For historical reasons (concerning another mob that I used to help out), my Wednesday respite leave is still very generous. I am covered from 10am till noon by TRIO Support and from noon to 1:30pm by Mildura Council’s Personal Care Assistant Service (PCA). Today however, I received a call to my mobile phone at 11:55am from Andria (of TRIO Support). Andria told me how Pam was complaining about wetting herself.
I thought quickly – mechanical problem, catheter not draining because of position or by being blocked – so I suggested that she (Andria) wriggle the suprapubic catheter, suprapubically in Pam’s suprapubic zone and hopefully so by clear the mechanical issue. If that didn’t work, I said, put Pam back to bed with a bluey under her and I’ll sort it out when I get home.
No sooner had I hung up, I recalled that Andria was only there until noon, so I drove back home to take over (I don’t think the Council’s PCA are supposed to do anything like putting Pam to bed). When I got home, I was pleased to see that Andria had gone – I think she had another client to go to anyway – and I had Pam setup in bed within 15 minutes. Pam’s a good girl; the catheter wriggling wouldn’t have tickled, but it apparently had the desired effect. The only negative was that Pam was sent to bed more than an hour prior to the norm – but she didn’t mind. Neither did I – I still had an hour of respite leave, so back down town I went! When I got home, Pam is pictured here pleased to see me.
As if the antagonism of the 11:55am catheter wiggling wasn't enough, by 5:30pm Pam was considering her regular Thursday shopping trip (in which she drives her electric wheelchair with the companionship of Therese from TRIO) and she didn’t want to have any more catheter problems, so she asked me if I would change it for a new one.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the discomfort of catheter removal and replacement warranted a period of serious pain-killing prior to the procedure, but lately, Pam bravely chooses to just grin and bear it. Anyway, it had been 9 weeks since last being changed and usually these things start playing up after just 7 weeks – so this was a perfectly reasonable request.
As I type this, it’s 9:30am Thursday 14th and Pam’s sitting behind me all dressed up ready to go shopping (sadly, just one of her few remaining weekly highlights) – nevertheless my world can keep turning.