Becoming a Caregiver

As a care partner to a person with Parkinson’s I provide encouragement, motivation, and support.  In fact, we support each other with a common goal of living well and making the best of everything that comes our way.

On Wednesday of this week I transitioned to being a caregiver and overseeing the needs of my person with Parkinson’s (PWP).  On this day, she received phase one of her Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).  On Friday, she received phase two.  Two surgeries, two recoveries blended into one.  They both went off great, she responded excellent to everything and we look forward to next month when she gets turned on. 

Being a caregiver has taught me to ask many questions and if necessary hold my ground to meet the needs, wants and desires of my PWP.  Being knowledgeable of the disease, medications and procedures is of utmost importance.  Attending doctor visits knowing the doctors, asking questions, being active in the ongoing treatment is essential.  I enjoy being a care partner better because we are active and being aware of each other, as a caregiver what happens is you begin to forget about yourself. Don’t forget about yourself.  As the stewardess says before take-off you need to take the oxygen mask for you before giving it to others.  I found that if I wasn’t paying attention it would not be long before I wasn’t eating, sleeping or getting any exercise.  Take time for yourself. 

It won’t be long before this is a memory and the new and improved 2.0 will be back on stoking the tandem.  We are looking forward to sharing our experiences living well at the upcoming Parkinson’s Place Las Vegas, Movement Fair, January 12th at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health/ Cleveland Clinic.  In addition to all the great learning and gaining new ideas the highlight will be the keynote speaker Tim Haque.  Please take a minute to watch the attached Ted Talk and get a taste of what you will hear from Tim at the movement fair. Great insight for PWP and caregivers.

As Babe Ruth once said, Never, Ever, Give Up! All the best all amazing care givers, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to all!

 - Pat Donahoo

Parkinson's Place