not get Bill out of his chair.

Getting Bill out of his chair had always taken two actions.  Firstly, Bill had to push himself up. Then secondly, when he was halfway up, I had to catch him under the elbow and push him further upwards until he was standing.  Once he was standing and on the walker, it was usually the case that all was well.

On this occasion, though, it seemed that Bill could not get himself halfway up as he needed to.  He could get himself a quarter of the way up but that wasn’t enough.  Though I caught and pushed with all my strength, I could only get him up so far and then he would always fall back again into his chair.

“We’ll wait for Roger,” I said. “Roger will be here soon.  He’s going to do some work for us fixing the fittings on the pontoon.”

Roger duly arrived. He picked Bill up out of the chair without too much trouble.  But, as soon as Roger had him up, Bill cried out in pain and Roger had to sit him down again. Bill was bright enough when he was sitting, chatty enough, wanting the stand up to happen.  But it just wasn’t happening.

While we were pondering what to do next, the OzCare nursing aide came through the door. This particular carer had told me, just a week before, about a client of hers who had been fine one day but, on the next, had found that he could not walk. He had had to leave his home and go into Care. I wondered, fleetingly, if this was going to be a case of deja vu for this lovely lady who had become our friend.

Though OzCare carers are not supposed to lift their patients, she and Roger together made one more effort to get Bill up on to his feet.  But it was all to no avail.  The cry of pain was scary and they had to put him back down into his chair again.

I could see that I had no option. I had always known that, if Bill couldn’t stand and move himself from one spot to the other, then I couldn’t care for him. I called Triple 0, the paramedics put Bill and me into the ambulance and, for maybe the fourth or fifth time, he and I were off to hospital.

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