Saturday, March 01, 2008


Taking Care of Others

So many times in life, we have to take the focus off our own problems and help others in need. February was like that for me.

My father has emphysema, but it's controllable with inhalers. At the end of January, he became very ill. Now that we've sorted it all out, there were three things that happened in a a span of a week. He had a reaction to a new drug, Spiriva, he developed a bronchial infection, and he was retaining fluids in his heart and lungs because he was taken off his diuretic.

The combination left us fearful and bewildered. He went from being able to walk 2 miles a day to not being able to get out of his chair without breathing troubles. It was so hard to watch this very active person be reduced to old age mentality.

In this case, it all worked out. Once each problem was indentified and resolved, his breathing returned to normal. The constant fatigue went away. It still took about two weeks for his body to return to health.

Things like this are not only scary for the person suffering from them, but for the family. One starts to think about how much care the person will need, will this be the best shape they'll be in for the rest of their lives, and so on. As a chronically ill person myself, the extra burden of keeping track of the doctors, treatments, and medications of another family member can really be overwhelming. Organization and support are the things that see your through.

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