She's a short little lady, but two years of immobility has resulted in some putting on of the pounds . . . this, coupled with weight-bearing intolerance, pain, weakness, lack of endurance, and a quick rate of fatigue, in one week of daily therapy, we still have not yet taken any steps.
The first day, our LayingInBed-to-Sitting-at-the-Edge transfer consisted of her two already-very-gray-themselves sons climbing onto the bed to lift her . . . and actually, that time they swung her around and stood her right up, in a human-hoyar-lift kind of way. Call me cruel, but this was not the kind of therapy session I had planned . . . this was to be an active experience for my patient! After they (reluctantly) sat her on the side of the bed, it required all three of us to lift her a second time from sitting into standing.
On day two I tried (with my very broken Hausa) to explain that, while they are without question, good, caring, loving sons, therapy is rarely a passive process, and if she is going to get well, she has to work. It's taken a few more days, but I think they get the idea.
When I arrived in her room today, neither of the sons were there . . . and I knew there was no way I could lift her on my own. Plan B: use a sling.
As Momma slowly inched her legs toward the edge of the bed I repositioned the bed sheet so that it was under her hips. When I finally got her into sitting, I braced her good-right knee with my left knee. I took the slack out of the sheet and on the count of uku I shifted my weight, leaned back, and pulled with all my might.
In those split seconds I prayed . . . hard . . . mostly that the sheet wouldn't tear. That would have been a disaster! I don't think I'd look good as a pancake.
But it worked. I'm pretty sure there was a hoard of angles pushing from beneath and behind, because she stood!!
Once she was up, and the sheet was no longer in risk of rupturing, I noticed the crowd that had formed behind me, just watching. At the front of the pack was a nurse that often translates for me.
'How'd you do that?' he asked, wide-eyed. 'Physics' I said. He wrinkled his brows at me. So I reconsidered my answer: 'Physics, a little muscle, and a whole lot of prayer.'