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Posts Tagged ‘respect’

I put together a little video about my latest skiing adventure. I hope you get as much chuckle from watching it as I did making it!

Skiing

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I just got home late last night from a week of skiing with NEHSA (New England Healing Sports Association).

This was the first sports clinic that I have been too and I now realize how much fun I have missed for the past 20 years.

This particular clinic was held at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire. I cannot say enough good about the organization, the location and the Veteran’s Administration for putting on such an event.

The skiing was SO much fun! But the bonus for me was meeting so many great participants and volunteers to make the week a huge success.

A special thanks to my ski instructors, Mark and Kevin! They were phenomenal to work with and get to know. And to Ken who joined in with our group and let us use his Go-Pro to capture one of my “finest” moments! lol

The plaque on the trophy that I was awarded says it all! And here is a link to a video to show my comedic moment. Skiing 

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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IMG_0324Living with a disability is not easy, and it certainly creates daily challenges on many levels. But there are unsung heroes and heroines in our lives that often have it just as difficult: Caregivers.

 
I want to preface my upcoming thoughts with a disclaimer. Because of my level of injury, T8 paraplegia, and my age, a very youthful 51, realistically I do not need a caregiver. What I am going to share with you is how my wife Wendy and I deal with my disability. There have been instances over the past 15 years when Wendy has traveled and I stayed home fending for myself. And guess what? I survived just fine. The reality of being alone just means that things will get done, but at a slower pace. I’m the clunky old steam engine and Wendy is the Maglev high speed train. She makes my life so much easier and spoils me rotten.

 
The responsibility of caring for a loved one usually falls on a family member. One would think that being family would make the situation easier to deal with, but in fact, it can often make it more difficult. Since I am the disabled person in this story, I will describe my own situation. Remember that every instance is going to be different when caring for another person, but a respectful and proper attitude from both sides is essential.

 
After my injury, one of the very first things that Wendy was adamant about, was that she was my wife and not my caregiver. As true as that may be, I think as time went on the two roles blended. Wendy does many things for me as half of a marriage relationship, but she also does many things for me that I would normally do on my own if I was not in a wheelchair. But what if I approached each day with a sour attitude and a grumpy disposition? That would have a negative impact on our marriage and I’m sure would affect the many things that she does for me throughout each day acting as a caregiver. For instance…I’m typing this blog on my laptop while I am laying in bed. Wendy just ran by and I asked her if she could get me a drink. No problem at all as she went to the kitchen to get my drink and bring it back for me. Yes I am very capable of getting my own drink, but the effort of getting up, transferring into my wheelchair, rolling to the kitchen, pouring my drink, balancing it as I roll back to bed and transferring back into bed, means that I would probably choose to stay thirsty. I tend to weigh things in life now by how much time and effort it will involve on my part. Due to some injury complications, my stamina is not exactly on the high side and by the end of the day, it is gone completely. Wendy is more than willing to constantly help throughout the day with many tasks that would not normally be asked of her. Some of that is “wife related” and some of that is “caregiver related.” Either way, Wendy deserves my respect and a proper attitude from me, as do all caregivers. In the disabled/caregiver relationship, respect and attitude from both parties is a must. Speaking from the disabled perspective, I should never forget how much Wendy does for me in her care-giving role. If you are a caregiver, there is nothing wrong with discussing lack of respect or improper attitude. Let your loved one know how you feel in a loving way. It will maintain a proper and healthy relationship.
Caregivers often give round the clock care with lack of sleep, worry, demands from the person needing care as well as other family members and no time for personal needs. The last thing they need is a bad attitude from anyone, especially a loved one.

 
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude”.
–Amy Tan

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