Mom has always been stubborn. For the most part, her steadfastness has served both her, and me, well over the years. It was her stubbornness that refused to let me cop out on college when I was too afraid. It is her stubbornness that makes her push through the pain of her arthritis rather than sit idly feeling sorry for herself. But lately that stubbornness, coupled with a dislike for change, is proving a challenge.
We have started her on physical and occupational therapy, both twice a week, to try to find ways to ease her arthritis pain and help her be more independently mobile. I had noticed that she was having difficulty operating the shower due to pain in her hands and her cognitive impairment. She also walks so hunched over I’m constantly afraid she will fall because her center of gravity is so off kilter. So her doctor suggested the therapy.
Works For Me
For me, its been great. I learned things I didn’t understand about her posture, and what I should be doing about it. I am learning exercises to help her with her mobility, posture, and pain. And I learned the best place to put the grab bar on the tub to help her in and out.
Not So Much For Her
She goes along with the therapists when they show her the best and safest way into and out of the tub. She goes along when they suggest she use the walker in the morning when she’s stiff to get from the bed to the bathroom. Everything seems hunky-dory and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Except when they are not here, she adamantly refuses to use the grab bar and insists getting in and out of the shower, “…should not be this hard!” And the walker—it’ll gather dust before she uses it without prompting.
I don’t know about should or shouldn’t. She’s 88 years old. But that is beside the point. Will any of us think, “Oh well. I’m old so I guess I should just be ok with not being able to do everything I used to.” Doubt it.
But as stubborn as she can be at times, she is also adaptable. I know it’ll just take time. Nobody likes change. And Mom is no different.