About My Home Health Aid

I’ve started with a home health aid for the first time after considering it for a while now. Many people have asked me how it has been to have a home health care professional, so I will share a little bit about what the past two weeks with a professional caregiver have been like for me.

Nearly all of my doctors have suggested I hire professional help over the past four years of being bed bound from chronic illness, but both you and your family must be comfortable with that arrangement. Also, with my hypersensitivity to sound, light and worsening pain with speaking and movement, it might not have been conducive for minimizing pain when these problems were at their worst. Now that I can tolerate visitors at times and I am doing better with short, quiet conversations, I was curious to see how I would do with a professional aid. Also, I have needed more help recently, so I am very grateful to have an aid to assist me.

I have scheduled the aid to come in short shifts and she allows me to take lots of breaks, though I still end up sleeping for the rest of the day. I may start making lists for her the day before she comes so I don’t wear myself out or in case I wake up feeling too bad to communicate. I am still getting used to having someone who isn’t a loved one do things for me, but so far she has helped with things that I might not have asked for otherwise.

I was pleasantly surprised that my new caregiver walked into my room on her first day knowing all of my health concerns, special needs and requests. Even though I had been evaluated by a nurse prior to making arrangements, I assumed it would be a bumpy start- it wasn’t. She is certainly a professional! She is so sweet, kind, gentle, and very attentive. I liked her from the moment I saw her, and my family also likes her, which I was very happy to hear.

A professional caregiver can prepare meals, do light housework, laundry, help with bathing, dressing, run errands for you, take you to your doctor appointments, make phone calls on your behalf, or help you with special health needs you have arranged with them. If you are more mobile, they might act as a companion, going different places with you to make sure you are comfortable and have your special health concerns cared for.

Because this is a professional caregiver, I feel I have more independence and I am making more of my own choices again. For anyone who is being cared for by family or a spouse, you understand how important that is for your sense of self. With family members, my chronic illness issues and episodes can be distressing for them at times, and while I am so grateful for their willingness to help me, I hope that having an aid to help will also give them a bit of a break.

On the first day she arrived, she organized my room in a way that would suit me better, and moved a few things around for me (she is as quiet as a mouse). On the second day, she helped me with a sponge bath, put lotion on, and helped me change my clothes. Earlier today, she gave me a bath for the first time, changed my sheets and cleaned up my room. I was very anxious about the bath since that is one of the most difficult things I have to do apart from going the doctor, however she was such a great help. Aside from my usual after-bath fainting spell (which she handled like a pro), we both managed pretty well and got me clean! I have a lot more confidence going forward after today, and I feel she and I can conquer more difficult tasks together. The next time she comes, I’ve arranged for her to ride along with me and my father to my doctor’s appointment so she can see how he transports me from the bed to the car, then from the car into the Dr’s office- just in case she ever needs to take me anywhere.

I have big plans to get much stronger this year, so I’m hoping my new caregiver and I will be doing more and more things together. She is a lovely and compassionate woman, and I look forward to making her into a new friend!

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About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 11 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has affected my life through so many remarkable young people, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Four years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of chronic illnesses after a procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. In the last 4 years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces, medical/holistic research, and awareness articles, this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibromyalgia, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard.

Posted on July 22, 2015, in Bed Bound, Being Myself, Caretaker, Terminal Illness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I am so very happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    A home health aid was so critical for my mother-in-law right up until he finally passed away – so I am glad you have availed yourself to this level of assistance!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, congratulations on your improvement (tolerating people, lights etc better) that is seriously awesome :). I am very happy to hear that the professional caregiver has been such a good and positive experience for you right off the bat – seems like you got a goodie :).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m happy it’s really working for you. My family looked into that but with Stiff Person Syndrome, no touching, no noise n other triggers plus I get anxious around people which can trigger an episode so we are still kinda stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand just because she doesn’t touch me unless I specifically ask her to due to my pain conditions (like when I need to be bathed or dressed- which I hate, of course). I’m not sure I could have tolerated having a caregiver before now. But she doesn’t require me to speak to her very much, and if she needs to ask me anything at all, it is in a low whisper which I appreciate. However, like you said, there are circumstances in which a caregiver might cause more discomfort if they aren’t trained appropriately.
      I hope you and your family find a form of care that works best for your specific needs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you have such a nice person helping you. I also love how hopeful you are. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so happy you have a little independence now! Yeah… now you don’t have to ask your parents and feel bad about things. I also think it is a big step for you to allow someone to help you. you have come a long way baby!! Love you girl

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful blog! Brilliant share hun, I look forward to hearing more about ur new friend. So positive πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

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