Monday, November 30, 2009

You might be a caregiver if …

You might be a caregiver if … menthol is your eau de cologne.
Thanksgiving morning began with rubbing Mineral Ice into my shoulder and upper arm muscles and applying a Ben Gay back patch to my lower back. So too would Thanksgiving end, and the next morning begin.

At Patti’s level of Multiple Sclerosis (EDSS 8+) caregiving is physical caregiving. Ironclad in menthol, perhaps even hallucinating on menthol, I was pumped up and ready for my 20th anniversary as a MS caregiver.

Besides the multiple transfers, clothing and Depend changes, and monitoring dysphagia related choking through dinner, Thanksgiving for Patti was a safe, happy, and family filled holiday.
Interestingly I discovered I could take a picture of those ol' family slides projected on a wall and with a little photo editing we have Patti and her brother both now and then.

'Black Friday' is always a travel day for me to and from New Jersey to visit maternal cousins. While I treasure them all, there is one who though so young has so much to teach about the will to live. Less than a handful of years old, he has survived premature birth, chemotherapy, and liver cancer surgery while living with Infantile Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy.

There may be no 'beaten path' for navigating the holidays, but if you look there is inspiration! ... and there is always eau de menthol.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. they close the school for the start of deer season? I thought that was only in Montana,LOL. They just don't realize what it does to those that need their routine! you need to take care of yourself Patrick. I don't know you, but you need to take care of yourself; got a lot of people depending on you


  2. Inspiration, indeed! Seek it. Source it. Adapt it. When I smell menthol, I'll think of you.

  3. Isn't is funny how some people's lives are so full of illness and others are untouched? You amaze me. I LOVE the pic...I need to learn more about blogs, photo shop, etc. Happy Holidays Hero.

  4. Great pictures. I love the boy and his "first turkey". Here is an OSHA web site on body mechanics.
    I am a caregiver to a chairbound MS patient and a Registered Nurse as well so I have to constantly remind myself to use good body mechanics as well as all the adaptive devices at my disposal.
    Great Blog


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