The Cha Cha: Katie’s Story, Part Eight

Katie Does the Cha Cha

Katie Does the Cha Cha

Katie came through the tendon release surgery successfully, returning to the nursing home two days later.  Both her left ankle and right leg remained in casts.  She continued to be significantly impacted by her pain medications, and now residual anesthesia played into the mix.

When Judene and I visited the following week, we were able to determine that Katie was aware that we were there and knew who we were.  But then we left the room for a while when the aides came in to get Katie up and dressed.  When we came back in she was sitting in her wheelchair—eyes wide open with makeup applied—and totally devoid of expression.  The experience was surreal.

The treatment regimen seemed to have set her back so much.  Katie’s emerging personality was all locked up again behind an emotionless “flat affect.”

Finding the balance between minimizing pain and achieving alertness is difficult.  Katie no longer has the filters to cope with pain that she had before her brain surgery.  But seeing her take so many steps back into an almost “coma-like” state was both disconcerting and disheartening.

But then, I came across the following quote in another blog:

“An optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a CHA-CHA. –  I like that!  So I just have to dance a little before I can go on. Fine.”  By Robert Brault

Sounds like our Katie!

Optimist-Pessimist-or Realist

On the #SeniorCare journey — Which type of caregiver are you: optimist, pessimist, or realist? The answer may affect your stress level:
Photo: On the #SeniorCare journey -- Which type of caregiver are you: optimist, pessimist, or realist? The answer may affect your stress level:
I think I’m a realist. Here is my take on caregiving—in a nutshell. Caregivers get involved with caregiving to meet a need, solve a problem, or deal w/ a crisis. Although the situation often improves—for a while—caregivers often do not take the following into account:  1) the process of aging cannot be controlled; 2) needs will increase—sometimes over many years; or 3) how heavy the burden can become.  Therefore it is important to have realistic expectations about caregiving; to remember that we’re all moving in one direction through life; to be prepared for the unexpected; to communicate expectations clearly to the “others;” and to develop a caregiving contract of shared responsibility to be signed-off on by all involved.
Barbara Matthews