Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Caregiving: family communication

Like families across the nation the stories from Virginia Tech rippled through our day, though just a bit uniquely like everything about living with MS as a family.


I had awakened to a picture message on my cell phone from Megan of snow piled on her dorm room window ledge. Jealous? Oh yes! As I was looking at drenching rain.


As news broke my thoughts turned to our own daughter at college and Patti in 24/7 care. How were they feeling? Shouldn’t families relate at a time like this?


Megan is a freshman in college; what was going through her head? Patti is challenged with MS related memory and cognitive issues; what could she comprehend? What fears or worries might her confusion cause?


Glancing at Megan’s class schedule (which is the background on my computer’s desktop screen) I called her at the first break in her classes. She was totally unaware of the unfolding news on another college campus. Though as we spoke text messages on her cell and IM’s on her lap top were beginning to pop up. … How “old” of me to call! <grin> This is a generation of text messaging and IMing.


Patti on the other hand can never remember where Megan attends college. I worried she might possibly think it was Virginia Tech, as I have family in that part of Virginia. Patti however never associated her own self as a parent of a college student during the coverage.


Trying to talk about it with her was disconnected and detached as are most conversations because of MS related memory and cognition and reasoning loss. Jumping from information to higher or deeper or emotional connections and discussions is a door that simply does not swing both ways.


Her sense of smell communicates with the brain just fine. Patti smelling the chicken pot pie heating up in the kitchen abruptly rolled away from ‘our’ conversation toward the kitchen table. <grin>


To old to text message and too good a cook <grin> … living with MS as a family I rediscover daily that life’s questions and answers chase each other in the wind.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. (((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))I hope Patti will understand that Her daughter isnt VT,that She is ok.I am just glad you all are safe.have a nice evening.

  2.  I am moved to tears everytime I hear about the tragity.  Just to much saddness.  Chicken pot pie, yummy.


  3. ...I am with Patti and choose pot pies over bad news!

  4. It is a tragic situation that campus has at this time.  My heart goes out to all those families.... even the one that were not involved.


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