Have you ever heard of body mapping? Neither had I before I was ill. My first experience of it came in a care home a few years ago. First I promised in a previous post I would explain about two carers being assigned to me at once, well here we go.
Because I am very limited in my mobility and I need hoisting for transfers, plus in a collapse I lose most muscle function I am always allocated two carers in a nursing home. They are not always needed, but they are always there when I’m in a nursing home. It’s probably a health and safety thing. They have portable hoists that need two people and they always put both bed sides down at once. Whatever the reason, it’s different to at my own home, where I have one carer at a time.
On my arrival day for a respite stay in a nursing home, the first job is a body map. This is to check my naked body from top to tail for any marks, wounds, pressure sores etc. They are then mapped on a drawing for reference. That way if any new ones appear in the week, they were obviously caused while I was staying at the home.
The process involves the two women, I only have female carers, standing either side of me peering intently at every inch of my body while making notes. Yes it does feel just a little embarrassing. I have been to other establishments that do it much more subtly, while doing my first bed-bath for instance.
A bed-bath by two women is an experience in itself, one either side of the bed. Being undressed, washed, having cream applied and dressed by two pairs of hands at once is, to say the least, confusing mentally and physically. They say patting your head and rubbing your tummy is confusing.
I can imagine that some men reading this might think it sounds like it might be fun. Some might even think it’s a sexy notion. Let me just put that idea out of your mind. Unless you have a perverted desire to be a baby again, then there is nothing but embarrassment involved in this. I use humour to help me cope with it. I use humour to help me deal with being cared for generally. The first time I had to be undressed and washed by two women I’d never met before, it was not exciting, it was horrifying. Now I just don’t think about it, I laugh and joke with them. It’s much easier coping with the one to one care I have at home with carers I get to know over time