Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Fifteen Minutes Are Up

Lately there has been an abundance of platitudes about and for caregivers as November is National Caregivers’ Month.  There are days when it seems to have that aura of a Hallmark holiday.   I can envision ALS caregivers wanting to scream.  Telling ALS caregivers to be good to themselves and to make time for themselves usually comes from people who have little ALS caregiving experience.  It’s a nasty, demanding disease, and to add to the physical exhaustion, caregivers are sucked into a uncontrollable catastrophe where a loved one is slipping away.

So instead of suggestions of support groups and massages and special time to oneself, we would all do better to drop off a dinner (everything… not just a main course) or rake the leaves or run some errands or clean the gutters for a caregiver.

And I will pass along  one thing that was so helpful to our family in dealing with ALS.  We learned it from another family that had been dealt some pretty crummy cards in life.  They had a 15-minute rule.  You get 15 minutes of self-pity every day.  When your 15 minutes are up, you have to move on and deal with life. 

I can’t tell you how many times we had to remind one another that our 15 minutes were up.  We smiled and moved on.  The 15-minute rule was a caregiver’s best friend.

May God be with all who are caregiving and dealing with ALS, both this month, and every month.

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