The summer morning sun is shining brightly as I drive up my client’s driveway. I have arrived at the home of an elderly friend I am a caregiver for. I tend to the chores that she can no longer handle herself , emptying the cat boxes, refilling waters bowls, feeding the birds and emptying the trash. This beautiful lady is the reason I became a CNA. She began as one of my first massage clients too many years ago to remember. As she aged, I still wanted to be able to take care of her needs.
When I enter the house I take care of the inside chores and then set up my massage table. I sit down to work on her feet I try to be respectful of the fact that she’s been walking on them for 95 years. I gently warm them up try to avoid the most painful areas at first until they get used to my touch and then do my best to get these ornery tendons, which have been crippled by arthritis, and in the past by polio, to release some tension and free up in order for her to be able to walk that day. Of all the things I do for her this is probably the most valuable. The fact that she can live independently, attend her Bridge Club, other social activities and even do some of her own shopping on her own is because she can get up and walk. And without any bragging, it is the work I do on her that enables that ability to walk at her age, with her health issues.
Part of the reason I am so willing to put the effort into helping her stay mobile is that I’ve always been impressed she wasn’t always reaching for pain medicine. She fights the pain of arthritis everyday and is victorious. She doesn’t let it take everything away from her. I think of her as a brave revolutionary.
The generation she was in as she was being raised was not one that lent many opportunities to women as far as careers go. but she did so much with her volunteer organizations for animals that if you transfer those skills you realize that she ran a business all those years and she got people to work for free and donate things and donate money and time and give of themselves
When I finish working on her feet I proceed with lymphatic massage to assist her immune system which has been compromised by the cancer she survived. This woman loves life, and lives it to the fullest, and she loves her cats.
So, when I am done with the chores and her regular massage, I also make sure to massage her imaginary whiskers, because above all, she is a cat spirit and inside that 95 year old body is a little girl that loves kitties. Meowww