Friday, January 07, 2005

Another Awkward Moment as a Caretaker of the Elderly

Two times a week I visit an Elderly man, who had a stroke a few months back. He and his wife, Evelyn live in an assisted living retirement home. They moved here from Florida to be near their two daughters who take time out to visit and support them. They asked me to come over to help him in the shower, massage his legs, help him dress, walk with him in the halls of the building and take him for a ride in his wheel chair, when the weather permits.

He is the first man that I have helped in the shower, so it has been a new experience for me. I use the brush for his back and legs. I let him keep his dignity (and mine), by letting him wash the pits, cracks and privates. I am more comfortable about it than I was to start. It's sort of a strange situation when considering the circumstances. "Hello my name is [Trixie]. I am going to be seeing you naked and I'll be massaging your legs and we will be spending a lot of time together. Nevermind that I am 1/3 your age, we will be great friends. So, shall we get started?"

I never would have been able to do that a few years ago. I still amaze myself that I can do it now. I know that my mission helped me tremendously to expand my comfort zone. I think being a mother also helps me get past some of the dirty work and keeping my sence of humor about it all. It's interesting that here I am working with the people that lived in the era that I admire most. A companion of mine gave me the nic name Trixie Granny. It's appropriate because I love all things vintage. I even enjoy doing old people activities like knitting, sewing and swing dancing. Plus I have what might be considered "old fashioned" values.

Anway, that was just a side note. I wanted to tell about what happened to me this week as I was helping Leslie out. He takes his walker from the bathroom to the bedroom while I hold the towel around his waist. He sits in this easy chair to get dressed and where I give him his massage. I helped him with his shirt first. Then he stands again to get his underwear on. I used to let him pull his underwear up himself, but I guess I have gotten brave enough to do it for him because he can barely keep himself standing while holding on to his walker. I stand to his rear and to the side as I am pulling them up. I just made sure I hold it out in front to catch everything in front. I wait to put his pants on until after his massage. So, I come around to the front after he sits down again to start on his legs and what's this? Oh no! The head of his penis is poking out from his underwear! I slyly put the towel over his lap and said it's to keep him from getting a chill. But, what does he do? He starts inching the towel up his lap so that it's no longer covering him. Does he realize that he's hanging out? Does he want me to see it? Here I am kneeling on the floor massaging his legs and here's this penis head staring at me, no matter how hard I try to avoid looking at it, it's as if it is glowing from the corner of my eyes. That was probably the least effective massage he has received.

1 comment:

Mahonri Moriancumer said...