Friday, October 23, 2009

New perspectives........

In a heartbeat, I've gone from patient to caregiver.

A few days ago, my 75 year old Mother had a stroke. Though she remains completely lucid and seems very aware of the bullet she dodged, her life is forever changed. So is mine.

While spending countless hours at our local hospital seeing that her needs are met, I found something. Meaning to my life.

Not that I have led a meaningless life, but since my diagnosis I have defined the meaning of my life in terms of how and when I was going to die. I focused on making sure my wife could live financially well. House and property paid for, dependable car, debt free. How shallow is that?!

In caring for my Mother I forgot about my illness. For the first time in nearly a year, it was gone. Meaningless! No matter what happened, I couldn't die now. She needs me.

Is it possible that my illness will give meaning to the lives of my loved ones? Can I deny them that?

Damn, this is complicated.

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9 comments:

  1. Hurray! You get what I've been trying to tell you. I will pray for your mom's peace of mind and joy as she experiences the loving kindness you have for her. Please look at Ephesians 3:16-21 for you. :)

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  2. Hey Bob, so sorry to hear of your mom, our mom's are our rocks, and now you must be her rock, and it sounds like you are. We were just in Iowa at the cabin, to celebrate my mom's birthday, 78, and she is so important to us. It saddens her so to see Kel's declining abilities, we were playing silly dice games and poker games, and we could all see how he struggles with comprehension. I just got the paperwork today from my meeting with the elder lawyer, my will is now very detailed to make sure Kel is taken care of if something happens to me. Next we fill out , both of us, our living wills, we both feel no machines, and Kel definetly wants no feeding tubes. I don't want to ever to make that decision for him. From a previous message you mentioned a posting Kel should read, what was it? Did I tell you he no longer drives at all. But he is riding a bike still and doing ok. He has relinquished all control now of his stock trading as he no longer wants that pressure. I am glad that i didn't have to suggest it, he volunteered it on his own which really surprised me. Our daughter just totaled her car, she is ok, just brusied, we luckily had Kel's car to give her for now..I will go to 8 am mass tomorrow and offer a prayer for your mom. karla

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  3. It's not complicated. It just is what it is...life. You are a giving, loving and caring man for all that you do. Not only for caring for your mother but all the other things you call "shallow" like making sure your family is taken care of later.

    Your mother is beautiful. Hope that she is better.

    You're a good man charlie brown!

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  4. A lot of people were very quick to write me off after my recent illness. The mind stays sharp, but the limbs are a few steps behind.

    It gives me more determination to recover by the hour. One thing that has never entered my mind, is to quit!

    Give your mammy my regards.

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  5. Anne,
    Isn't it a drag what it takes to open ones eyes sometimes.

    Karla,
    I'm sorry Kel is having some mental issues. I'm hopeful (but paranoid) that CBGD will spare my mind. Thanks for the prayer.

    Theresa,
    Are you always so positive or just for me? Thanks!

    Jimmy,
    I resent having to ask for help when I've spent my life fiercely independent.
    I never considered quitting but I would like to exit on a high note.

    Secretia,
    Believe me, it is my pleasure.

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  6. "Is it possible that my illness will give meaning to the lives of my loved ones? Can I deny them that?"

    My dear CW, what a wise man you are! You know what "they" say... 'be careful what you ask for; you may just get it!' Wisdom is better than GOLD! :)

    You ARE a GOOD EGG!

    Oh... and thanks for the sound! I LOVE it and I feel honored! :)

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  7. Hello!

    First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your mom, and am so glad you were able to care for her.

    I'm so thankful I found your blog! My dad has been recently diagnosed with CBGD after years of a diagnoses of Parkinsons. I knew in my heart it seemed a little off. However, the correct diagnoses was heartbreaking, but definitely explained a lot of his symptoms.

    His most recent symptom are hallucinations, which seem prominent when he is extremely tired but isn't sleeping. We actually are able to find a little humor in this because he has comical hallucinations--thank God--and not horrible ones. He seems to really be enjoying himself during the hallucinations and does laugh with us when we tell him about it, and he does remember them.

    My dad is 67. When he was diagnosed, of course I was crying and he said, "Don't worry about it. When it is your turn to go, it is your turn to go." I chuckled because who would have expected that to come out of someone who has just been diagnosed with a horrible disease?

    He is an inspiration to all of us with his attutide. He never complains. My mom is basically doing just about everything for him. He does have extreme pain in his left hand for some time now. That is his least favorite part.

    I could go on and on, but before I go, I do find it interesting that your field was mechanics. My dad was a mechanic for many, many years. Also, my mom was lucky enough to be in touch with a pharamacist in our town whose dad had the disease so he is more support for her. But his dad was also in some type of mechanic field. What I read about CBGD is that chemicals were not a cause of this disease, but I'm not so sure!

    Take Care, and May God Bless You and Your Family!

    Michelle

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  8. My mother was also diagnosed with "probable CBD". They can't tell for sure what a person has while they are still... intact. I'm in no hurry. If you would like to read our account, you can find it at www.perpetualcommotion.com/a/preface.html

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