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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Whose Going to Wipe Your Ass ?

Seriously. Whose going to wipe it? When you can't. When you are too old to do it, or your hands can't get down there the way they are supposed to. Have you thought about it? Probably not. But if you're demented like I am and try to do now what you're supposed to be so that your future years have as few problems as necessary, maybe you have considered it.

My mother in law has been in the hospital and now a rehabilitation center for nearly two weeks now. She lives alone since my father in law passed away more than a year ago. It's not the first time I've given this ass-wiping ceremony some thought. I've had more than my share of illnesses in my family. But who in your life right now, today!, will be by your side to clean up after you, cook for you, buy your groceries for you, take you to your doctor's appointments when you can't drive, pay your bills for you when you are living on straight Social Security and can't afford them, and yes, wipe up your bottom properly? Will it be your children? If you have none like me, then you can shoot that idea right out the window (maybe I should adopt a handsome young 18-year-old for these purposes??). Maybe a neighbor will help out. Or a friend. Or someone in your church, club, or little group. Or, perhaps, a combination of all of the above. I do know that you can't truly depend on anyone in particular -- children move away and have nothing to do with their parent's day-to-day care any longer except for an occasional obligatory phone call ..... husbands and wives and partners die or move or divorce ..... friends and family come and go. I'm not sure that anyone can truly be counted on for those end-of-life years that really look better on paper than in real life.

So, go ahead, push that call button that's been clipped onto your sheets -- push it and just wait....wait and see how long it takes for someone to show up to help you get onto the toilet. Or who shows up. I wonder who it will be. Let's see now, where is that call button........

18 comments:

Princessa lil mexico said...

When Blair can not do it. I will be more than happy to assist you! Remember i am going to live forever!

Anonymous said...

I've have been there before for my partner.
It was a trying time, I mean "for rich or poor in good health and bad" ...right.
I was there..I know he will be there for me. I like to think I have a handful of CLOSE friends that would help.

Greatest lesson I learned is that you have to prepared for the bad. I've seen my own parents struggle.
Think we have planed so far better than them.

Ed

Larry Ohio said...

Oh this is a tough topic. We're at that age when we're starting to get a taste of our mortality. It's a good thing you and Blair are roughly the same age. You can grow old together and care for each other.

This topic's been weighing on my mind for a long time. Greg's health is poor. He's had a few close calls. Plus he's 12 years older than me. There's a high chance I'll survive him and grow old alone. It's not healthy to dwell on it, but it shouldn't be ignored either.

bridgeout said...

I have to be honest. I think about this most every day. As a woman who lives with chronic pain and has had my back go out and has not been able to get myself to the shower or bathroom... I have thought about this. Thank God i have my wife... and I have kids. Although, I have to be honest... I believe it would be my step-daughter long before my precious son who would. She is just a jewel that way! But I really do thank God every day that I was able to wipe my own ass, and shower myself and walk myself to my own car. I am ever mindful. And I am grateful. It pulls me up on any given day if I give in to "whining." I so wish your M.I.L. some more attentive care... and healing! HUGS!!

Ur-spo said...

In the end we can't do anything for ourselves; unless we suddenly die, we will be dependent on others.

Having a career in medicine makes me see and think about these matters every day.

wcs said...

Hang in there! It's been a tough couple of weeks for you guys (not mention your MIL), but she is so fortunate to have the two of you close by.

But I wish people would just stop landing in the hospital! Dammit!

/wishful thinking

:)

CJ/Rick said...

I just hate it when I can't sleep and I come to a blog with depressing, eye opening, crap like this.;)
I don't know and try not to think about it. I always hope I will go in my sleep.
Atleast you're lean and mean Lewis. Health care workers appreciate the ease in which to roll you over and clean you up, if they have time.
And what the heck is it with falling after you retire?????

"Just David!" said...

It'll be the same three that took care of me thru my horrific cancer treatments! ME, MYSELF and I! With occasional assistance from the doorman, valet and concierge! Make sure in your old age you've saved enough to tip properly!

Sylvia said...

You are very brave in voicing a subject we don't want to think about.
We have to plan as best we can and then just let it go. The person(s) you thought would help might not be there when we need them.

Anonymous said...

Euthanasia will surely save ya. That's my plan, anyway.

Breenlantern said...

I wonder as much as well these days...makes you consider heavily who you want to invest your time in and who will invest their time in you, but even then, we all die alone...

Geoff said...

This must be a common thought in the back of every gay mans mind.

My father bitterly lamented his 'loss of dignity', but at least he had good insurance and thus good care.

It's a scary subject.

RAD said...

Gosh...hard one to think about but hope its my partner or loved ones....I do hoe someone is there when this time comes...

David said...

I have thought about this for many years. I watched both my grandmas sink into old age and senility and nursing homes. I expect it will be the same with me, hitting that call button and waiting for however long it takes.

Steven said...

While I haven't taken it to such an extreme as you have, I have been thinking about that as a single, unattached gay male. But should I ever become attached and should my partner get to that point, I will be there...at least that's my intent at this time. And I hope that will be his intent should I become less fortunate.

annie said...

hmmm. my daughter's too smart and i'm too single, soooooo......

i wonder if there's a cutie-for-poopie program somewhere...

annie said...

hey stud-muffin, type-A perfectionist:

"WHOSE going to wipe...."?

(i think it's "WHO'S going to ...)

WAT said...

F*ck that. I ain't gonna live that long. NO SIR. NO NO NO.

I must check out if it reaches that horrid point. I know it's morbid, but I do not wanna live long enough to experience truly old helpless age...