Lesson #35: Cry, Baby, Cry

I want to talk about caregiver burn-out, because it’s rarely discussed in society, not addressed by health care professionals, and – aside from support groups set up for that purpose – not something easily shared. I know I’ve covered this topic before, but it looms large.  … More Lesson #35: Cry, Baby, Cry

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Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Family is everything, and (as I’m now learning) family is everywhere. When I first started caregiving for my parents, I was like a baby bird who had toppled out of its nest, huddled in the cold rain at the base of the tree. Lonely. Vulnerable. Uncertain. Two amazing parents who had raised and cared for five children had become aging seniors, both afflicted with a cognitive disorder and in need of daily care themselves. What now?  … More Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

I’m not good in a crisis. In my dreams, I’m this incredibly courageous woman who leaps tall buildings, laughing and bubbling with confidence. In my fantasies, I am an orator of note; able to express myself elegantly with witty wisdoms that make everyone shake their head in awe and agreement. In reality, I’m neither. I crumble with anxiety at the merest whiff of uncertainty, I cringe before the specter of responsibility, and I become tongue-tied and dumb with despair when confronted with a conundrum. … More Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t

It’s not easy to share our health woes; there’s so much stigma in our cynical society. If you whine too much, you’re a hypochondriac. If you have something incurable, it’s all in your head. If you have something really wrong with you, you shouldn’t be out in public. Stop coughing and sneezing on us! Stop blocking the aisles with your wheelchair! Stay home, why dontchya? … More Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t

Lesson #30: Less Lies, More Love

Caregivers are on the front lines of the Alzheimer’s battle. And the battle isn’t about the disease, it’s about the stigma, negativity and fear surrounding it. If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s, it’s quite likely that you have come up against a lot of ignorance, misconceptions, dread and horror when talking to people about this condition.  … More Lesson #30: Less Lies, More Love

Lesson #27: Be Aware, Be Wary

Having worked for decades helping Big Pharma market drugs to physicians, I was privy to extensive strategic documents outlining a drug’s “path to success.” And given the number of Confidentiality Agreements I signed, I’m not about to share any secrets. I’m just establishing some credibility for the rest of this post, which I hope serves as a warning to the general public. … More Lesson #27: Be Aware, Be Wary

Lesson #26: No Apologies Necessary

My mother is angry and I don’t blame her. If you were to wake up every day not remembering anything from the day before, if your home of 40 years suddenly looked unfamiliar, if there was a continuous parade of strangers hovering over you and asking you to do things, and if you couldn’t remember simple things like how to swallow a pill… well, most of us would be royally pissed off.  … More Lesson #26: No Apologies Necessary