I have a client who refuses to shower. She gets combative and very angry....as in "get the F&*% out of my house!" It had been over a month and yesterday was the day I decided we were going to get the job done. With a little addition of a crumb of an anxiety medication, we made our way forward. Showering a combative elderly memory impaired person (who also happens to be bigger than me) is one time I am incredibly grateful for narcotics! Step by step I walked with her and I "acted as if" of course she was going to shower today. I followed her into the bathroom and shut the door behind me, like of course I belonged in there with her....and really I do! Step by step she made progress toward getting into the warm water I had running for her. Step by step I got her hair washed, then I asked if I could scrub her back and she allowed me and I just kept on going until she was clean everywhere. I slathered her in lotion and she put on her clean clothes. I had promised that she could get right back into bed if she wanted to, once we were done....but instead she followed me out to the kitchen. We made coffee and visited. We made blueberry muffins and then had one with our coffee. This was such a victorious day. Who knows if I will have another day like this with this woman, but today made me want to hang in there with her. Want to keep coming back. Really, it was so huge.
I went to the CoDA meeting last night and I got to see my girl for a few minutes before and after. She looks good, is present and smiling and happy. She is considering staying for 60 days. She is setting herself up to stay for 60 days. Step by step....."Mom can you bring two extra pairs of jeans and more short sleeve t-shirts, no spaghetti straps....in-case I do stay for 60 days."The visit settled me some....it was good to see her, but I felt detached. I wasn't desperate for a sign that she is doing ok. This is her journey. I have mine. I can't do it for her. Yada yada yada. I WANT her to get well. Of course I want that and I like to get my way, but I have done this long enough that I know it will go the way it will go and I will keep learning how to live my life whether she is well or not.
I am savoring a night at home. I cooked a big dinner.....marinated and grilled tri-tip, corn on the cob, kale and spinach salad and rice. Little one had a great first day at school. She came home happy and excited to get going. This is her first full time school year since the third grade. A big change, but she has a teacher she adores....a kindred red head who calls her "junior" and is her older brother's age! We did the school clothes shopping thing at the big mall, lunch out, school supplies, lunch supplies, and she is off! She seems to be pretty sure of who she is, not easily swayed or convinced to leave her path. One can pray (beg) that she will make it through her teen years unscathed, this precious little soul of mine.
Bless you for reading here.