Monday, October 15, 2007

Caregiving: a lot like skipping stones

Too many times caregiving is a lot like skipping stones on a pond …


The other morning I received a call advising me that Patti had an episode of emesis after going to bed. (Why when our language is so rich with synonyms for vomit does medical jargon choose boring?) Anyway the nursing staff was “advising” me, as required and offering Patti’s theory that it must have been something she ate.


Something she ate? Hey! I cooked dinner that night. A delicious thin sliced chicken breast sautéed in a Caribbean Jerk marinate with fresh steamed green beans and strawberry/banana yogurt for dessert.


The other day I received an email from dear friends asking about a TV comedy “The Office”. They’ve known us long enough to remember the Pre-MS Years when Patti worked for over 10 years in a paper company office as a buyer which is the fictional working environment of the sitcom. … I have tried a couple times to interest her in the show thinking that perhaps her long term memory might click. … NO success to report.


Last night putting Patti to bed I noticed her bed rail was missing. Where does someone misplace a bedrail? Asking the charge nurse I was reminded that with Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis progression she no longer needs one since she cannot get herself even up in bed much less out of bed. While yes I was aware this was one of those things I guess I just blocked.


Through too many years of home care I had knick named one of Patti’s symptoms, jack-in-the-box sleeping. It used to drive me nuts. Patti would want nothing more than to get into bed to sleep, and only minutes later want to get up and out of bed. If unattended or unassisted she would fall and be found on the floor.


Somehow seeing that missing bed rail dramatically demonstrated progression, and gratitude for the shifts of caring eyes watching over her.


… and just because the last several stones sunk into the pond … well, you don’t give up believing you can skip the next stone across the water.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. (((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))))))Oh my,I hope She doesnt fall out of bed,I think they should put it back up.I hope She feels better from being sick.Have a nice dya.

  2. YYYyyyyuuuummm.... Can I come over and eat with you?? <grin>  I'm a brave soul and it sure sounds much better than what i'll be having for dinner tonight, whatever that is....

    You know, we just get used to the problems we had in the past (missing bedrail) and that makes us just a little jumpy without those comfort zones.

    Caregiving has been such a large part of your life. I know you are an excellant example for anyone who needs guidance!

  3.  I find myself feeding my mother in law meals just like that.  I know what you mean about the progression, just going in the bathroom where now there sits a commode over the toilet so she can have arms to help her get up.  Each new thing a reminder.  Oh, and I always liked emesis, lol, the way it rolls off the tongue, sounds like a French dessert.


  4. lol i never thought of vomit that way:) hope patti is doing ok. its hard to see how things move forward when we don't want them too.


  5. ...................yep it was the marinade! LOL    When we suddenly realize we are not as we were shocks and changes bring us to sharp realization!

  6. Progression in a different light Patrick..........just leaving a huge ((((((((( hug ))))))) for both of you. Rache


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