Sunday, January 24, 2010

"I am not 80!" and other relevant topics

Okay, here is the 411 (or Wiki) on me. I worked through the night with Linda and Cheryl to do postcards: please leave your sanity on the coat rack by the door. Little buzzed, and on continuous, and purple. Got that too much work, sleep buzz. Oh yeah, have a fever: week 5.

I had a sort of New Year wish thing, which was that the Make a Wish Foundation would allow R/18 rated wishes. Then Linda and I could do the naughty on a tour of hot tubs which happened to be by all the people who read this blog. A visit with friends AND the naughty

– no not together, this isn’t the voyeur devo lesbian tour.

That reminds me, I had a new night worker, liked her. I like her, yet somehow, first topic was to ask, after letting her know she did NOT have to do any anal evacuations (the good news!) if, THEORETICALLY, they would be for or against assisting me move to different sexual positions?
Odd look from worker. Must have forgot something. Oh right, told her it was not just me, you know...with Linda in bed.
I stopped.

I realized I was being rude.

“Oh sorry, jumped in, um, did you know I'm lesbian? Cause I am.” Turns out she knew before she came. Okay, good. Wait? How is that? Is it on the staff bulletin board?

Her answer is no, will not assist sex positions. But she will give me a bit of boost when transferring. Oh well. I have no idea if there if going to be a complaint or if she is coming back. I kept going. Why is it once I start speaking the naughty, I just KEEP going?

I said it was unfair. Since a lot of workers have partners and they get home and want to snuggle, want to do a bit more. I have a partner, only I have a night worker to take over when partner is ready to sleep. Except while night workers gets to have sex, I am not supposed to BECAUSE night worker is there. I had missed the ‘nun’ clause in the care plan. She is listed as tasked for dressing and undressing, (see, she needs help undressing/dressing) and I have used care workers to help me with corsets before. But for strap-ons? No. Because I am disabled, because I am needing a proven pain relief and relaxation technique, I can’t because….I am being taken care of.

Worker has look like my face has opened up and there is a nest of snakes writhing around. I try to make it all better.

‘You know how you wake up horny sometimes?” I ask. The look of sort of fascinated horror while staying out of arms reach from worker intensifies. Best to keep going: “Me TOO! Oh yeah, I am disabled, I am dying but I am not dead yet, you know! I still get those nice erotic dreams and wake up ready. And it is: where is the book? Where is the fantasy and most important, where are the SEX TOYS! Vibrator ho!” Plushies confused, true, but no time to explain.
“And THEN!” I raise my hand to illustrate the frustration. The care worker jumps back a bit. I go on, “Then I am good and going and things are starting to, you know, the hips moving or I think they are moving, it feels like it inside my brain that feeling and that itch, going up, up, building and BAM. The phone rings: ‘BEEP BEEP’, ‘BEEP BEEP’ – the day care worker has arrived to be let in.”

“What am I supposed to do?” I ask plaintively, “Should I let them in but keep on going? Is that what they are going to walk in on while making sure I am not dead and on oxygen? I mean, they masturbate, care workers masturbate, and we masturbate, disabled women and you probably masturbate.” I try to make the night care worker feel included. Her round wide eyes show maybe that not best move ever.

“Or am I left with this……FRUSTRATION while offered…..grape juice…..a laxative?” Sigh. “My life. It is all run by the timing, the workers only….my orgasms do not follow Beacon Health Care timings, and a laxative and a orgasm is something altogether different” (please do not share story contesting that!)

This is turns out is not that way to convince the night worker I am intelligent and stable person to work for.

Earlier, another bed day, new worker comes in, I lean WAY back on pillows so they look upside down as my head is backwards, hair hanging down the back of the hospital bed. “I am a doctor!” I say, “I am really smart, honest!” Okay, not subtle, kind of like eight year old saying they are 8 and three quarters.

I can tell, even upside down, that clients who are sprawled all over a hospital bed claiming degrees are not to be believed. “Seriously, I am smart, you can ask me stuff, it is just I get seizures and can’t talk, or talk slow and so people think I am dumb or they treat me like I am 80 years old….. ‘time to have a rest, dear!’ I hate that!” I look the worker upside down in the eyes, “I am NOT 80 years old.”

Did I mention having a fever for a while?

I hope they come back.


FridaWrites said...

You're right that people who need caregiving involuntarily sign over their sexual rights. I have heard that some people have caregivers who will help them position as needed and then step out (on call if needed), but I think this is probably an exception--and people are probably hiring these caregivers themselves rather than being assigned people from an agency. I wish people were less upset by normal human functions. I am often surprised by how few women masturbate and think that it's not okay. Nursing home/hospital patients also lose their rights in this regard.

yanub said...

Ummm. Oh, dear.

While you make a valid point regarding sex, it would be really inappropriate for a careworker to see clients in a sexual manner. There would just be too much potential for abuse on either side.

Now, there is an occupation, sadly not legal, that does specialize in just such matters. What you need, my friend, is an escort.

And not only are not 80, but the 80 year olds I know would so kick the whippersnapper ass of anyone who treated them with anything less than respect. And quite a few of them are doctors, also.

Anonymous said...

and you wonder why you can't keep workers? Really....really? what a nut.

Lene Andersen said...

So, no one tells you that when you're disabled, you don't have urges? There seems to be some sort of switch that's flipped when you reach the "disabled enough to require attendants" which renders you asexual.

I never got that memo, either, but it's the impression I get.

This post had me laughing hard (badly needed). Wish your fever gone.

JaneB said...

Well, dear, at least no one can say you are a BORING client!!

wendryn said...

So, life remains interesting? :)

Your descriptions of the worker's facial expressions cracked me up! Sorry to hear they won't help with certain things...

Hope you are getting some rest & that the fever leaves soon - that's a long time to have a fever!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Linda said: "Please tell me these aren't real conversations" - um....

And here I thought the whole point of having caregiving was so that I COULD have all the aspects of living in my own home. I guess not that aspect of living. How about I don't bring it up if the workers sign abstinance clauses when they work for Beacon - or would there be open complaints if a company demanded you not have sex on your own time to work there? But I, in my own home, my own bed, my own vibrators, have someone getting paid $20 an hour to help me live as I would normally.....except for masturbation/sex/flirtation. If I was flirting with the sex worker that would be inappropriate but if I can be rated for needing shower and clothes assistance - how is having someone else soap up my breasts and Area 51 NOT intimate? But helping reposititioning me on a hospital bed for masturbation is wrong?

Frida: Well, I have to admit if I am calling up, I want to see the face of the agency person - "Hi, can you send over someone for sexual positioning" Click. Even if I get past the first sentence, it would be, "Are they experienced??" Click.

Oh well. What, actually HIV highest group is seniors in the US because of no sexual precautions and the rampant sex in senior homes - not sure if that extends to nursing homes - my grandmother made merry though.

Yanub: Well I don't want sex with HER. I see my workers as being full human beings including having sexual beings, boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever. I guess I assumed that when they know I am lesbian that includes PRIVATE displays of intimacy, and being in my home is private. The number of times I have gone, "Boobies!" and face planted is high and Linda goes to the worker, "Don't worry, she just does that to me." and then tells me, "These boobies you can touch, not OTHER boobies."

Anon: Good to know they get internet at the convent/monestary - and that you marry someone like I have and don't sleep with them - however, I always sort of assumed that all people, including Anon commentors had sex somewhere in the background, like their parents perhaps having some for them to emerge. Or do I need to explain about pregnancy?

Lene: yeah, they never tell you straight out but it is heavily implied. I am glad it made you laugh, as that was the intent. It is a situation that is um, different but comes up.

Jane B: we talk about other stuff like European history but you know, yeah, not boring. I usually give my name first - and thanks to Linda and regression I am mostly NOT topless, "But it is HOT!" I whine as a six year old. Linda: "Still, you keep those PJ tops on.....and the panties too!"

Wendryn: doing bed rest to keep the fever down, I hope it breaks and I get reserves. I am glad it cracked you up. Life in home care, Beth style.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
An eighty year old probably doesn't like being treated like that either.
You are just incorrigible! At least you get to practice your right of free speech, if not to satisfy your desire. Now, I've been able to get there without touching myself (maybe just squeezing my legs together) by mental power & imagination. Sadly this ability has faded over the years. Or maybe I just need more practice.


e said...

I had to laugh when I read this, too. We are assumed to be asexual by virtue of disability...I actually had someone ask if it hurt me to have sex, and I almost roared with laughter at the idea and then said snidely, "Only when the whip gets out of hand."

Of course, it was rude and I don't really use a whip, but humour, even if it is sarcastic, helps diffuse these situations.

I hope your fever breaks soon and your package arrives. Did you get the pictures yet?

Vanessa said...

Ugh how sad! I mean I did chuckle because of your description of the look on the care worker's face (LOL) but honestly sex is as much a part of life as anything else. We all started that way and it's something that's essential for survival for many different reasons even if it's not for procreation.

When I worked in the nursing home I would help an elderly couple move their beds together once a week so they could share some intimate time (the wife was bed bound but cognizant) and then I'd run people off the room for an hour. The other employees would get mad and tell me that "it's just not right" or "it's against company policy" or "but they are so old". Bullcrap! Who the Hell are we to tell people, especially married people, that they can't love one another?

Seriously, boo to the caseworker.

Rachael said...

Note to self - DON'T read Beth's blog at work: inadvertent giggling and amused snorting leads to colleagial interest - and then they see the pictures! They undoubtedly think I'm odd enough already without that!

On a more serious note, I once had someone ask me about my daughter and her future sex life (she was only 11 at the time) - and went entirely blank - have got quite enough to deal with day to day without having to sort out what's going to happen in a few year - but I do know it's coming up sooner or later. But she's only 12 now, so maybe I've got a couple of years to futher my education....

Raccoon said...

That was funny! I once gave a talk at a nursing agency that touched on that. You're only giving the talk to one person, I was giving it to 25!

Something you might want to do? Next time?

Wait until she's been there a couple of times before springing that on them?

Frida, I think you're right about the "on-call as needed" nurses; they probably are hired by individuals. That way you can build a rapport with them, before asking for help.

Oh, the stories...

Raccoon said...

"If I was flirting with the sex worker that would be inappropriate but if I can be rated for needing shower and clothes assistance - how is having someone else soap up my breasts and Area 51 NOT intimate?"

Actually, if you were flirting with the sex worker, that WOULD be appropriate!

Aviatrix said...

I hope she comes back, too. I imagine care workers get hit on by horny old men all the time, so having a horny young woman talk about her sexuality shouldn't be TOO shocking. There's so much trouble available for someone who helps you in any sexual way, though. She has no way of knowing that you're not going to suddenly change your mind and charge her with molestation--or that Linda won't come in and see it that way.

A hundred years ago, masturbating women to orgasm was a medical procedure. We need to get one of Beth's doctors to write a prescription.

rachelcreative said...

I guess sex is classed as extra curriculum and not a neccessity. The care role is seen for neccessities.

When you live with sexual desire as a normal part of your life but your illness/disability makes sex practically impossible - and you live with that not just for a week but for months and years it's gets kind of frsutrating. And lack of intimacy with your partner can put a strain on your already strained relationship.

But I can also see that actually landing that on a care worker could make them uncomfortable and kind of freaked out.

You would however have to hope that dealing with sick and disabled people they would come to expect that some people have difficulty censoring what they say.

I remember you saying how sometimes when you have been post seizure you made grabs for boobies. This kind of suggest to me that part of the brain damage you experience with your illness could also make it more likely for you to talk about masturbation and stuff whereas you would have maybe censored that more before your illness.

Just a thought.

I have said to my husband that if I ever had respite care to give him a break what we'd really want is for them to give me the care that allows me to be with him without him having to worry about if I'm ok. Not for him to take a break and go off away from me - but to be enabled for us to be together without illness being a barrier. Without him always being carer and me being the ill one.

I think we have a longs way to go before social care ever gets to that stage.

Maybe there are professionals out there of a different sort who would assist in allowing intimacy between couples challenged with disability and illness.

Victor Kellar said...

All I can say is: Funny and insightful at the same time

cheryl g said...

First of all this post is very funny and I love the pictures. Secondly, I would be willing to assist with repositioning you and then leave to give you your privacy.

More importantly, why shouldn’t you talk about your needs and desires? That is all part of quality of life. OK, I can get why the careworker would be freaked out and it seems wise to save the topic until they have been back a few times. However, pretending that the disabled aren’t sexual beings as much as everyone else is ridiculous.

Baba Yaga said...

<> You don't lose your ability to tell a story. Next time, though, pas devant les plushies!

"Willing to help or not" has to be personal, I think - and incidentally have no notion whether in practice *I* would be willing or not -; but *thinking* about the matter should probably be mandatory. I'd vote for this post as required reading for care-workers.

We're so mixed up about sex in the ordinary way of things, though, that when you add in our mixed-upness about disability, and our mixed-upness about 'different' sexuality (I'm pretty sure that if we only knew it, sexuality varies so widely within the population at large that the mere conformation of external organs is neither here nor there), it's no wonder you get odd reactions.

JaneB said...

I read a magazine article once about a Dutch scheme where a professional sex worker was available to visit disabled clients who needed personal care - it doesn't seem that illogical, as long as it was mutually agreed and not just something ELSE one HAS to do to be seen as normal...