May 2, 2011

The Bad News Day

Schricker,-Mary-Dec2010By Mary Schricker
Realtor – Ruhl & Ruhl Real Estate

“My journey began in February 2007, while on my way home from a vacation. A neighbor of my mother called and reported that she had taken my mom to the emergency room with a migraine headache. I assumed that my mom would be given medication, released, and life would continue as it had. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the end of my mother’s healthy, independent lifestyle? The years since that eventful night were marked by deteriorating health, a loss of independence, and a mourning for a life and relationship that once existed. I watched my vibrant, eighty-five year-old mother, a lady in the truest sense of the word, age overnight. The Sunday morning breakfasts after church, our all-day shopping trips, my mother’s home cooked meals, and life with Grandma as the matriarch all ended in a twenty-four hour period. It took all of us, her family and friends, much longer to realize the loss.

Not everyone’s news comes as decisively as mine did. Sometimes it manifests itself in the form of a nagging pain, a slight loss of memory, or the wear and tear of years of age. Others experience a heart weakened by attack after attack, a stroke magnified by continuous TIAs, a devastating cancer diagnosis, or a gradual diminishing of physical and mental capacities. Regardless of the cause, the end result is often the loss of the ability to function on a day-to-day basis independently without the assistance from others. That is when our job begins. And that is when the questions and concerns begin creeping into our subconscious, and we come to the realization that our loved one cannot make it alone. That is when we climb onto the roller coaster……our ride has begun!”

You have just read an excerpt from my recently published book, “A Labor of Love.” If you are one of the almost 45 million people in America who are acting as an informal caregiver to a family member or friend, you will want to join me for a special evening exploring the world of caregiving (see ad for event at right). This informative seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 31, from 6 to 8 PM at Friendship Manor, 1209 21st Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois. Reservations can be made by calling (309) 786-9667. Walk-ins are also welcome. Signed books will be available for purchase following the presentation.

“There are only four kinds of people in the world………
those who have been caregivers,
those who are currently caregivers,
those who will be caregivers,
and those who will need caregivers.”
– Rosalyn Carter