Aunt J has been extremely sick and in the hospital since July 2008. She was moved from the hospital to a rehab center at the beginning of November 2008. When she was first admitted into the hospital, she was unable to sit up on her own, much less do much of anything else for herself.
Every single day that Aunt J has been in the hospital and the rehab center, my Great Aunt B has went to sit with her for at least 5 hours a day. Most of the time, I take Great Aunt B to see her and every night I take Great Aunt B home when she's ready.
On the way home last week, Great Aunt B told me that the rehab center had scheduled a dentist appointment for this week and the only problem was that Aunt J's insurance wouldn't cover the transportation that it would take to get her there. The rehab center had suggested that she'd pay for a taxi to get her there.
I instantly wondered why we would pay for a taxi when I have a perfectly capable car that would be easy for Aunt J to get in and out of. We weren't really sure exactly how she would do sitting up in a vehicle anyway, but if the rehab center felt she could handle sitting up in a vehicle, without ever trying it, then why not try it in one that she was already familiar with, with family she was comfortable with. I instantly asked Great Aunt B to find out if we could take Aunt J to this appointment instead. They agreed to let us take her.
Yesterday was Aunt J's dentist appointment venture. We got to the rehab center a bit early, but we wanted to be sure that she was ready to go. Aunt J wasn't entirely excited about going since she'd only be going to the dentist and not home as she really wishes she could. We ventured out without really knowing how she would handle getting in and out of her wheelchair and my car. I was prepared though and knew what I needed to do in case she couldn't do it since I worked as a CNA before, so I wasn't to worried about the "what if she can't do it" part of the whole thing.
She did do it though! She did a lot better than either I or Great Aunt B had thought she would. She held most of her own weight moving from her wheel chair and the car when she needed to. The last report that we had, she had only been able to hold about 30% of her weight and I had been prepared to hold the other 70% when moving from wheelchair and the car, but I have to say that she doubled that yesterday! Once we got her into the car and we were on our way, she started enjoying the car ride. The smile on her face the entire time was priceless! She was going somewhere and even if it was for a short time, she enjoyed actually sitting up instead of laying down as she normally did on her trips to dialysis.
When I first found out how sick Aunt J was, I made the decision to relocated and leave the life that I had grown accustomed to and loved. We, as a family, have had to make a lot of adjustments, but I really wanted to be around my Great Aunt B to help her through this hard time for her. Aunt J may be just Great Aunt B's niece legally, but in the heart, Aunt J is more like Great Aunt B's daughter. This has really taken a toll on Great Aunt B. I wanted to be able to help her in any way that I could even if it meant that I'd be the only one helping her and no one else did. Seeing the smile and the joy on Aunt J's face just because she had been able to get out of the rehab center and go for a car ride to her dentist appointment has been totally worth all of the adjusting that we have had to make in the last seven months!
We are trying to help Aunt J get well enough to come home and with yesterday's trip, we know that she is getting closer every day to coming home! Thank you, God!