Monday, July 15, 2013

Help Wanted: caregiver for widow

I knew this day might come.  In my zeal to live to a ripe old age by myself, I pushed my body pretty hard.  I do most of the 'guy' stuff, and frankly, I find great joy in it.  But I found my body's tipping point.  Now I'm in a bind.  I feared this day would come.
I tell myself it's actually a good thing I tore part of my rotator tendon off the bone, and dislocated a bicep tendon.  Now, instead of babying my partially torn rotator cuff, I can get my whole shoulder fixed, and be as good as new.  It'll just take a little time.  Some folks say three months.  Some say a year.  In any case I will follow my Doctor's orders to a T and learn how to do things one handed.

Long ago, I hobbled around on crutches for 6 weeks in New York City, my home at the time.   No big deal.   Life in the country has more advantages for me now, but public transit isn't one of them.   Lucky for me, the man I love, who lives five hours away and leads a busy life, is staying with me for 21 days.   My sister and brother will stay with me for another 10 days.   After that, I fear that if I lean on my friends and neighbors for transportation and errands, their goodwill will wear thin pretty fast.  That would be wretched.  I've applied for subsidized transportation for the handicapped, and senior transit for shopping and light errands.  Maybe it will come through.  And, I could drive myself around with one arm, right?  It's only for what  - two months?  Three months?  This would be easier in the City.

This is when it comes to me.  Our medical system that doesn't favor the patient who doesn't have a live in caregiver.  I've five years to go before Medicare kicks in.  In the meantime, I believe my Health Insurance Company should be delighted to provide home health care for me instead of putting me up in a rehabilitation center.  Working on that angle.

I'm bloody fortunate.  This handicap is temporary.  I can take time off from life to recuperate.  Full time caregivers in my neck of the woods cost $250 a day.   Well, I spent my life building a nest egg and if I have to I will spend it on this. 

Evidently,  man or woman is not meant to live alone.   Single, widowed, divorced, all the same.    Elective surgery is tough without someone who's got your back.


  1. Having just recovered from having a broken bone in my arm, I sure can relate to this post! It's really scary how fast our lives can change when we live along and get hurt. I'm glad your issue, like my, is temporary! Take care of yourself.

  2. Thanks. "It's temporary" is my mantra. Of course I'll be bellyaching when 'temporary' feels too long. In the meantime, before surgery, I'm pitching myself into two handed tasks only a gardening addict would do. And buying one-handed aids. Did you know there is a product to enable one to put a bra on one handed?

  3. Having gone through hip replacement surgery, five months after my Fred died, I sure know what you are talking about!! He was with me for the first one. How in the heck do you put on your socks and shoes when you aren't allowed to bend over? They have a "hip kit" with a sock puller-oner, and a grab-it thingie to get things you drop off the floor, but--no one to help you into bed. No one here, just in case you fall. No one to ask how you are feeling. Sure I got through it, but.........I am so tired now at 18 months, having to do all the guy things and hurting my back doing them AND I have often thought of putting out an ad asking for help--but they want a ton of money, and since Fred left--there is none of that either.

  4. I know. It's embarrassing as well as expensive to be looking for somebody to care, who is hired. Judy, I'm with you in spirit. How are you doing? My own surgery's tomorrow. I'll think of you, as I'm using those 'thingies' to help. What I missing now: my sense of humor!