It’s the dreaded phone call no parent ever wants to get—and there’s no easy way for the person on the other end of the line to deliver the news—that your son was in an automobile accident. My son Jason sustained injuries to the frontal lobe of his brain which caused him to lose the ability to talk and now he uses a wheelchair.
He was just 20 years old at the time of the accident; now he’s 32. And he’s just as handsome as ever—blue eyes, 6’1” tall—and a very solid guy. As his caregiver, I end up doing some heavy lifting. But I’m also careful not to hurt myself when moving Jason around. I use a Hoyer Lift when moving Jason out of bed.
My husband Terry, Jason’s dad, passed away in 2008. So it’s just the two of us. Jason is my world—I love him so much—and I know he loves me and appreciates what I do for him.
Despite my son’s brain injury, he’s aware of his surroundings—he knows what’s going on. When I look into his big blue eyes, I see how hard he’s trying to communicate with me. Sometimes, on a good day, I get a thumbs up from Jason—and it means the world to me.
Jason loves to watch comedians on TV and in movies. He’s a big fan of action and comedy films. Some of his favorite comedians include: Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Robin Williams, Scott Lawrence and Will Ferrell.
Even though Jason is fed through a tube, he still enjoys when I take him to Hooters when we get together with family and friends. And he’s all smiles with the waitresses who take our order. I even catch him winking at the ladies.
Someday, I’d love to hear my son say one word—mom. When I work with Jason and help him with his speech, I can see he’s trying to say the one word that would fill my heart with so much joy. So we will keep trying. Of course, every parent wants to take that pain and frustration away from their child. But we cannot—all we can do is try to help our kids feel as comfortable as possible as they move through life with us.
I’m grateful to have some outside help. Yvette helps us Monday-Friday, from 9 am to 2 pm. But I would say I’m still responsible for about 90% of the Jason’s caregiving. While she starts Jason’s morning routine and helps him brush his teeth, I take a few solitary moments for myself and enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Then I pitch in and we work together as a team. After Jason is cleaned up, then we get him out of bed and dress him.
A nurse friend of mine suggested that we use a condom catheter instead of using Depends. It made all the difference. Now I don’t worry about Jason waking up wet—plus it saves the sheets.
It’s important to mention—when using catheters I’m extremely vigilant about Jason’s urinary care and cleaning. I want to avoid the possibility of Jason getting a urinary tract infection.
On the days when the catheter overflows, I use Sage brand Comfort Bath® Cleansing Washcloths to wash Jason. Before using I just pop them in the microwave to warm them. Warm washcloths make it so much more soothing and comfortable for Jason. I also use Comfort Bath in between Jason’s regular soap and water bedside baths.
I use about eight washcloths per bath. The cloths do a great job keeping his skin clean and soft. The washcloths are easy and convenient to use. Unlike the usual soap and water bedside bathing, with Comfort Bath, there’s no need to rinse the skin. So it makes bathing a less arduous task.
I’ve been a customer with Sage Products since 2003. I like the products and wouldn’t change anything in my care routine. I also use Toothette® swabs. I like those as well.