Sometimes the simplest things—like a haircut—can cause distress for a disabled person.
Recently, Charlie desperately needed a trim. We live in a senior living community and there is a beauty shop on campus that also caters to gentlemen. To get there, I must put Charlie in the car and drive him around the corner to the building that houses the shop. Then, he must walk into the building and down a very long corridor to get to the shop. This has become extremely difficult for him since the mobility in his legs has all but left him.
My answer to the problem was to go into the back of the closet and dig out a hair trimming set that my gadget guru husband had purchased several years ago. It had never been used but was hidden away, waiting for just such a day.
I told Charlie at bedtime one night that we were going to give him a haircut the next day. He thought it was a good idea, but he didn't know that I had never given anyone a haircut before.
As it turned out, I needn't have worried. It never happened. Perhaps it was because he dreaded it as much as I did, but he refused to get out of bed that day until four o'clock—too late for a haircut. And so it went for the rest of the week.
Alas, I finally scheduled him an appointment at the beauty shop. Today was the day. He actually seemed to be looking forward to it. He would get a little fresh air and some pampering from two nice looking young ladies.
As usual, the problem was getting to the shop. This time I was afraid we would never make it. Charlie had to stop and rest twice on the walk down the long corridor and was nearly in a state of collapse by the time he got there. But he got through the wash, cut and eyebrow trim, and even managed to flirt a bit with the girls.
By the time he was done I had searched the building until I found a wheelchair I could borrow to wheel him back to the car. Whew!
Now the question becomes, how do we handle the next haircut? I am on the search for a traveling beautician who will come to the house and pamper him with none of the stress to which he has become accustomed.
I am afraid we are rapidly reaching the point where he will no longer be able to leave the house for anything, including doctor's appointments. I don't look forward to that day because there will only be one answer to that problem: a nursing home. That is a solution that his daughter, who lives five hours away, does not want to hear, but that is another dilemma altogether.