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I’ve written a couple of article for the Ezine Articles website and would love for you to check it out. If you find these articles useful and interesting please let me know. My latest article is about how stress eating affects my diabetes. Let me know if there is a subject you would like to know …View full post
<a href=”http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-7239766-11460632″>Get $5 Off on First $50 order or more at DiscountMedicalSupplies.com by using coupon code: save5. This coupon is valid through November 30th.</a><img src=”http://www.awltovhc.com/image-7239766-11460632” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″/> There are lots of terrific deals with big savings on items you need. Check it out here, you’ll be glad you did.View full post
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Last night just as we were preparing to go to bed for the night my husbands blood sugar dropped below 50. If you don’t know what that means, let me explain. The normal range for a diabetic is 70-120, with 100 as optimal. Most diabetics will experience a quezy feeling, feel light headed or disoriented and have the “cold sweats”. They need to immediately have a glass of orange juice or piece of candy or anything to bring their sugar level back up. They could go into a coma if the blood sugar drops too low and die. It’s a very serious and scary thing to happen. Fortunately Vic and I know the symptoms and quickly get him something to eat or drink. Diabetics have been known to die in their sleep because they did not wake up. The key is to monitor your blood sugar and make sure it’s in the target range. Our one bad experience, when we were not prepared, caused Vic’s accident that left him handicapped for life. If you have been diagnoised with diabetes or even pre-diabetes make sure you don’t experience these symptoms by taking good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet and exercising. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly, lose weight (it really helps) and take a walk every day or at least do an exercise that you like as often as you can. It’s your life, the only one you will ever have, so be kind to yourself and stay healthy.
As a caregiver I find that the disabled need help with many simple tasks. For example, clipping their finger nails and especially their toe nails. It’s even more important if the disabled is diabetic. Diabetics must take good care of their feet because they may not have much feeling in them and their feet could easily become infected if not taken care of. This can become quite a chore for them if they have a disability that limits reaching or holding anything. They may need help to wash their feet, put lotion on them, or even chip them. This is one of the many tasks that I perform for my husband.
We found out the hard way that a cut on the foot or toe can easily lead to an infection or gangrene. My husband lost a toe a couple of months ago because a small scrap on his toe led to a bacterial infection that ate part of the bone in one of his toes. The toe had to be removed so that the rest of the toes and foot could be saved. My advice to diabetics is “wear shoes” at all times, make sure your feet are clean and dry and keep the nails manicured.
I found a product on line that helps with this little chore and thought I would share it with you. You don’t have to be diabetic to want to look and feel your best and this manicure kit is great for everyone.
FREE SHIPPING, Big Discount with code: PAEN2013
October is the month that this family celebrates birthdays. First was my husband’s mom, Eleanor would have been 90 this year. Unfortunately we lost her in April, but we remember her with love. Next, my husband, Vic turned the big “7″ “0″!!! Wow that was a stunner!, I’m trusting you read my last post and saw the cake and balloons to celebrate. Now, it’s my son Victor’s turn to celebrate his birthday on Oct 18th. Since he lives pretty far away we will celebrate with Skype. What a great invention, especially for family’s that can’t get together on special occasions. Here are a couple of pictures just for fun. We don’t feel like we are a handicapped family right now.
The party was a great success, with lots of friends and family to help us celebrate. Vic was in great spirits and everyone was having a really fun time. It’s nice to have a little moral builder once in a while and this certainly took the cake. BTW, here’s the cake along with the birthday boy and baloons.
Now I’ve done it. Vic went with a friend to help his brother Gary, get some of his belongings to take to his new place and I needed to do some quick shopping. When I got back, my doggie, Bosco, loves to run out into the front yard when I open the garage door. Since he’s a big dog and could knock down the little kids in the neighborhood, we try not to let him run around. I started calling him and he came barrelling down at me. He ran into me with a lot of force. I thought he broke my middle finger on my right hand at first. It may just be jammed, but right now it hurts. Took some Aleve and iced it, now I’ve made a home made splint. Hope it’s better tomorrow and “hubby” doesn’t need to much help from me. I need to be typing my article, but it may just have to wait a bit!Bosco on the deck!
Went to the doctor last week to get the verdict on my finger since it was taking to long to heal. Of course he took x-ray’s and yes my finger is broken. I have to wear a splint for 4 weeks and go back in Nov for a re-check. I should have gone to the doctor right away. Lessons learned here, go to the doctor everything else can wait until you’re back!!!
For the first time since I’ve lived in this neightborhood, I will participate in the neighborhood yards sale. I’ve been working all day to pull out things and tag them for sale. The good part is my husband picked up my “cleanup fever” and is doing his part too. He’s a little slower, but he’s been a big help. Hope all goes well and we move alot of this “stuff” out of the house we collected for years, you know what I’m talking about, my stuff, his stuff, the kids stuff, in-law stuff, parents stuff. You know the saying, “One man’s garbage, another man’s treasure”. Hope it’s true on Saturday. Stay tuned!
Oh what fun, my hubbie got to go to the Nat’s Game with his buddy, John (The Washington Nationals Baseball Team for those of you who don’t know who that is). It was a fun night for him and a “relief” night for me. I went to my camera club competition and visited with my friends that I hadn’t seen all summer. As a bonus, I won two Honorable Mentions tonight for my images on children. It’s really nice for friends and family to give the caregiver a little time to themselves once in a while and to not feel guilty that they weren’t watching over their family member or client. Thanks John. You’re the best!
Thought I’d share a funny happening on the beach. I have to admit I didn’t think it was funny at the time, but now when I look back at it and am telling my friends about it, it really was comical and we learned a great lesson.
We got a late start to the beach that day. Everyone slep later than usual, I think because of all the sun and not being use to being outside for long periods of time. Nevertheless, we were all in good spirits and decided to go down to Teach’s Point. John, my daughter’s husband, was convinced that the fishing was going to be really good there, as he had talked to several locals and they recommended it. Do you know that you have to lower the tire pressure in your tires in order to drive in the sand on the beach and drive slower, but not stop or you can get stuck. Of course, that makes sense, but I’d didn’t know that. So we did what we had to do and finally arrived at out destination. It was beautiful there with the white sand and bluegreen water, and it really came to a point. The ocean was coming into the point from several different directions and it was interesting to watch. The beach had a nice long shore line, but it wasn’t very wide. Above the shore, there were steep hills, trees and scruffy bushes, not fit for walking.
We walked all the way down to the point to set up John and Cliff’s fishing gear and our beach equipment, you know chairs, towels and coolers. We had to have a sturdy chair that sits up for Vic because he has a hard time getting in and out of chairs, so recliners, are out. Vic uses a cane that fits around this upper arm and has a handle for his hand so he can lean to his left to pull himself up. His right side is still not back to normal and he can’t put much weight on it. Attached is a picture of him in his chair at the beach.
The day was so nice and we were enjoying ourselves so much that even though we knew the tide was coming in we stayed a little longer than we should have. Soon we discovered the shore line had disappeared and was covered with water. Rember, I said it wasn’t very wide. There was no way Vic could climb the steep hills or walk through the scruffy bushes so we had to make our way through the water to get back to the car. I was trying not to panic, because I knew it would be hard for Vic to walk through the moving water, and I had to carry our supplies back to the car. We trughed on very slowly, Vic had to stop several times and even though the gear was getting heavier and heavier, I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t leave him on his own. I was afraid he might fall and not be able to get up. I kept thinking, I cannot let my husband drown. As I struggled to keep an eye on Vic and carry our gear as the waves kept crashing on us, my flip-flops got stuck in the mud and I stepped out of one of them. There I was running after my shoe before the ocean could claim it, trying to keep him on his feet and keep the gear from getting wet. I must have been a funny site, as Vic was laughing at me. I quickly accomplished my mission and we finally made our way back to the car.
What a relief. He was exhausted. I was exhausted and thrilled that we had made it back safely. All I could think about was he had fallen twice on the beach and I had to have help to get him back up and in his chair. I wouldn’t let this incident spoil his fun and enjoyment of the beach. We would just play it a little safer the next time.
The thing about going on vacation with a person with disabilities is you have to plan and think about the unexpected and how you will handle it if something happens. A sense of humor helps too when things don’t go as planned. And it goes without saying, hands-on experience is a great way to learn, as we did that day.
I just learned how to add my facebook friends to my website. Hope you all enjoy the blog. If you have any questions or want to share information, please feel free to do so. Just wanted you to know if you need any medical supplies, there is a great connection on my site that offers $5.00 off through September. So if you need something, it’s the time to get it. Thanks.
We got back home Saturday, sun tanned and exhausted. After all the sun and packing the suitcases and food and carrying it all down three stories of stairs, then driving home for 6 hours WE were exhausted. I think I could have slep for days. All I wanted to do was get some rest and much needed sleep. I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the Outer Banks just so you can see for yourself how beautiful this place is. We really enjoyed our vacation, but it was really nice to get home too!
Our vacation at the beach continues to be a really nice time with the family. Of course there are a few “bumpy” moments, but that’s to be expected when lots of people are together, especially family and all the quirky goings on. The skies are a beautiful blue, with fluffy white clouds. The temperature is about 87. All but a few of us are sleeping late after a fun day on the beach, swimming, and fishing.
The house we are staying in is a huge 3 story house on stilts and enough parking for 4 big cars. It backs up to the canal and is really VERY nice. It has everything you could need except a blender, so John went out and bought one so he could make Margarita’s. They were delicious.
We went down to “the point” yesterday which was beautiful and had all this fishing gear, a big tent and lots of chairs. We stayed too long and had to wade through the waves to get back to the car. It was tough, but we made it. Vic was a bit of a challenge though. He fell 3 times yesterday, once when coming down the outside stairs from the house and twice at the beach. I was lucky I had big strong folks around to help me get him back up. He wasn’t hurt, just his pride. We got back exhausted, but happy. Dinner was cheeseburgers on the grill and then a wonderful fluffy bed. Awwww!
We had a great day at the beach in the Outer Banks in NC. It was sunny and rainy and clear and wet. It was great to be with family. The dogs were having fun playing in the sand and beach. The guys are still fishing and we may have a shark in the inlet behind our beach house. Hope your day was good too.
We’ve decided to take a last minute vacation with our family. We are going to the Outter Banks in NC. Lots of packing to do for hubby and myself. Since we are taking the dogs too, we have to pack for them too. Let’s see, his clothes, my clothes, swim suits, medicine, cosmetics, hairdryer, food, drinks, wine, water, snacks, dog food, dog snacks, dog leashes, bed linens, towels, sun screen, chairs. Am I forgetting something? I probably am. Guess who gets to carry all this stuff? Yes, we have to take our own food, etc, because it isn’t a hotel, it’s a rental home so you bring what you think you are going to need for the trip. No, he can’t carry anything, because he only has one working arm and he needs that to hold his crutch in order to walk. Oh well, I’ll be able to sit on the beautiful beach and soak in some wonderful sunshine. What’s better than that?
Talk to you in a couple of days once we get settled.
Our life is ever changing. Vic’s mother passed away in April and his brother has moved again. We work on Vic’s therapy ourselves and have plans to get him driving himself again one day. Right now, I have to do all the driving. For the most part it’s not too bad, but sometimes I wish he could drive himself to his doctor appointments or just to the grocery store. It would be nice to get him back in therapy for a little while to see if he can recover even further. I don’t want him to accept his condition as is. I’m selfish, I want more, I want my husband back the way he was. I want to be able to enjoy our retirement, to travel and do fun things. Sure we can still do these things; it just takes a tremendous amount of planning and my attention to the little details for us to enjoy the trip. Just getting into a car is a hassle for him. When we fly to our destination, I make sure he has an aisle seat sitting in the direction he can best use his left hand to get up. Of course a wheelchair is a necessity for walking long distances. Our financial situation is totally different today. We use to have two incomes, now we have social security and renewals payments from his clients. His disability insurance ended this month, August 2013. It’s “tuff “ to make ends meet. We are working on ways to generate a new source of income. Of course, we want to be able to go out to dinner with friends once in a while and take a vacation. So we are careful with our money these days.
I was born in Thomasville, N.C. and moved to Northern Virginia as a young girl when my father decided to go to George Washington University to become a Patent Lawyer. After graduating from Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, VA, I studied at the Corcoran Art Gallery for a year before I met and married my husband, Victor. After a few years of being a stay at home mom, I decided to go back to school and eventually earned a B.S. in Business from Strayer University and a Professional Photography Degree from the New York Institute of Photography. I have been active in the Vienna Photographic Society for many years earning Photographer of the Year on several occasions and was a principal photographer juried into the Lorton Workhouse Foundation in Lorton, VA. During this time I also worked full time as a government contractor to the Navy and enjoyed traveling to many foreign countries and within the United States.
Vic and I have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, that live all over the U.S., including San Francisco, CA; Miami , FL; and Yuma, AZ as well as internationally in Singapore and Japan.
Before Vic became disabled, Vic’s elderly mother came to live with us. Eleanor was very frail, legally blind and very hard of hearing. She lived with us for 5 years before her care became a 24/7 job and she had to be put in a nursing home. The Miers were frequent visitors to the Nursing Home and I even continued to do Eleanor’s weekly laundry for her because she loved to look her best.
After Vic’s accident that paralyzed him,I eventually had to retire from my contractor job and became a full time caregiver for my husband. This incident, along with being a caregiver for Vic’s mother is the reason for this website/blog. Caregiving is not something most people are prepared for, it’s just something that happens and you try to make the best of it for the person you are caring for and for yourself.
I’d like to begin with a little background of our lives so you can see this story from a caregiver’s point of view. At the time of the accident, I was working full time as a government contractor at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. My job included “tight” deadlines and lots of meetings and travel. My husband, Vic, was an insurance agent and had his own business with his partners.
Vic’s mother had lived with us for 5 years. In the beginning it was not a big inconvenience, she was fun and we had lots of good times sharing our lives and family events with her. At this point in time, I was the main caregiver for my mother-in-law. She was diabetic and we monitored her medications, her shots and her food. She used a walker and a wheelchair, but was relatively mobile and alert until she began having bladder and urinary problems and was hospitalized several times. It became a 24/7 job to take care of her and we eventually had to move her to a nursing home. It took a couple of times of placing her to find the right nursing home, but we persisted, eventually placing her in a wonderful nursing home that met all her needs. As a bonus for us, it was just a 5 minute drive from our home. (Below Grandson Alex with Great Grandmother Ellie).
The day of the accident…
Moving on… the weekend before Valentine’s Day 2011, Vic’s brother, who is also disabled from a car accident and had many physical and mental problems because of it, was moving from his apartment to an Assisted Living Home. Since I had to work, Vic and our daughter and her husband went down to Richmond, VA for the weekend to get him moved to his new home. They got home late and exhausted that night. The next day, we were all ready to “unwind” and enjoy Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner and a glass of wine. A lot had been accomplished and were happy to have his brother settled in his new home.
That night, Vic’s blood sugar dropped. He’s lucky that when this happens, he wakes up. We should have used foresight and had a snack by the bed to quickly bring his blood sugar back up, but we were not prepared. It was about 1 o’clock in the morning and he didn’t want to wake me, so he went downstairs to the kitchen to get some orange juice or a snack. I woke up when I heard him calling me in a weak panicky voice. “Where are you?” I yelled. “Down here, down here”. I ran down to the kitchen, where I found him impelled in the aisle in the kitchen between the stove and the dishwasher. His neck was sitting on the broiler drawer handle on the stove and his feet were stuck on the dishwasher. Our four dogs were jumping up and down in excitement and there was broken glass (the wine glasses) all over the floor. I quickly put the dogs out and went to help my husband. I called 911 right away and then called by daughter, who lives close to us. Everyone was there in just minutes. The fire department is just minutes from our home, so they quickly secured Vic’s neck and put him on a stretcher to take him to the hospital.
We rushed to the emergency room where we met Dr. John Hamilton, who was the Chief Surgeon for spinal cord injuries at INOVA Fairfax Hospital. Vic was in BAD shape, our options were not good, he would die if we didn’t do something immediately. Since dying was not an option we wanted to think about, we carefully listened to what our choices were. Vic would have to have surgery, but there was a chance he could be paralyzed for life with traditional surgery or we could do an experimental surgery that might restore the use of his limbs. We opted for the latter and Vic was rushed into surgery. Six long hours later, the doctor advised us that the surgery was a success but; only time would tell us if he would fully recover. He’s made it this far. (Below our Grandson, Theo visited Papa and Great Grandmother Ellie at the Nursing Home).
Vic spent weeks in intensive care and then 5 months in various hospitals. He was transferred from INOVA Fairfax Hospital to INOVA Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria for physical therapy (best in the area) and eventually to Fairfax Nursing Center (at my request) so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth taking care of my husband and checking in on his mother. By the way, I was still working full time while all this was taking place and had four dogs to come home to whenever I could get there. All this was taking a toll on me and I was very weary from all the traveling back and forth to work and hospitals. It was about a 30-45 minute drive home from the hospital through heavy construction. I was getting home very late every night. I was so afraid I would fall asleep driving home. Somehow, I stayed alert long enough to get home safely. My nerves were on end. I could retire in November when I turned 66 so I was hanging on until I could put in my papers at work. I retired on 31 December 2011 and gave a “sigh of relief” that I could “just” take care of the Vic and his mom and not worry about my job too. Below, Vic and I are having fun at my retirement party.
This blog is for caregivers of people with disabilities. It’s written by a caregiver to give support, advice and encouragement.
Hello, my name is Loma. I’m a young 67 year old caregiver with a disabled husband. I am starting this blog because I feel there are others like me that need support and encouragement in our lives.
My story begins on 15 February 2011, just after a Valentine’s Day celebration dinner with my husband. My husband, Vic, who is diabetic, woke up in the middle of the night because his blood sugar was low and went downstairs to the kitchen to get some juice to elevate his blood sugar. Short version, he tripped and fell backward as he opened the refrigerator door. When he fell he hit the back of his neck on the broiler handle on the stove. He was instantly paralyzed. Fortunately, I’m a light sleeper and I heard him calling out to me. I called 911 and he was quickly whisked to the hospital and had surgery that same day. The prognosis was not good. Our choices were not good. We elected to have experimental surgery and prayed that Vic wouldn’t be paralyzed for life or worse, die on the surgical table. We were lucky, he lived. So my story as a caregiver for my husband begins…
I’ve written a couple of article for the Ezine Articles website and would love for you to check it out. If you find these articles useful and interesting please let me know. My latest article is about how stress eating affects my diabetes. Let me know if there is a subject you would like to know more about. Thanks.
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There are lots of terrific deals with big savings on items you need. Check it out here, you’ll be glad you did.
It’s especially important for the disabeled and their caregiver to get their flu shot. Many cities and stores are giving “free” flu shots to everyone. I’ve seen this advertised from California to Virginia. It’s important for everyone from 6 months to senior citizens to get these shots. They protect you and your loved ones from getting the flu and feeling miserable during the holiday season (which is right around the corner by the way). So take good care of yourself, get the shot, even if you have to pay for it. You are worth it. You’ll be protected so you can feel good and enjoy the holidays!