We had our first training session in how to move Grandma Lila without damaging her healing leg yesterday.
The thing I found the most interesting was how much thought has been put into developing methods of doing something that on the face of it seems almost impossible: how do you move a full-grown person around without being able to scoop them up and carry them like you would a baby? It's not like most people are strong enough to just lift another adult out of bed and put them in a chair. I mean, sure, Superman does it all the time...but unless Ben is REALLY hiding a little secret, neither of us is going to running around carrying Grandma from place to place anytime soon.
The good news is that there are ways for normal people to manage.
First of all, right now it takes three people to move Grandma: one behind her, one in front of her, and one person just in charge of keeping her leg stable. We strapped a thick canvas belt around her waist and used that to hold onto and move her instead of holding onto her body, which would be a lot harder to grip without hurting her. There were also a few tricks about using gravity to our advantage, especially when it comes to paying attention to which side to approach moving Grandma from depending on what we're trying to do. We also learned that it's effective to link our arms under hers to shift her around on the bed rather than using our hands, which are weaker and could actually hurt her shoulders because of how they're shaped.
And above all...always lock the wheelchair wheels before doing anything with Grandma in it! Having the chair slide away mid-move could be...ouch. Nasty.
Ben and I were midway through moving Grandma back into bed and I thought, "Yikes...we still have a lot to learn!"
Thankfully, the leg that was injured is her weaker leg in the first place, so her stronger left leg is still well in commission. She's having to do a lot of learning right along with us to know how to use that stronger leg to her advantage, but the point is she's not crippled and unable to move at all. She can stand on her good leg and help us get her around and that's going to be essential to bringing her home.
Turns out it's much easier getting into bed than out of it again. Big surprise, there, eh? That seems a basic comment on the Human condition in general. Unless you're a baby. Then you always want to be up, not lying down.
But philosophy aside, we watched the physical therapists getting Grandma out of bed and then Ben and I were supervised in getting her back in. Grandma gets a little worried when it comes to us moving her and I don't blame her. It's not the gentlest process (we really have to work hard and we are not poetry in motion!); though hopefully with practice over the next few weeks we'll be much more graceful and quick by the time she comes home.
We'd better be. Because right now we're definitely rank amateurs. As we told Grandma, though, this is the worst it's going to be. We can only go uphill from here, because right now she hurts the most she's going to throughout this procedure and we know the least about helping her. From now on, she's going to be getting better every day and so are we.
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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