I have been provided 36 hours of attendant care by Medicaid which is a lot more than I expected. Pretty much everything I’m getting out of this service is more than I expected. When it comes to helping me out during the day and night, my attendant can provide assistance in almost any way possible. He can come help me out in the mornings, fix me lunch, clean my room, take me to the gym, help me work out. As long as I schedule the times needed, he can do it. The only thing he is not allowed to do is cath me. He’s allowed to assist, he just can’t actually insert the catheter. This is actually a blessing in disguise because this forces me to begin self cathing, a goal I believe is very reachable.
My first taste of attendant care is starting tomorrow at 12 o’clock P. M.. He’s basically going to be helping me push my manual chair somewhere, take me to the pool for my therapy appointment, and help me out with a shower I guess. I’m not really sure what my dad’s role is going to be in the process tomorrow. Overall, he’s definitely going to have to help out with training in certain areas before he hands off full responsibility.
All of this happened in less than a week so it is a tiny bit overwhelming. A part of me is very excited about the change, but another part of me is quite nervous and afraid. Use of attendant care is somewhat a step of independence in that I will be doing more things away from my parents. Someone will still be helping me out in the same ways but I may have more of a sense of responsibility and independence because it isn’t a family member. It is an employer getting paid to assist me in whatever way possible. That will be the basis of our relationship with no history or bitterness attached.
I can easily say that this is a step in the right direction although I’m not really sure exactly where I’m being directed towards, but I know it’s somewhere positive. Of course I cannot help being nervous and afraid at the thought of the change. A strangers coming into my life and taking over a position that my dad once held, someone who I am for the most part completely comfortable around. This stranger will be taking over responsibilities which are very personal and private. I’m hoping that I will be able to wash away all sense of pride or ego and simply do what I know I have to do. I’m not sure yet exactly what I will be having him do at first. I will probably have him assist me mostly within the community and see where that leads.
I have more thoughts on the matter, mostly dealing with acceptance issues, but I’m going to leave it at that for now. Some friends will be in town shortly and we’re going to a rock show. My mohawk should fit in nicely.