One of my many tasks as a family caregiver is to help Bill when he relieves himself. When he came home six years ago, he was able to use a urinal while sitting on the side of the bed. In the middle of the night, still groggy, I pulled him into a sitting position, handed him the urinal, and waited for him to do his business. Sometimes, it took forever, and I dozed in a comfortable armchair until he was done. This happened at least once a night, sometimes twice. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver illustrates how this usually worked.
At three in the morning,
I’m mildly aroused
by the gentle touch of his hand.
He only has one good arm and leg
but still knows how to please me.
As he strokes me,
and I breathe the scent of his sweat,
I purr with anticipation.
The mood is shattered
when he whispers, “I need to pee.”
Now, Bill can no longer balance on the side of the bed while he urinates. He has figured out how to use the urinal while lying down without making too much of a mess so all I have to do is get up and empty it when he’s done. This makes the nighttime a lot easier.