Posted by BB Harding, member Women Move It Forward blog.
It is my turn to post, and I’ve had a couple of topics in the back of my head for a few weeks. Neither one seem like they would be very long, and they really aren’t related. So, I wonder how can I have fun with this?
The first topic was around caring for the caretaker (i.e., me). The second, learning to interject a bit of Drama Queen into my fairly calm, quiet, steady demeanor. OK, I’m sure you see that they really aren’t related topics. So, let’s keep them apart for a moment and explain why these two even come up.
At the beginning of May, I was helping a friend move. During the move, she fell off a step stool, and fractured her tibia in three places. (For you medically-minded/curious individuals, it was a Schatzker IV fracture, typically seen in auto and motorcycle accidents.) This resulted in 3 hospitals and 8 hour ambulance ride before admittance; 2 surgeries; and 3 weeks in the hospital and rehab center approximately 3 hours from home. In early June, her house-mate went on a pre-planned vacation, and I stepped forward to do the home care. I had enough sense to reduce my calendar of activities to just those that really required my involvement. It turned out that with the heat and strenuous, very attentive activity, even that was a bit much. I was glad to see the bed each evening, and feel the breeze from the fan.
Now, for part two. I’ve been taking a class on working with the Shadow aspects of self. We are encouraged to find the methods of expression that we don’t identify with or resist and then interject a small dose of that into our lives. The intention is to provide breadth to our ability to express ourselves. Even the most heinous of behaviors have some positive traits to them, if we allow ourselves to open to them. (This is not to say that one should adopt those behaviors). So, I was looking at my atrophied, nearly non-existent Drama Queen. She was definitely not encouraged to come out and play during my childhood, or even adulthood.
And now, my caretaking experience, through the perspective of my emerging Drama Queen.
Well, HERE I AM!!!! Oh, wait, let me see that NASTY KNEE. OMG!!! It looks like the size of a softball, no maybe a basketball, no maybe a small planet. I think Pluto is a small planet. It must HURT like HELL! I hope they have given you really big horse-pill tranquilizers to knock you out. What?!?! You want to GET OFF drugs?! YOU MUST BE NUTS!!!
Oh, you’d like some ICE BOTTLES in your machine??!! Sure, I can do that. OMG, these ice bottles are COLD. I need friggin’ GLOVES to carry them around. I’m sure I’ll get FREEZER BURN they are so cold. That ice bucket is really WET – maybe I should shrink myself and then I could make it a POOL and COOL OFF!!!
Help with your SHOWER?! OMG, do you think I’m a NURSE OR SOMETHING? I DON’T KNOW HOW to do that. Well, maybe I should just crawl in with you and COOL MYSELF OFF. Why in the hell didn’t you buy a house with AIR-CONDITIONING? You KNOW how HOT it can get at this time of the year. You’d think I was IN HELL ALREADY since it is so hot OUTSIDE – well INSIDE too. I’m probably going to DIE!!!
FOOD? COOK DINNER??!!! Well one thing is for sure, I could probably lay things out on the counter and they would COOK THEMSELVES since it is so BLOODY HOT in here. I CAN’T IMAGINE turning on the flame and adding to the heat. I need a HUGE FAN in here as it is.
GO DOWN THE RAMP IN YOUR WHEELCHAIR!?!? OMG, it is SOOOO NARROW. What if I FELL OFF of IT???? I’ll just CLOSE MY EYES so I don’t have to LOOK – oh WAIT, I CAN’T DO THAT!!!!! I’ll just have to take some DEEP BREATHS and CALM MYSELF FIRST. OMG, OMG!!! I’M SURE something will happen and then it will be ALL MY FAULT. I SHOULDN’T BE ASKED to do something as risky as this.
OMG!!!! I can’t believe what a DAY I HAVE HAD!!!! So OVER the TOP with fright, heat and CRAZINESS. WHAT the HELL was I THINKING when I said YES to THIS!!!????
Now, returning to my calm, quiet, fairly steady demeanor – all went well, and the patient is steadily recovering, in fact she will begin to put some weight on her leg in a couple of weeks. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the Drama Queen would lead us to think. Pretty “dull and boring” in comparison. 😊