So, here I am two weeks following an operation on my shoulder. I had a torn tendon on my Parkies affected side and – already having some issues due to my Parkinson’s – the decision was made to have the operation. So, subsequently my left arm is in an immobilizing brace and I am very limited in what I can do around the house or for myself. My husband is literally ‘Chief Cook and Bottle Washer’ and I feel for him having to do so much, while I can do little to help.
When I first discharged from hospital we had refused assistance with personal cares, thinking we could manage between us. However, being in pain and needing to figure out how to keep my arm and shoulder safe during showering and dressing was more challenging than I had imagined. Therefore, we agreed to take the opportunity of professional showering assistance and I’m glad we did. Perhaps, it was partly embarrassment at having a stranger do something as intimate as helping me with showering and dressing? Perhaps it was not wanting to admit we can’t always do everything ourselves without help? My new helper is kind and understanding and I am surprised I feel as little embarrassment as I do. I still try to do what I can – and that is a good thing – but I now acknowledge I need help. At least for a while.
The reason for this particular post is this.
At some point in my journey with Parkinson’s I/We will need help. My lovely husband will do everything he can to support me, but he should not have to do so alone and to his detriment. This experience has taught me that seeking and receiving formal supports is not so bad and if it reduces even a little bit the burden I feel my husband carries, then it is a good thing. This experience in a strange way has been a gift. A gift giving a window into what the future might hold and the knowledge that receiving help can be a positive thing.
So, my hope for the future is that if in the future we/I need help, I will remember this experience and welcome that support with open arms and gratitude!