If there's one symbol of this entire ordeal that I hate the most, it's this contraption, dubbed the Hoyer Lift by the Awesome Nurses, but also known as a Patient Lift:
In short, it's a crane to lift my wife out of bed. Not because of her
6'2" frame. Not primarily for safety reasons. Because her cancer,
which has pinched her spinal cord, has turned her lower body into dead
weight which will only move millimeters with the most intense willpower
she can muster. Of all the things she's had to endure, it's this
machine that rips my heart out every time I see her forced to use it.
I've been able to deal with every other thing she's had to go through,
wheelchair, walker, in home therapy, rearranging the entire house as
needed, running my kids all over town so I can spend time with her,
bringing our family to the hospital so we can spend time together and
help J with his homework, her near hysteria from 2 hour long MRI
sessions, the occasional clumsy hospital bed to bed transfers, and
emptying the commode, and dealing with her inability to get to the
commode as necessary steps to recovery.
We can spend
time at her bedside, laughing and enjoying each other and our witty
banter. Chuckle as we try to remember rules to childhood card games, or
trying to compare Word of Warcraft to it's TCG
counterpart, or bitching about how even the most excellent hospital
food that has been known to man can be replaced the fine cuisine of Taco
Bell when you've been in for over 3 months. Those moments are
enjoyable, pleasurable, and they don't seem so bad, even when we're
interrupted for blood draws, finger sticks, or medicine time.
It's the lift I despise most.
It may represent my inability to provide that type of mobility for my
wife. It may represent how inadequate our home may be should it be
required that we own one of these diabolical machines.
It does represent the over 300+ days that I haven't been able to sleep side by side with my wife.
It does represent nearly a year of internal pain, struggle, and the
feeling that I may not be able to do what I feel I want to do for all the members of my family.
I am thankful such a device is around, and would gladly assist my wife
in using it an infinite amount of times per day without complaint.
Every movement an act of pure care.
But I don't have to like the machine.