Taking a quick breath, I look at the calendar and am torn on how to react.
In one sense it’s like, “Oh my God! It’s already Jan. 15?” In another sense it’s more like, “Oh my God! It’s only Jan. 15?” Seems like a lot has happened in the first two weeks of this new year.
Jennifer and I are regular contributors to HealthCentral.com, and we had the opportunity to write the first Question of the Week in 2012 on the website. How exciting!
Our question – “What Would Make Your MS Life Better?” – has generated some interesting and hopeful responses, and there’s still time for you to join the conversation to share your thoughts and help others.
Then, in the first week of the year, we were blown away by the story that respected MS blogger Patrick Leer wrote about Jennifer and me.
His blog, Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver, was developed for, “Sharing the trial and error learned lessons of a MS spouse caregiver / carer about family, home care, and transition to the care facility era from 22 years of living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family.”
When we started blogging nearly three years ago, Patrick’s was among the first we followed. He continues to inspire and educate us through his posts about his life caring for wife, Patti, who is living with a progressive form of the MS.
Needless to say it was extremely touching when we learned through his Jan. 4 post that in caring for his wife, Patrick made the time to read Patti our book, Despite MS, to Spite MS. And it was so very humbling to hear it had a positive impact on two people who have had such an impact on our life together.
Anxious anticipation saturated our living room as Jennifer’s physical therapist Jaren and rehabilitation aide Rima from Physiotherapy Associates, regular daytime caregiver Tami and I sat silently and watched. Jennifer was sitting near the center of the room in a demonstration chair from The Standing Company, which manufactures the SuperStand Standing Wheelchair.
According to the company’s website, “The SuperStand Standing Wheelchair is a very unique piece of equipment. It allows someone who is normally confined to a seated position in a traditional wheelchair to STAND UP and stretch out with ease and safety, at any time, in any place.”
Randy the company representative thoughtfully guided Jennifer through the process of how the chair worked. With her hands gripping the levers placed at her sides, Jennifer gave the standing wheelchair a try.
Tears soon filled our eyes after Rima pointed out the realities of what just happened: Jennifer had just pushed herself up and stood on her own for the first time in almost 10 years.
On her own, with no person assisting her, Jennifer was standing.
A great moment, to say the least. For so many reasons I ran over and stood next to her, among the biggest was because she knows how much I love the fact that she’s actually two inches taller than me!
There’s so much to consider – including functionality, practicality and affordability – as to whether this is a piece of equipment we’ll get for Jennifer to use. But it certainly gives us and so many other people hope just knowing that such a resource is available to help improve our health and quality of life.
Here’s to the hope we all have a great and fulfilling 2012!