It's been an interesting couple of days here, what with the joys of aging and the perils of needing help. I was formally assessed a few days ago to determine if my disability was such that I could use a PSW to provide assistance. I had to answer a thousand questions and then wait while those questions were calculated and turned into hours, if any. As it turns out I qualified for one hour a day for seven days a week.
I was assigned two PSW's who would be providing service to me, I considered myself lucky because I won't have a revolving door of people coming into my apartment. I decided that before I'd let them provide service (touch me) I wanted to talk to them about the attitude I expected and the safety I needed. I've now had both those meetings and tonight will be the first time that I will be getting help.
It is at this juncture that I begin to appreciate all that Joe does for me. He didn't sign up to be with a wheelchair user and he certainly didn't know how acid-tongued I could be when frightened. But nevertheless, we both have agreed that it's time to slowly lift some of the responsibilities off his shoulders and give them to someone else. But for me, yikes.
A couple weeks ago after a really bad day, Joe assisted me into bed and when I laid down it was the first time that day that I felt safe. That was the gift he gave me. I cherished it.
As we met the two PSW's and I had a chance to think about our conversations I realized I had to lower my expectations. You see, Joe does what he does out of love for me, incomprehensible love, and it is in that love that comes the excellence of his support, the gentleness of his touch, and the desire for me to feel no shame. That's a lot to lay on someone else, and I can't.
I just want good competent care.
I don't need anyone else's love and esteem.
I have that in large measure.
So we will see how it goes tonight and go from there. I am willing to simply try, and in the trying, allow my vulnerability to expose itself. That's hard for me. But, it's time I asked for and received the support I need.