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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.

 

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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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