Saturday, July 14, 2012
“Melancholy hearts flutter with unrequited care”
Restless by C Rossi-Kenyon
While caring may be unrequited the most important thing I must remember (because I can) is that for Patti it’s not a choice.
Progression of Multiple Sclerosis cognitive symptoms, including dementia like symptoms including memory loss, prevents her from dependable awareness, much less concern, about my health and well-being or anyone’s.
Progression of MS physical symptoms prevents her from physically caring for anyone (much less herself).
Unrequited ‘love’, now there is something we all know about, but is love the same as caring. Who amongst us cannot tap that emotional reservoir of unrequited love? It can get crowded drinking from that keg of emotions sharing with yourself, Charlie Brown, and most of history’s romantic poets.
But what about unrequited caring?
What about caring but being physically unable to help? Trapped inside your body unable to help.
What about caring but being cognitively unable to help? MS is not the only disease with progressive memory loss. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 500,000 Americans younger than 65 with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. One out of eight people age 65 and older (13 percent) has Alzheimer’s disease.
My own diagnosis this year of lung cancer, surgery, and recovery rather dramatically accentuated all this. Yes, I find myself “tebowing” in gratitude for the care facility era of living with MS because unless reminded, including a brief refresher version, Patti remains oblivious in the now of the recent then. Patti was safe and unworried through my struggles – the way it should be.
Unrequited love? We can all rally around an anthem of she/he done him/her wrong. … Unrequited care? We can only imagine the care robbed by failing abilities of those who cannot remember what or who they care about.
I may not be a smart man but it seems to me song writers and poets may have had it easier before modern medical science discovered it could prolong life but not the quality of living … and ‘somebody that I used to know’ was a choice and not progression of a medical diagnosis.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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- when tradition is not accessible
- no one deserves to die
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