Saturday, September 19, 2009

a week in the life of caregiving

Last couple evenings Patti has reacted as if her left arm was hit with a lightning bolt of pain when helping her put her jacket on or off. Between her yelling and flailing her arm about, I at first thought something was in the sleeve. Finding no snake, bee, or object of any kind I was baffled.

Examination of the arm by nursing staff and physical therapist reported no pain by Patti. Nor has Patti complained of any pain at any time, except when a jacket sleeve is pulled over the left arm.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis will move up the medical chain on Monday with physician and more testing.

Driving home most of my brain was absorbed pondering Patti’s arm but a part noticed yellow ribbons waving on lamp posts and telephone polls in Carlisle.

Googling, I discovered the town's National Guard unit had returned from combat. Why did I not know this? In only one week I had already misplaced the common purpose and resolve of September 11th.

Walking to our van with a milk shake for Patti, a car full of teenage girls slows, windows roll down and they yell, Bruster's is for loosers!” before speeding off.

Patti: What the hell was that about?
Patrick: You tell me, I was never a teenage girl.

Across the world a young man with ties to the same community sacrifices his life in the war against terrorism.

Sgt. Andrew H. McConnell..Rest in Peace, Loved and Never Forgotten

"Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look." Ronald Reagan

Picking Patti up for her 54th birthday celebration, I was perplexed discovering her wearing her jacket without any report of pain.

Later preparing her for bed, I helped her remove the jacket. She let out a war whoop of pain. I reacted with a loud “YES”!!!  This triggered her Halloween skull to moaning and shaking, which in turn knocked over a screaming audio birthday card which only got the skull moaning again.

Ever tried to transfer a hysterically laughing birthday girl into bed?

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. happy birthday to Patti! I hope they figure out what is going on with her arm pain; sounds like it really is causing a lot of discomfort

    so sorry about Andrew McConnell; seemed like a fine young man

    personally, I think that car of girls were losers for thinking Bruster's didn't rock; I took a look at their site and I so want some ice cream right now

    seems like you had a "typical" "regular" "normal" week care giving, Patrick

    but I know you worked hard to make it so


  2. Picturing that skull and the screaming card lol humor is priceless! Happy birthday, Miss Patti! And Patrick I hope you aren't too stern on yourself, I think 9-11 memories can soften around the edges though the act is never far from the heart. But as you say, life must and will go on. It's natural. ((love))

  3. A good laugh at the end of the day is always a fine thing.

  4. No, but I have taken my own body to bed in such a state. MS can cause so many weird sebsations that defy normal explanations. Wait a few days, if it goes away, 99% sure MS struck again and the surfin the waves goes on. Happy B'Day Patty!!!!!!!!!! Patrick you are the best gift.

  5. Patti sounds like a real pistol! Hope the shoulder pain was just a transitory MS thing.

  6. Stumbled upon your blog somehow. You are a precious gem with the love and care you give your dear wife! Sounds like in spite of her pain she had a nice birthday!! Nothing like hysterical laughing!!

    I take care of my husband who has had 2 strokes. It's been 4 years he's been at home in a hospital bed and can't do anything for himself.

    I'm going to check out some of the links you have posted now!


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