Monday, September 22, 2008

When a Young Caregiver looses Someone

Usually, you don't hear too much about people my age witnessing so much death and spending time caring for friends they love. Most my age are quite selfish and would rather hang with friends then think about others. They'd rather party, drink and smoke their life away, and find the next person to get laid with. (My generation is in deep trouble and only God can help.) I, and my group of childhood friends, who are still together by the way, have a different attitude.

When one falls ill, everyone helps. When one dies, we all mourn the loss. All of us have been told quite often that we are wise beyond our years. I can say it is because all that we've been through and all that we've seen and witnessed that hasgiven us a peak into a whole other world that most dont have an opportunity to see. While it has caused some heartache and sadness, a whole lot was to gain. I thank God for all that I experienced--good and bad--as I can use it to help others. My friends do the same.

All of my friends and I, some point in our lives were caregivers, whether we have cared for the mentally challenged or the sick. Along with the tears, we have gained so many rewards.

I had a friend, who passed away this spring from AIDS. I cared for her when she got hurt and did not care about what others thought. I was even exposed to her blood but was spared by the good Lord Jehovah God, as two tests in a six month span came back negative. No doubt, I celebrated with crabs, as I was thankful not to have HIV. What's more, I did not want to be the next in our tight circle to fall dead and cause the others to mourn. We have had enough of that in the last five years.

Last year, someone dear to us died of a heart attack. While she was twice our junior, she still had at least forty years ahead of her. On the bus one day, her heart just stopped. Nobody knows why because she was the biggest health nut. It happened last November, and it hurt us. This woman was extraordinary, as she was a strong pioneer for the blind community and the rights of the people. May she rest in peace. I know i'll see her again in paradise when she is resurrected by the good Lord.

I took care of a childhood friend, who by the way is still living thank God, who was ill for sometime. He contracted Hep. C from bad blood given to him in a transfusion as a child. What a shame, as he is so good with music and is very bright. We pray he lives further into adulthood with the rest of us.

Another girl that we went to school with passed away with stomach cancer a year and a half after we all graduated. I can remember her and how sweet she was. She was so innocent, so nice, so humble. Gosh! I miss her. We all do.

Another one in our group is fighting hard against cancer of the eye. She spent her entire summer in the hospital and is a real true soldier. We continue to pray for her, as she keeps hanging on. Jehovah God be with her.

That is enough. I don't want ot make this post one of great lamenting. I wanted to share some background that my friends and I have had before I give any advice on how a young person should cope with such major losses.

Now that you have the background, I must share some wonderful advice with people in their early twenties, who've lost almost half of their friends in death and who have played a major role in caring for sick and frail people their own age, not the elderly.

First and formost, realize that it is okay to grieve. Grieving is normal and is part of the healing process. Any normal person is going to grieve the loss of the one they love.

Secondly, surround yourself with supportive people. Many times, just being in the presents of others helps you to know you are not alone. A lot of the time, good friends will share in your pain and do anything they can to help.

Keep busy. If you stay idle for too long, depression will set in.

Prayer to Jehovah God is another important part of healing. He understands better than anyone else what you are going through. Throw your worries upon him if you are feeling weary, and he shall give you rest.--Matthew 11:28-30. If you are looking at this post and are seeking to find instant comfort, I'll put the verse here for you to see. It reads:

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

With that verse said, you'll really want to meditate on the Scriptures and Jehovah God's promise for mankind, as this has been the most comforting for my lossess and pain. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God always has a positive answer.

When we say, "I feel so alone," God says, “I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”--Hebrews 13:5

When we say, "I'm so scared," God's word says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."--2 Timothy 1:7.

When we say, "I feel so anxious and worried," God's word says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:6,7.

When we say, "I can't go on," God says, "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."--Isaiah 41:10.

When we say, "I can't take anymore. Life is just too hard," God says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”--Psalm 91:14-16.

When we say, "I can't do it," God's word says, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."--Philippians 4:13

These are just a few examples: however, the list could go on. Meditating on just these very things will help. Could you imagine what you'd find in the pages of his word if you read it all the time and carefully examined it?

Finally, remember the good times. Also, pat yourself on the back because you stuck by their side and took care of them until the end.

I hope this has helped.

How a Blind Person Can Be a Caregiver

You may be looking at the title of this post thinking that you are seeing things. But sure enough, a blind person, just like anyone else, is quite capable of caring for the ones they love and care about. To see how it is done, I encourage you to visit and look for the podcast titled, Blind Caregiver. On this podcast, I tell how it is done and give examples. I hope this not only opens the eyes of the sighted world, i also hope this strengthens those who are blind caregivers. Enjoy it, and i look forward to your feedback.

To All My Readers

Since December of 2007, I had a career change. I started my own company repairing, troubleshooting, and fixing computers, which has caused me to be busy beyond belief! i'd like to appologize for not adding more fresh information to this blog in a timely fashion and promise to stay on top of hings. I felt I owed you all an appology.

I want to thank all of you for your support,your wonderful emails, and for some of your comments. I love hearing from you all, as it truly enriches my blogging experience. Should you have any questions about anything at all, or should you want to see certain information up on this blog, please let me know.

Soon, i will be offering an opertunity for others to be invited here so they may share caregiving information base on personal experiences to help anyone who may come into contact with this blog on their quest to find proper information and advice for dealing with something so difficult. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to This is the company email, and it is checked daily several times a day. So I will not miss any responses.

Thanks so much for your continuous reading of my blog, and stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Important Notice Concerning the Post "A Safe and Humane Way to Contain Your Loved One"

I'm not sure what is going on: however, the sites in that post link to a 404 eror page. i'm not sure why becuse the HTML was entered correctly. This is not happening on the rest of the blog. It's just this post. i'm puzzled about this and hope it can be solved soon.

The site addresses are correct. Just copy and paste them in your browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

A Safe and Humane Way to Contain Your Loved One

You have a mother, father, or spouse who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Your loved one wanders in the middle of the night or is putting themselves into danger. You feel helpless as you do not know what to do. Then, there is the handicaps/special needs adult who poses a danger to himself and needs to be contained for safety reasons. He gets out of bed, messes up the house, puts things in his mouth, and sometimes, wanders away into danger.

Does any of this sound like your situation? Do you feel helpless right now? Stop right there! Help is on its way. Here is a solution.

The most humane way to contain your loved one and still ensure his comfort at the same time is to invest in an adult crib. Some may scorn you because they think it is weird or inhumane. But, wouldn’t you think it is better then tying them up or locking them in a room? Let’s compare the options and see why the adult crib would be the best way to go.

Tying Them Up

Wow! That right there just makes me quiver. This option makes it seem as though the person is the equivalent of an animal or hideous beast! Not to mention, when tied down, he is not comfortable in the least bit. He cannot change positions to get a good night sleep, and he is stuck in the same position the entire time which, many of us know from personal experience, can become excruciatingly painful. Have you ever slept in one position to wake up feeling stiff and in pain the next morning? That is what would happen if you should decide to tie down your loved one. This is a common method used in institutions which is one reason why I hate them. How sick!

Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes. Would you want this done to you? And, don’t you think your loved one deserves to be comfortable?

Locking Them in a Room

This may sound practical: but, it is dangerous. While he is prevented from wandering or ruining the rest of the house, this does not mean the situation is entirely safe. Just think of it. Your loved one could get into things in the room: or worse, he could punch out a window. Even if you should try to be as safety conscious as possible, there are still ways he can injure himself. And, then there are the fire hazards to consider.

Adult Cribs

This is the most humane option. While contained, your loved one still has room to move and breathe. This option is the least of the cruelest, and I’ll explain why.

When you put a baby in its crib to lie down for sleep or to get some chill time, is this cruel or inhumane? Should this be viewed as punishment? No way. And, why do babies sleep in cribs? Well, common sense would say that it is to contain them and to keep them out of danger. So, if the adult you are caring for has the mindset of a small child and needs to be contained for safety, doesn’t the same situation apply? Sure it does!

You may try to reason with yourself that the person’s age has something to do with it. Or, you may say that this option is not appropriate for adults. But, if you have this reasoning, you fail to remember that the adult in which you are dealing with is not just some ordinary adult. And many times, he is not his chronological age meaning that he is not the age he is mentally. His mental age will be something very different than the age he actually is. You are dealing with a special needs situation. Thus the investment in an adult crib is a sound and practical one.

With that said, here are some sites which you can order them.

The first site is at I believe this was originally made for the crazy people called adult babies: however, you can get cribs and changing tables for those who are disabled. When I inquired about the furniture, they were very nice and polite. They are worth doing business with.

The next site is at, and is a medical wholesaler. The biggest crib that can be purchased there is a youth crib that is seventy-two inches long. This could fit a grown woman if she is not extremely tall. Possibly of about five/four or five/five.

Another site is found at

It's great that there is a company like this so the disabled can still stay at home and be kept out of danger in a humane fashion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Should Male Nurses Work with Female Patients?

I feel that it is fine. I don’t really care though I do feel strange with someone of the same sex doing my care. I’m not sure why. I just do.

I know that there is the stereotype that all nurses are female: but, if society is supposed to be equal opportunity and allow everyone the same rights, shouldn’t males have the rights to be nurses, too? Yes they should.

Also, what is all this junk that a male needs a witness and a female does not? In this day, the women are just as bad as the men. They’ll have sex with anything that walks, and they seem to have issues with self control just as bad as the men. They can have the same sexual attractions toward the opposite sex as men: therefore, the rules should apply for all of them across the board. Either they both need a witness or they both do not.

Why is it that a woman can do the procedures on a male, and not have a witness but a male cannot do the procedures on a female without having a witness?

Isn't that racist or discrimination of a kind?

Wouldn't it make sense that if a male needs witness to do his duties on a female, that a female needs a witness to do her duties on a male?

Sure, I think that makes a lot of sense.

Just think about it, some males may not like females doing their personal duties. As a matter of fact, I’ve dealt with some that have expressed this as I’ve helped with intimate care of friends of mine in the past for one reason or another. I don’t get all bent out of shape because they have different body parts. They need help. Why should they be neglected? I don’t shirk my duties because they are the opposite sex.

Then, there are others who prefer to have someone of the opposite sex such as I since there is a big thing about gays and lesbians now. You sometimes have to wonder, Is this person assisting with my care gay? Will that person have other things on their mind while caring for me? For me personally, I feel strange with someone of the same sex doing my personal care. I don’t know why. I just feel weird. And now that this whole thing with homosexuality has come about, I’m even more inclined to request the opposite sex if possible as I feel that having someone of the opposite sex care for me is a safety against this. Look at it this way, there is a risk. That is the kind of world we live in. And, it is also your choice. You have to weigh the benefits and risks in your own mind. The final decision is yours.

Most of my doctors have been males, and I do not require them to have a witness when dealing with me. My current physician is a male also. Personally, I feel strange seeing a female doctor as it seems out of place for me. It seems out of my norm though I’ve seen one very nice female doctor during my time and would strongly recommend her to anyone. My point? Anyone should be able to practice all forms of medicine free of discrimination.

I feel that people are just bent out of shape and take things too far. Sex is on the minds of everyone, and quite frankly, I think it’s stupid. My thoughts are that if they have the license and are qualified to do the job, I could care less.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Something That Touched My Heart Today

I work fulltime (seventy plus hours a week) as a professional writer and editor, and today happened to be one of my stressful days as i had alot of catching up to do. Anyway, I had an assignment from my company to write about coping with a terminal illness. It is a subject that I had deeply enjoyed since it relates to my interest in caring for people. i have alot of caregiver experience which naturally made this writing topic one of deep passion!

As I was doing my research for the assignment, I came across something that I will never forget. It changed my life and reinforced my values of caring for people. It was an interview that a nurse conducted with an HIV infected woman, and the woman had some very powerful words to say to that nurse. Check out the article below;

Tuesday, November 14, 2000
The Importance of a Human Touch
By Megan Baird

I’m scared. Right now I am 21 years old, a senior in college, six months pregnant and one year ago I found out I am HIV-positive.

I know what I just told you made you uneasy. I know it made me uneasy to say it. How would you respond if someone told you this? How would it make you feel?
This person could be anyone. She could be a friend, a neighbor, a colleague or even a relative. Two years ago she was my patient. Let me tell you how I

It was my first interview with a patient, and I must admit that I was nervous, very nervous. I didn’t want her to know this was my first interview and I
was unsure of myself. I took a deep breath and called her in. Her name was Jennifer.

I tried to be as professional as I could during the course of the interview. When she told me she was HIV- positive and pregnant, I quickly wrote down the
information and attempted to be unaffected by her response. My mind was racing, and I found it difficult to concentrate. I had so many concerns for her.
How was she dealing with her diagnosis? Was she scared? I tried to shake these thoughts from my head. I had an interview to conduct. I needed to be strong
and confident and not let Jennifer see my weaknesses.

In the middle of my questions, she stopped me. She looked at my name tag and asked, “Megan, why didn’t you tell me how you felt when I told you I had HIV?
Why didn’t you respond?” I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. I slowly put down my clipboard, looked up at her and asked, “How does it make you feel?”

She told me she was scared — very scared. She said she felt very alone sometimes and she was afraid of what her future held. She had dreams of becoming
a lawyer but was devastated when she found out she was HIV-positive. She was worried about how people would treat her, and, most importantly, she was concerned
for the health of her unborn child.

I told her how I felt when she told me — how I had wanted to comfort her but that I was afraid to be unprofessional.

It was then that she told me something I will never forget — something that has changed my approach to nursing and given new meaning to the career path
I have chosen. She said, “Megan, never grow cold to your patients’ needs. That’s how many doctors and nurses deal with the emotional strain that comes
with caring for people. They find the stress and heartache too difficult to handle and eventually grow numb to it in an attempt to cope. Don’t ever let
this happen to you. I am not just a disease, not just a check on a piece of paper, not just a diagnosis. I am a person. My illness cannot just be treated
with medicine; it must also be treated with tenderness and compassion. I am just like you. I have hopes and dreams just like you do. I know that you get
scared and hurt just like I do. Only when you realize this will you truly be able to care for, heal and help people.”

When the interview was over I wished her luck and thanked her. She then turned to me and said, “You are going to be an amazing nurse someday, Megan.”

I came to Georgetown to become a nurse and became a better person. Some of the most rewarding moments of my college education have occurred when the books
are closed, and I am face to face with another person. Through these encounters, I have learned to be comfortable with my own emotions and responses. In
sharing this personal part of myself with other people, I am beginning to understand how vulnerability can lead to strength and not weakness. My exchanges
have not been one-sided, and I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to listen to others and share their journeys with them. This shared experience
has helped me to recognize the person in myself and the person in those around me.

At the end of May this year, the members of the senior class will leave Georgetown with degrees in hand. But these degrees are a testament to only part
of the education available here. There is not a certificate symbolizing what I have learned from my family, friends, patients, teachers and the strangers
who have changed my life with one brief encounter. These people have made me a better person, and I wish I could thank them all. Maybe I am not the one
who deserves the certificate of achievement, but then again, maybe I am their reward.

Megan Baird is a senior in the School of Nursing.

Please people, always remember this. It is something that should never be forgotten. The vulnerable (those who are special needs, mentally retarded, or invalid), the sick, and the dying need you. Let's not be so quick to forget that. One day, you will need someone. That's how it always happens, isn't it? I feel extremely rewarded helping, giving to, and caring for others. Yes, it can be draining to the point that all energy is zapped, and it can feel like the end of the world sometimes: however, nothing--no matter the richest accomplishment, the biggest reward, or the greatest gift--could replace the experience of making another's day by imparting to such a vulnerable soul that you are always there and dearly love them.