A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about living independently in the community and how that can be facilitated by attendants. These are people whose job is to be your hands and feet, doing things that you cannot do yourself or that would take an unreasonable amount of time or effort to do. In
Life with staff can be interesting. Once you learn how to direct you care - in other words, you don't ask somebody to cook you a pork chop, you direct them through each step of the process - it's pretty easy and as long as you and they remember to be polite and interact as decent people, things are relatively painless. Relatively. Because there are snags that come from dealing with people and their individual foibles, snags that come from being pulled into agency/staff politics, snags of a different sort that you may get to experience if you're unlucky. Most abuse of people with disabilities is done by caregivers and as I'm fond of saying, there are two kinds of people who choose this kind of job: those who genuinely want to help and those who like the power.
Today, however, is not a polemic about abuse, because I simply don't have the shoulder power to write that much. Today, I thought I would share a couple of moments from living with attendants.
Moment #1: the attendant and I had been chatting through my shower, because once they become familiar with your routine, you end up talking about other things. This particular day, we talked about religion. Which led to a shining moment of revelation. She very earnestly explained to me that there was a reason I had a disability and when I inquired what other than my RA may have had an impact, she told me that it was because my parents or grandparents had done something bad. Wha??? Oh yes, the Bible said so.
I changed the subject.
Moment #2: I asked how the attendant (someone different than the star of moment #1) was doing and as she says "I'm alive, I'm walking around, I can do things".
As she's unpacking the groceries in my backpack that I cannot put away myself.
I'm still shaking my head over that one.