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It Ain't Heavy Lifting, But ...

... that don't mean it's easy!

I believe the acceptable term for what I'm doing is acting as a Private Duty Care Companion.  I visit an elderly single resident to assist him with common errands and other things a few hours each weekday.  He maintains a residence at Goodwin House in Independent Living because he can care for himself: grooming and eating.  His need is in communicating with others.  Pick's Disease has robbed him of his ability to speak coherently.  Most meaningful exchanges happen when I speak with him, and when he scribbles out things on paper for me.  

Today I still wondered if Evan Almighty might float by gathering humanity due to the continuing rain.  The news broadcast just said we've had record rainfall over the past five days:  7.5 inches of precipitation.  That's roughly the rain we normally see over the course of 2-3 months in this area.  Apparently since last Thursday, over 500 billion gallons of rain have fallen within 50 miles of Washington, D.C.  Can you imagine how many inches of snow that would be?  Anyway I digress.

Mr. B wanted to go shopping today.  Try as I might to convince him to wait for better weather, he would have nothing of it.  When he gets frustrated, he flails about.  At one point, I had to stand up, step back and say, "Do not touch me".  Then before I knew it, he'd put on his coat, grabbed his shopping bags and was heading out the door.  As we approached the front desk, I looked at the concierge and said "He's decided today is a lovely day to go to Whole Foods."  Since I'd never been to this store and we left without a shopping list in hand, it was very much "hands off the wheel".  I was somewhat uncomfortable with it.  We found most of what he thought he needed.  The very helpful woman at the pastries & breads counter was glad to see me with him.  I was happy to help her help him.  She was wonderful.  (I regret I didn't get her name to write a letter to the store manager.  Next time.)  The checkout cashier was equally delightful and accommodating.  It had been a successful outing until several miscues trying to arrange a cab back to GHA.  He was growing tired and impatient.  I was getting frustrated.  I probably created more problems for us by trying to make things happen rather than keeping to his routine and following his lead.  That was my bad!  I'm learning still.  Anyway, we finally got back and I felt excused rather quickly as he began to unpack his groceries.  At least when I asked about coming back tomorrow, he clearly said "Right.  Thank you."

Leaving, I admit I felt somewhat exhausted.  No, it's not heavy lifting, but it can be taxing.  Lord, please help me when I go back tomorrow.