During Lent, especially, some people try to do extra acts of service. One year, the children and I did the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Some modifying had to be done, but it was accomplished and turned out better than I’d hoped.
This year we were not specifically trying to practice any of the works of mercy, however, God provided the opportunity. A few weeks back, I asked for a special prayer request. It was for me. My leg is broken. This is of some concern, as it is the same leg that was broken in a car accident almost six years ago. Back then my hip was shattered and my kneecap was cracked in half. I didn’t think there was any pain worse than childbirth. I was wrong. This break is behind the kneecap. It is extremely painful.
I have had to concede defeat to being able to care for myself in this. I generally go from the couch to the bathroom to the couch, etc. all day long. I wear a gait belt (a long belt with teeth to hold it to itself for someone to hold onto while I hop on my crutches) to or from the bathroom. If you are not familiar with senior or hospital care, you might not know what the gait belt was. It is invaluable if I person starts to lose balance, as the caretaker, while holding the belt, can steady the person falling. It’s not totally foolproof, but it is a great comfort to me as I unsteadily hop back and forth to my destination.
So, my children get the fun task of supervising bathroom trips and even showers. The good thing is, with all of the practice of taking care of seniors and my care after the 2015 car accident, I have figured out a few things. First, just because something is made for one purpose does not mean it cannot be used for something else. For example, we borrowed from my mother, a chair-type seat to go above the potty so that I could raise myself easier from it. Our bathroom is too small for it to fit properly, but it fits in the bathtub, therefore allowing me a daily shower, even if it takes a garbage bag over my leg immobilizer and much finagling.
The first thing one wants after being hurt and having that attended to, is a shower. It can lift your spirits like nothing else. Don’t believe me? Try going a few days without one. Yeah.
Second, what I call a “reachy-grabby” i.e. a grabber, can be used in many inventive ways. You may use it to grab something out of your reach from the couch, or to scratch an itch, or to rearrange your covers, or take off your socks. It’s versatile. Take advantage of that! You need all the help you can get!
Third, God’s timing is perfect. What is He telling you to do? Do you need to slow down? Have time for prayer? Time to fix those t-shirts that have been accumulating? Finish your children’s book? What is it? There must be something!
If nothing else, it enables your loved ones to help you. You may feel uncomfortable accepting help, but don’t. You are giving everyone a chance to perform acts of service, and that really is a blessing to you all!