Living the quad life can get challenging at times. Weeks such as this last one emphasize it even further and add complications for those around me.
Last week, I posted about my grandfather getting into an accident and he was at the end of his life in hospice. It is a situation that many families have, or will, experienced. However, added challenge comes with my parents also taking care of me.
The morning after the accident, grandpa was in the hospital in Des Moines when my aunt called that dad and his siblings needed to to the hospital quickly. That same day, my day nurse called off sick and left me with only my parents for the day. While mom tried calling anyone that could possibly stay with me, dad got ready for an emergency trip to the city. My other day assistant agreed to come, but would have to finish what she was doing and drive half-an-hour to come. Therefore, dad had to leave on his own and mom find another way to get there. Since it was uncertain how long my parents would be gone, we also had to find help when the day person left.
Over the weekend, the scenario was similar with dad and mom coming and going, helping me, and all of us trying to spend some time with grandpa. On Monday, his condition worsened and both parents, with dad's siblings, went to be around grandpa. That is, until my day caregiver left and mom had to return home again. Wednesday included funeral planning and work at grandma's house with dad's entire family. Once again though, my parents had to leave the rest of the family early and also stay up with me overnight due to no night nurse. With lack of sleep and schedule changes, dad has frequently been wondering what do it was and what was happening when.
It's hard watching my parents try to help other family members in times of need, but unable to do as much as they would like in order to care for me. Also just laying in bed, unable to help my family, doesn't feel right either.
Friday evening was funeral visitation. My grandparents own a small grain elevator and know a lot of people. For over three hours straight, people I didn't know came up to offer their condolences. However, the majority weren't familiar with me living the quad life. A hand would be thrust in my direction expecting to be grasped for a shake or hug. The hand's owner would then usually notice my arms are strapped down and the awkwardness of how to shake, or pat, hands follows. My voice also got drowned out easily amidst everyone else talking in the crowded room.
At yesterday's funeral, I was thankful to be able to deliver part of the message and speak briefly about grandpa. Several people expressed appreciation afterwords that they enjoyed what I said and how it was presented.
Weeks like these show more awareness about people with significant disabilities is needed. Despite the challenges, I'm thankful for what my parents and I were able to do. Now with both of my grandfathers gone, funerals are becoming more familiar. It is part of living in a fallen world and will occur more until my own time comes.