Friday, September 05, 2008

caregiving: a clock of fruit and vegetables

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms relentlessly progress with an invisible tick tick tick. Repeatedly glancing at a watch, time never seems to do what we will yet glance away and who is not amazed at where time went.


From a caregiver’s perspective the functions of day to day life tell the tale of progression more vividly and of course poignantly than any test. 


Before our daughter Megan was even a dream, Patti and I have grilled sweet corn. Grills have come and gone first charcoal then later propane. Megan played with her first ear in a high chair. Through it all Patti could always hold an ear of corn.


Grilling ears of sweet corn Tuesday evening to accompany crab cakes Megan and I exchanged glances of surprise as Patti dropped her ear trying to get it to her mouth. Then knowing glances as she repeated the drops,  Multiple Sclerosis progression has finally robbed her of control of the brain and muscle functions necessary to enjoy an ear of sweet corn. 


Earlier this summer, eating a fresh peach suffered the same fate. Patti could no longer hold one and take a bite without fumbling.


Fortunately adaptation was possible. I can slice up a peach into wedges which she handles easily. We even added peach yogurt for dipping creating something tastier and 'fun'. Patti's inability to hold a peach is not even a factor in this 'new way' of eating a peach.


No one can stop the ticking of the progression clock. Caregiver clocks must match that tick tock with creativity and adaptation.


Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer 




(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")


  1. very creative way to eat the peach for Patti to still have a sense of independence; it must be hard to see these changes occur bit by bit in Patti's indepence; I would imagine you will continually need to use your creativity over the next few years

    but now I want an ear of corn; that looked delicious in the picture!


  2. ((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))))You come up with some good creative ideas to help Patti.Have a good weekend.

  3. Your continued adaption to each new level of this disease, never ceases to amaze me. (Hugs)Indigo


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