Does time spent together count as a gift? Certainly the retail industry would scream blasphemyyyy with all the gusto of Howard Dean.
Caregiving and living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family was and is a seesaw in our story between caregiving and parenting.
Until our daughter, Megan, turned 16 we had never spent any kind of vacation that was not controlled by MS. Exacerbations or flare-ups aborted planned trip after trip in the 11th hour before departure. If we managed to get under way the same pitfalls shortened or modified those trips. Bladder and bowel accidents were beyond disruptive. Victories did happen, here and there, and they were treasured.
Attempts at time together while family or friends acting as Patti’s caregiver had some success but were haunted by injuries to those caring for Patti, or to Patti herself. Caregiving became increasingly physical and 24/7 demanding.
The advent of the care facility era was the first time that Megan and I could genuinely do something together and know that Patti was safe. That year Megan turned 16.
Yes, I felt a need to catch up. … The following video ‘remembers’ one side of that seesaw year between the dawn of the care facility era and the phoenix dawn of father and daughter.
16th Birthday Road Trip (3 minutes)
A year later the care facility era continued to enable us to take spontaneous day trips to see, touch, and feel opportunity and dreams.
"The Gates" of Central Park (1 minute)
Like any seesaw, balancing caregiving and parenting can sometimes leave you crashing down on your butt when the other person slips off. <grin> Yet, to stop trying is not an option.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer