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A Day in the Life

This feature is a sometimes humorous, sometimes offbeat, and sometimes irreverent look at life as seen through the eyes of a severely disabled person. Management takes no responsibility for these ramblings.

Years ago song writer Neal Sedaka wrote a song entitled "Breaking up Is Hard to Do." (Don't look away pretending you're too young to know about this song -- we know better) The song talks about learning firsthand how hard it is to break up a relationship. That is the way I have come to feel about getting out of bed.

I love it when I am talking to a doctor and they suggest that I "run over this afternoon" or "come in first thing in the morning." First of all, I don't run anywhere. Second of all, whatever it is I do doesn't happen quickly. Finally, first thing in the morning for me generally means not before about 10 AM.

It's not that I have an aversion to waking up and getting going in the morning, despite what those of you who know me are thinking. I was generally only the next to last person to show up for those morning meetings -- as long as the last person actually showed up. These days however there is a difference between waking up and getting up whereas the latter resembles playing a round of golf. It takes both time and money. Therefore, it doesn't happen without purpose, and impromptu events must be planned for!

When I was younger, all it took was one able-bodied and motivated adult to get me out of bed. Now, it takes two able-bodied people to get me up and out of bed, but as we are empty-nesters that leaves us one person short. That means we are reliant upon personnel from the home health care agencies to help complete the task, assuming they remember to come that morning. As we have found the hard way, outcomes are much better if you send a reminder text the night before!

Once home health has arrived on the scene, we are about 30 minutes getting from bed to chair. The process follows a carefully orchestrated procedure, the most important component of which is making sure not to drop or otherwise damage "the package." Why do I call myself the package? Picture yourself in a sling being hoisted from bed to chair like a pallet load of bananas being unloaded from a freighter and you'll start to get the idea.

If Neal Sedaka had written a quadriplegic version of this famous song, it might have gone something like this.

Don't take the sheets away from me
Don't you leave uncharged my battery
If you do then I'll be screwed
Cause getting up is hard to do

Remember when I bounced upright
After sleeping soundly through the night
Think of all that we've been through
Getting up is hard to do

They say that getting up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that it's time to get up
Instead of getting up I wish that we were sitting up again

I beg of you, call one more time
Home health won't forget to show again
Maybe today they'll be on time
Cause getting up is hard to do

Now just try getting this song out of your head for the rest of the day!