When what you prepared for isn’t what’s happened

I know it seems like forever since I’ve posted. Life has been busy with Patrick quite ill. He is on his 2nd admission since January and we are now heading into week 7 of this one. He is not looking at being able to go home till some time after the end of May.

Last year, after Patrick’s Wish Trip and before Christmas, I finally did something I should have done years ago. I created a ‘fan page’ for Patrick on Facebook. It was an easier solution for people who follow him and see what he’s up to and how he’s doing.

I just wanted to post this quick update that we are still here and hanging in. Patrick has been quite seriously ill. All the updates have been posted on his page if anyone would like to follow along.

https://www.facebook.com/notbythebooks

Watch for more…thanks everyone for your support!

Have an awesome weekend!!

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One week to Drop!

Training is tomorrow!! We become super heroes NEXT Thursday and rappel down 26 stories to raise money for Easter Seals!

They have been such a great help for Patrick over the years and we need this program to be able to stay around to help ALL families with children with disabilities!!

This means a lot to me!

Please don’t hesitate!! You can donate up till next Thurs!  PLEASE help me reach my goal so I can participate next week!  Any amount will help!  Donate online by clicking the link below or writing a cheque made out to Easter Seals Ontario.  Cash and email money transfer is acceptable as well.  Email me for details.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Thank you so much!

Come on out to One London Place next Thursday and watch all the Super Heroes do their part for Easter Seals!!

Hugs my friends!

Heroes in the home

What is your definition of a Hero?  Do you know any Heroes?  Do you consider anyone a Hero?

Have YOU ever been called a hero?

What a way to start off this post asking so many questions.  Wait, I have more!

Are you a caregiver?  A Mom?  Do you look after a family member or friend?  If so, YOU are a Hero!

There are different definitions of a Caregiver.  Wikipedia has an interesting definition of Caregiver:

Carer (UK, NZ, Australian usage) and caregiver (US, Canadian usage) are words normally used to refer to unpaid relatives or friends of a disabled individual who help that individual with his or her activities of daily living.

The words may be prefixed with “family” “spousal”, “child” to distinguish between different care situations, and also to distinguish them definitively from the paid version of a caregiver, a Personal Care Assistant or Personal Care Attendant (PCA). Around half of all carers are effectively excluded from other, paid employment through the heavy demands and responsibilities of caring for a vulnerable relative or friend. The term “carer” may also be used to refer to a paid, employed, contracted PCA.

The general term dependant care (i.e., care of a dependant) is also used for the provided help.[1] Terms such as “voluntary caregiver” and “informal carer” are also used occasionally, but these terms have been criticized by carers as misnomers because they are perceived as belittling the huge impact that caring may have on an individual’s life, the lack of realistic alternatives, and the degree of perceived duty of care felt by many relatives.

More recently, Carers UK has defined carers as people who “provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner”. Adults who act as carers for both their children and their parents are frequently called the Sandwich generation.

A general definition of a carer/caregiver is someone who is responsible for the care of someone who is mentally ill, mentally handicapped, physically disabled or whose health is impaired by sickness or old age. To help caregivers understand the role they have taken on, “Next Step in Care”[2] outlines the following:

You are a caregiver if you:

  • Take care of someone who has a chronic illness or disease.
  • Manage medications or talk to doctors and nurses on someone’s behalf.
  • Help bathe or dress someone who is frail or disabled.
  • Take care of household chores, meals, or bills for someone who cannot do these things alone.[3]
It’s my Duty Isn’t it?

With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of carer has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. Many organizations which provide support for persons with disabilities have developed various forms of support for carers as well.

What is YOUR description of a Caregiver?

As caregivers, I don’t think we give much thought to what we do.  We just do it.  It’s natural, it’s what we do.  We become masters of multi-tasking, juggling appointments, preparing lunches and making meals, transportation, cleaning, laundry and more.  We are teachers, doctors, nurses, chefs, handyperson’s, therapists, advocates/speakers, to name a few, all wrapped into one.

When was the last time someone complimented you on everything you do?  When was the last time someone thanked you for all you do?

When was the last time someone called YOU a Hero?

It’s not always easy or comfortable to hear those words, because to us it’s what we do all the time.  It’s our life!   It’s still feels good to hear them though, when we do.

Often people ask me; ‘How do you do it?’  My response of course is, ‘Do what?’  They reply;  ‘Do everything you do with/for your son, and all the things you are involved in.’  What is our usual reply to a scenario like this?  This is my life, I just do it.  Just like you do everything you do in your life and for those around you.

Being Mom to a child with disabilities, we face challenges that many others don’t have.  We all have different challenges in life we go through, but some are more specific, I’m sure you understandwhat I mean.  I hope you do.  We don’t look for pity.  We don’t want you feeling sorry for us and all we go through.  We are proud, just like you!   It’s difficult for many of us to ask for help and/or support for whatever it is we might need.  Although there are days we think we must be superman, we know we aren’t.  It’s tough for us to take time for ourselves, but we learn, slowly and it’s something I don’t think any of us perfect.

A week or two ago, one of my son’s workers asked my permission to nominate me for an award through CCAC (Community Care Access Centre).  I wasn’t sure what it was about or for, but she needed my permission to submit my name.  Since things have been so busy with Patrick the past month, all I got was that it had something to do with being a caregiver.  I gave my permission and honestly didn’t think about it again, till this past Friday when I received a letter in the mail from CCAC.

An initiative of South West CCAC and the healthline.ca

Congratultions!

We are pleased to inform you that Michelle S. has nominated you for a

HEROES IN THE HOME Caregiver Recognition Award!

There is a special celebration  on October 20th to receive this award.

WOW!  How sweet of Michelle to think so much about me to feel I would give justice to and deserve this recognition.   I really am blessed!  The girls who come work here, love working for/with Patrick and I.  We become like family and care for and about each other.

How amazing someone thinks of me as a Hero!  It’s an indescribeable feeling.  I’m just me after all, always am, have been and always will be.

I am very grateful for everyone in our life who loves and supports us.  I am grateful for all the things, whether big or small that anyone does with and for us. I often wonder how I could ever repay everyone for all the kindness, love, support etc that they have shown us.  It truly is overwhelming some days and I don’t think I could find enough words to express it.

For tonight though, I will say thank you!  Thank you to all of you!  May you know you are loved and thought of fondly often.

For tonight, I will check on Patrick before I crawl into my bed, and fall asleep knowing that someone thinks I’m a Hero.  And I will let myself have warm fuzzy feelings, even if it’s for a short time because tomorrow I will wake up and do it all over again.

Let me leave you with one more thought…

YOU are a Hero too!! 

Update 5 – one of those appointments

Change of plans…

The past couple days have been fairly quiet.  Not much really can be done until the new valves for the Shunts come in.  Can’t really do much else either until there is O.R. time available.  Should he deteriorate quickly, he would be taken into the O.R. of course and given another type of Shunt, if his aren’t in.

Patrick is still getting heachaches, but none like the other day thankfully.  He has been going down to the Child Life Playroom and doing some crafts for about 20-30min depending on how he feels, which is good and gets him out of his room for a bit.

Today a Ventriliquist was visiting on the floor, her name was Sue and she brought Boomer the Mouse with her.  She came and saw Patrick twice today, he liked that and thought she/they were pretty funny.  Boomer told some jokes, made some funny comments, asked Patrick questions and sang a few songs ranging from The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars, The Black Eyed Peas to Kesha.  He liked the singing.  Patrick likes Jeff Dunham, so it was no surprise he liked Sue & Boomer.  Thankfully she caught him feeling not too bad to enjoy it.

This morning at 7:30am was Patrick’s CT Scan.  Dr. Ranger and Dr. Pinkoski were by afterward to see how he was doing and discuss the results.  It was nice and surprising to hear Patrick’s ventricles have come down a little.  They still are large for him, but down from previous, which was good news.  What does that mean?

It means, regardless what the scan says/shows, the programmable valves on his current Shunts are not working properly and still need to be replaced.  The valves will arrive Tuesday and surgery will be Wednesday.  Again, if he has issues and deteriorates in the mean time, he will go in to the O.R. and have different shunts put in.  We are all hoping he can hold off till his come in, as they are specific for/to him for a reason and have been working great for him the past 6-7 years till now.

The change in plan is the following:

They were going to allow Patrick and LOA (Leave of Absence) for a night, to go home and get out and away from the hospital for a little bit.  My concern was if he had another headache like the other day, I have nothing here to deal with that kind of pain for him.  They said they would send a script home for codeine just in case.  At that point I felt ok with that and being away for one night.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought perhaps going home for the weekend would be a good idea.  It would mean having to be dishcharged instead of having an LOA.  The LOA’s are only 8-10 hrs typically, but one overnight was agreed for Patrick.  Anything longer requires discharge.  At first, I didn’t want to go through the whole admitting thing again, or sit in emerge if something happened while at home.

I decided it would be ok and good for everyone to go home, sleep in our own beds, no interruptions, comforts of home, cooked meals etc…and I had the script to fill if he got another bad headache.  Of course there were stipulations, obvious as well, he was to be watched, if he deteriorated get him in, if he had bad pain again give him codeine and bring him in if necessary…AND…we had to be back Tuesday after lunch to be admitted again and prepped for surgery and see anesthesiology.  We can sit around at home and be more comfortable.

I am ok with him home and having the script, just in case.  I know him and what he’s like and what happens with him well enough and Dr. Ranger knows I am good that way, that if i have concerns, I will take him in.  If he goes into emerge with pain that bad in his head,…we won’t be waiting long!!

So…we are home, although temporarily, we are home!  Script filled and relaxing.  Sleeping interruption free and being comfortable.  🙂

Confidence

I was asked to write something as a guest author on Jason Bournes Blog. Here it is. Check out his blog and his journey, as well as other guest authors he’s had. Enjoy! 🙂

CONFIDENCE

 

 

Today I want you to ask yourself this one question – WHY?

“Why not you?”

Why not you to do something for work that you love?

Why not you to have a healthy body?

Why not you to have healthy love?

Why not you to be, have, or do anything you have ever dreamed?!

We are so quick to think others are deserving over ourselves. The truth is that we are all deserving so WHY NOT YOU?! -Jillian Michaels