You might say we're still picking up the pieces. There's been no secret here that my wife Jacqueline has been afflicted with Alzheimer's for many years and the disease only progresses in one direction. Seven weeks ago she had a bad fall and the hospice nurse insisted that Jacqueline be confined to her bed because she could no longer support herself on her feet. That has been a hard thing for all of us to deal with. She must take her meals in bed while I eat in the kitchen and the three Rottweilers didn't like the new arrangement at all.
The Rotts are creatures of habit and love routines that never change. The morning ceremony in the kitchen has always been the same for the last 20 years. After breakfast they all got their peanut butter and pills and a big biscuit. Now, after breakfast doesn't take place in the kitchen any more, it takes place in Mom's bedroom, and those peanut butter pills and biscuits frequently get overlooked.
Jacqueline has managed to convey her feelings about her confinement in ways that did not require words and I have relayed them to the hospice group. My wife is not going to spend the rest of her life in bed.
So began my plan to find a way to get her out.
I'm getting old and new projects seem to take me forever to plan and execute so after some searching I decided to just go and buy a patient lift machine to pick her up from the bed and put her in her wheelchair. A week ago it was delivered and the hospice ladies showed me the proper way to use it. And I was determined we were going to eat our Thanksgiving dinner together in the kitchen. And we did. (and I forgot to comb her hair)
Because the nurses advised me that Jacqueline shouldn't sit in her wheelchair for more than an hour, for the last two days as soon as dinner was finished I brought her back to her bed. Tonight I made a change in plans. After dinner I brought the patient lift into the family room and picked Jacqueline up and put her in her favorite recliner chair. Just like she always enjoyed for several years. Watching TV and surrounded by her faithful companions. Something she hasn't been able to do in the bedroom.
Once again, everything and everyone is back where it belongs. For a little while, anyway. But we'll take what we can get. I'm not sure if they're smiling or not but it didn't take Ruff and Bess long to get up on the couch.