Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Caregiving: thank you for caring

Sometime yesterday this journal’s hit counter moved past the “this journal has been read 20,000 times” mark. I am overwhelmed.


I can still vividly remember the loneliness when spouse caregiving and ‘basically’ single parenting began. Information was slim to none. All I found was “Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill” by Maggie Strong, and spent hours in our local library searching the New England Journal of Medicine, often with Megan sleeping in her stroller.


Al Gore discovered the Internet and I stumbled into the Multiple Sclerosis bulletin boards on Prodigy. Is there anyone old enough to remember the Prodigy sign on screen? Or having to use DOS prompts to open Windows?  


This 21st Century is an information age second to none. Yet nestled in all that information are real stories of real people, more like a neighborhood than a database. As a caregiver that is what I needed and why I share.


… and while pausing to reflect on numbers, I am also grateful for the response to our drifting into You Tube to share our story and information. Driving around for over a year now in our wheelchair accessible van only two families with a member in a wheelchair have had the chance or time in parking lots to ask to see how our van works. Yet through You Tube, in three months, over 1000 have taken the opportunity while viewing “Living with MS: wheelchair van”.


Thank you for caring. You all are wonderful 'neighbors'.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. Congrats on your wide spread audience, Patrick. You give us all an inside view on the caregiving of spouse. I know there are many others out in the world that do that, even if the disability is not MS. I think perhaps you have opened the door for a few of those people and they do not feel so alone.  And yes, I remember DOS. <grin>.  Thank you for opening your world for me to view!

  2. Thank you Patrick! :o)

  3. ((( thankyou))) Patrick and Patti for letting us into your lives. Rache

  4. I remember that!!!!

    I miss you!

    xxoo  to you and Patti!

  5. thank you for sharing Patrick you and Patti both are amazing people and Megan too. i have all of your YouTube in my account so i can watch everytime i go on:)


  6. ((((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))You are an inspiring person,I love to watch your vidoes.have a nice night.

  7.  I am amazed and happy the way the internet has grown.  Of course bad in some ways but wonderful in others.  I can remember trying and trying to sign on and getting a busy signal for hours sometimes in the old days of internet.


  8. ...Patrick, it is amazing how many people here in this part of Oklahoma have not seen an enter van............also one has to take a road trip to get it fixed (the enter part).  Even the kids who put groceries in the van get a kick out of watching the ramp go up and down............my comment is the handicap features of the van are for me, more than Jack, I need the help! LOL  And we were told there were only one or two others in our area.  We bought ours in Califronia because we were afraid we would run into difficulties getting the older van worked on.

  9. I agree... there are instructional and informative videos we can make for YouTube. And you don't even have to be a movie producer!! The viewer counter read 1064 when I visited the YouTube clip. I loved it the first time I saw it, and still enjoyed watching it. Hope to see more such video clips, like how you go shopping. You have written about it, but have you video taped it? Or even about your favorite public places to visit. I think if families with someone in a wheelchair were to come across your video clips, they would start thinking, "Hey, we can do that!" It's not just what you do, Patrick, but how you do it. You inspire others with your wit, humor, and your compassion. Bea




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