Keeping Perspective

blog-images-stickitI’m always thrilled when people elect to follow to my blog. It’s exciting to know my writing has captured their attention, and they want to hear more from me. It’s a writer’s biggest compliment.

Today, though, I was honored when the MS Hope Foundation subscribed. I suppose they read some of my “Life with Ken” stories and thought they might be helpful to others who are floating in the same boat we are. So, I suppose it would be an appropriate time to say that one of my WIPs is called “A Day in the Life of the REAL Barbie and Ken,” which will focus on our experiences with Multiple Sclerosis.

BUT, for the rest of my you, I want you to know I will not become a strictly MS caregiver website. I do not identify myself that way. Care giving for my husband is only part of my life. First, I am a writer. Then I am all other roles that society has cast upon me. I will continue to write about my experiences, opinions, and observations just as I have in the past.

But I have to share with you that today, I feel very lucky. I got brave and attended a caregiver group meeting. I’m not a “joiner” of such groups, so this was a big step for me. The last thing I want to do is spend my time whining about my situation. But I gave it a try. There were five women there who were all caring for family members, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, dementia,  Parkinson’s and other long-time, debilitating illnesses. I just wanted to hug all of them because their hearts were so pure. But they looked so tired. Very tired. And did I mention overwhelmed?  I don’t know if I’ll go again. One can never tell.

Before the meeting, I got a call from a friend who needed me to rescue him from the car repair place. His car’s radiator blew, and he was stranded. When I picked him up, he said he’d like to go out for breakfast because he hadn’t eaten yet; it was ten o’clock. He’s a diabetic, and after I shook a finger at him, I took him to a restaurant. Because he suffers from LOTS of stuff, he needs to use a walker. I dropped him off at the door, he got in the restaurant safely– only to topple over backward when he tried to pick up a coin he had dropped. He whacked his noggin haaaaard on the carpet covered cement! He didn’t admit it, but I bet he was seeing stars like the Coyote usually does when something falls on him in the Road Runner cartoons. But I got him to his feet and situated on a chair, we put some ice on the back of his head. I kept asking him “concussion-type” questions to assess whether I should take him to the hospital. With him not being dizzy, sleepy, or nauseous,  I felt  he would just have a headache from his tumble. He knew his name and what day it was, so when I dropped him off at his apartment, I felt as though he would be all right.

Between the escapade with my friend this morning and meeting the other caretakers this afternoon,  I’m feeling rather lucky Ken is as healthy as he is. In fact, he stayed safely by himself practically all day, keeping himself busy with his computer and having Ernie keep him company.

What today did was provide perspective. I’ve found it’s always a good thing to check it once in a while because you can get so swallowed up by your own stuff.  I know I’m not the only one going through a rough journey, but it’s good to have a reality check once in a while.  I think that’s good advice for even “normal” people, don’t you?

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Perspective

  1. This is wonderful, Barb. I know when people say ‘it could be a lot worse’ it doesn’t really help until you see ‘a lot worse’! You did a fabulous thing for your friend and I think going to those group sessions is a personal thing that I can’t really comment on one way or the other. If you find it helps you, go for it! If it becomes depressing, give it a miss…

    • Thanks Dianne. You’re right. Reaction to support groups is completely an individual thing. It is a resource that is available, and I guess that’s what is important.

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