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Thread: If you can stand it, here's another blog post on how we think about Care - Do WE CARE

  1. #1
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    Default If you can stand it, here's another blog post on how we think about Care - Do WE CARE

    http://www.donnathomson.com/2014/01/...-money-or.html

    Sending love from Ottawa, Canada where it is FREEZING and I have a cold (but thanking my lucky stars for Advil cold and sinus :)
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    ((((((Donna)))))) ~

    Warm hugs, a hot toddie or two, and healing prayers for you, dear friend. May both afflictions of cold soon vanish.

    I agree that both community involvement and government programs are vital to care providing. We've had leaders in the U.S. through the years suggesting that churches and community organizations bear the brunt of care for and assisting those in need. Of course, they can't, nor should they.

    On my walks, I've met many neighbors, whom I would never have met otherwise. Mostly seniors and elders in their 70s to 80s. (Makes me feel like a youngster, and yet these folks can out-walk me!) This has been eye-opening for me, as I am now watching them taking care of each other during a crisis.

    My 84 year old pal, Hal and his sweet dog, Daisy, are regulars at the park. Hal's wife has been terribly ill, with multiple issues, for several years. She passed in early December, which I learned when I encountered a younger member of the park's Morning Dog Gathering a couple of weeks later. He told me that he and a few others were checking regularly on Hal, who is just devastated by his loss of his "dear Maggie." He said that he peeked in Hal's window and noticed that there weren't any dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen, so he knocked. Hal said, "I'd never let that happen, but thanks."

    They've coaxed him out, I learned from this same neighbor, and now Hal is back with the Gathering. But each time he greets a friend, who offers condolences, he cries. And they comfort him.

    I mentioned that I would try to get to the park earlier to see Hal, and the neighbor said, "Wait awhile. He's awfully fond of you, and cares about your situation so much. He'll be a sobbing mess, when he sees you. Give him more time to heal."

    Two of the ladies, who used to walk together (like for 30 years or more) are now walking less. One, who is 85, is caring for her 90 year old husband, who was placed on hospice a year ago, with 3 months life expectancy. She takes such excellent care of him, and he's still here. They are German, with thick accents and remind me of my elders.

    I saw him on Christmas morning, as he was standing at his wrought iron gate, hanging on to his walker. He didn't remember me, and he talked to me for 15 minutes as if we'd never met. I was astounded at how well he could speak without oxygen, since one of his arteries is fully occluded, and two others are 75% blocked. But he was so happy to be outside, in his garden, with the sun shining on his face, and I was grateful to be there to share that moment with him.

    Last week, I encountered his wife, who was just walking around the block for fresh air. She shared with me the burden of caring for him, but she said, "We're married 61 years. Til death do us part. I just hope I don't go first."

    I walked her home, gently providing support occasionally with my hand on her elbow or arm. I touched her softly on her arm and shoulder during our conversation with understanding and reassurance. She has said to me many times that if she didn't know I was a care provider from my telling her, she would still know.

    Her walking partner, who is 74, lives a few houses up from us on the street behind us. Her husband had a heart attack a few years ago and called 911 himself. She and her husband do a great deal of shopping for her walking partner, visit every day to assist in any way that they can, and are available for support at all times.

    We are blessed that our neighbors "two doors down," are like family to us and are always available to help us in a crisis. And they certainly have many times. And we've been there for them too, when their beloved patriarch was ill for a few years and then passed. A member of this family befriended Jon, as he's the same age, and he visits periodically just to hang out with Jon in his Man Cave. Without a doubt one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I'm sure if we asked him to help us paint our house, he'd be here in a New York minute.

    What a comfort it is to know that you have neighbors, who are your friends, and who love you and will go the distance with you and for you.

    Alas, our neighborhood is changing now, as the elders pass, and the homes are sold to younger folks. And I don't notice them banding together the way the older residents have and are now. If they live here until they are 80, I wonder how they will care for each other then. I won't be here, of course!

    Caring for each other is so important. Love thy neighbor as thyself. It's an honor to witness that love, and participate in that love, in my own neighborhood.

    Keep up your fluids and nutrition, Donna. Extra Vitamin D, C, and zinc. Feel better soon!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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    Oh Rose, I LOVE reading about your walks, your neighbors, how you all support one another! I feel as though I know them too. I'm so glad that you have friends nearby who would help 'in a New York minute'! I think any government policy that would put the burden of medical care performed at home on to charities hasn't thought through the idea that someone who needs oxygen is dependent on someone's good will, energy level for volunteering or just "I feel like helping today or I don't". Crazy.
    That is not to say we don't need the kindness of strangers, we do! Friends and neighbors are what makes a healthy community - and I for one, can say I love my friends!
    xo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    ((((((Donna)))))) ~

    The political leaders, who have suggested that charities and churches bear the brunt of caring for those in need, are quite wealthy, have life time health care insurance at taxpayer expense, a pension, and can afford to hire round the clock private nurses. They don't give a flying fig about the rest of us.

    Hope you feel better very soon, dear friend. Take care of yourself!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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    I love your blog posts Donna. I haven't had much time to post lately but I've been reading everyday. I care for a couple small children during the day and a new 5 month old baby started this past week takes up a lot of my time. Anyway, I totally agree with you Rose how can you live that kind of life and completely understand what they are proposing and it's affects on relationships and level of care. I too love reading about your walks...
    It just seems so crazy to even think this could work. I want my friends to be my "friends" I need the kind of support and relief they give to me. Unconditionally they will help if I ask BUT they do it because they want to and do not "feel" a responsibility. I would miss the kind of support they offer. I liken it to those times that I wish I could "just be mom" I want my friends and neighbors to just be friends.
    Mary Grace

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    Hi Mary Grace, my goodness, you have your hands full! You must be such a natural caregiver - you have 'the touch' as they say about those who can calm babies and make their children smile even when they have pain! Your comment about friends being friends is really interesting - it's a bit like people who care for their spouses wanting their 'spouse' back. Thank you ALL so much for joining this conversation! Have a great day, everyone - xo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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