Friday, May 18, 2012

Return to normalcy

Wednesday, two months after successful lung cancer surgery, everything came back together for the first time. Our world returned to its normalcy.

In other words life is now just as it was before surgery, only 8 weeks later. I have no loss of abilities, restrictions, or pain.

Why should this benchmark start any different than any other caregiving day as I spent too many hours on the phone and on hold working and stressing as Patti’s POA on looming changes to Patti’s Medicare supplemental insurance?

With the cooler part of the day wasted it was time to mow the lawn, walking approximately a mile while pushing a 60 lb (27 kg) mulching power mower in 86˚F (30˚C) temps.

Next I drove to pick up Patti. Exiting her care facility assisted dining room she was quite sure her diner had been “bangin” but had no memory of what she had just eaten.

Heading out to a nearby park for a push and roll (a gentlemen never discusses a lady’s weight but let’s say Patti weighs more than a lawnmower) I pushed her for a one mile loop stopping for some hamming it up in their amphitheater, “all the world’s a stage”.

Then the pièce de résistance (insert drum roll)
… a one person unassisted transfer of Patti from her wheelchair to her bed, followed by undressing and changing her for sleep.

Unlike the miles of pushing, transferring is about lifting non-ambulatory weight. Even after transfer, while many people have changed and dressed an infant, a non-ambulatory adult is the exact same principal just exponentially more upper body strength involved.

It was a godsend that the care facility era was already in place before surgery and recovery took me out of the daily equation for two months. Patti was safe and completely cared for.

Though it’s a bittersweet return to normalcy for me as Multiple Sclerosis memory and cognitive symptoms confound Patti even realizing or remembering any loss in outings or absence of me transferring her to bed the majority of nights each week.

Normalcy? An interesting concept isn’t it?
Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @
Lung Cancer Odyssey @ 


  1. We create our own "normal" Sometimes re-creating it every day as circumstances change. No two "normals" are the same I suspect.

    So glad you have healed and can resume your "normal"!

  2. Sounds as if you're well-healed, Patrick! With MS, we're constantly redefining our 'new normal,' and your return may find the same changes.

  3. WTG Patrick that you were able to return to "normal" in a relatively short period of time too!! hoping the weekend is a nice on for you guys!


  4. Hurray that you have healed. It almost seems miraculously fast. And miracles are always welcomed.

  5. Patrick, I love your sense of normal because as we all know, normal is what you make it. The challenges of healing never overcame your determination to keep things normal. You are an amazing caregiver and an awesome dude. God Bless. Donna (MScaregiverdonna)


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