Saturday, April 27, 2013

Don't Dwell on What you Used To Be Able To Do

My brain injury therapist taught me not to feel sorry for myself and not to dwell on what I used to be able to do. She said to face each challenge and ask myself how I could do the task now, with a TBI. She taught me to search for solutions and helped me to build in helpful tools to assist me with my daily routines. Sounds good. It is, but, not so easy when you are challenged by not understanding hundreds of little things that others take for granted. I will be sharing some of my discoveries.

Tip for today: Make friends with a GPS. You'll never have to be afraid of getting lost again. I used to be intimidated by parallel routes that became mixed in my mind. Now, I just trust my little GPS. It doesn't matter how far I go, I can put in my home address and it will lead me safely home. If you do find yourself at a particular place and don't remember which way to  go, don't panic. Just find a safe place and stop. Give yourself a moment. Chances are your little brain will re-boot and you will be safely on your way:)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Admiration For Caregivers

As I mentioned before, I am a caregiver. I have a TBI and my family member has Parkinson's. I get a double dose of dealing with memory care. It is sad to watch my love as he slowly loses pieces of his life to Parkinson’s disease. One day he knows what a toothbrush is and the next day he is afraid of it. He remembers playing football with his buddies from high-school. But, he doesn’t remember going out to breakfast this morning. It is a huge undertaking to go out to breakfast. I give of my strength and love until I have nothing left to give. Then I reach down inside my heart for a prayer for strength to be able to give more. I must try to make his life as good as it can be while trying to hold on to the fragile pieces of my own life.
A friend of his commented on how difficult it would be to watch him lose his memory. It is difficult for me. There may come a day when he doesn’t remember me, but-I will always remember him. I will remember his laughter and his wonderful smile. I live for that smile. I once said that I would rather have one minute of his time than have a lifetime with any other man. It is still true. To love someone and to watch them disappear is unimaginable. To make a commitment to stay and watch over them and hold their hand throughout the frightening times is unconditional love. I have so much respect for caregivers. If you want to share this feeling of admiration for caregivers, get a copy of the movie The Notebook. You will cry, as millions of caregivers do. But you will see real love. Take care of yourself and those you love.

One resource that I have found to be helpful is a Parkinson's disease caregiver's forum. We caregivers on the forum share our journeys and our joys. When we have a problem, we put it out there and see if anyone else has faced it and found a solution. The forum not only deals with Parkinson's but can be related to many memory care patient issues. Check it out at