29 July 2011

You: So, do you think your walk was fun today, Thump?
Me: Eh. Depends.

I noted the old woman sitting on a bench near the restroom from a couple hundred feet away; she sat there with a red walker set in front of her, and after a moment she seemed to sigh, then pushed herself and hobbled into the restroom. I was headed there myself, but didn't really think anything of it. People have to pee; I had to pee. When you're walking a lot, peeing is a good thing.

Drink, pee, no IV...

When I pushed open the door I saw her standing just inside the handicapped stall; she was leaning hard against her walker, her skirt was down around her knees, and she had one tab on a very soaked pair of Depends pulled back.

Very quietly, "I need help. I need help. I need help."

All right, this was not on my agenda for today, but what was I going to do? Say "No" and then turn around and leave?

Kinda wanted to.

I asked her what she needed me to do; she wanted to lean on me while she tried to get the diaper off, but it was easier if she just leaned and let me peel it off. I cringed inwardly a little; not at the sight of a wet diaper--I've seen literally ten thousand of the damn things--but because her one hand was warm and wet. Probably from trying to get the diaper off.

She didn't need much help after that, she got the fresh one in place easily and just needed a little help with the tabs and then getting her skirt back up. She was almost delicate in her modesty and really, it wasn't as gross as it could have been. One wrinkly butt cheek from the side, one soaked diaper tossed into the trash.

Lots of hand washing.

As we stood there washing our hands, the door burst open and a fairly breathless women about my age blew in with, "Mom? Mom! I told you to just wait there for me!"

Mom apparently couldn't wait for her kid to park the car.

And yeah, I went and bought a new shirt because there was no way I was walking around with a potential urine spot on the back of a shoulder.

And damn, I need to stop going out in public.



gizzylaw said...

That's my girl!!!

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

Bless you. That could have been my Mom and she would have been mortified to ask for your help!

Motor Home Cats said...

Yea Thumper. I am so glad you helped. It shows what an amazing heart you have.


Lady Calleen said...

You are a good person Thumper.
As I tell my students--the world is a much better place when we all help each other.

Christie Critters said...

You were an angel to have helped her.
And not to be cynical about the lady in question (but) if it had been my (late) mother in law she would have been doing one of two things:
a) Making a point about her still being independant (to a point) or
b) Making a point about how neglectful we were of her needs...

That being said, she was a delightful MIL until the last couple of years when she was very upset (to put it mildly) that she had to depend on others and she more than once got herself into situations that she couldn't handle on her own.

Thank goodness for samaritans like you who would step in and help!

Shaggy and Scout said...

Bless your heart Thumper.
That might have been my 89 yr. old mom were she not in North Dakota.
Newly struggling with a walker and loss of sight, she has trouble with UTI's and has "urgency" to put it delicately. She also is reluctant to ask for help, as much as I've tried to pound it into her head that she needs to.

Stacie said...

You truly are a super hero! Bless you, Thumper. We could sure use a few more folks like you in the world.