Posts tagged ‘Parkinson’s Disease’

January 3, 2012

No Good Night Sleep

Started walking home last night, on Riverside Drive

For two nights in a row I’ve hardly slept at all. Last night started out well. I fell asleep at 10:30. But C. came into my bed at 11:15, calling, “Mom? Mom?” I blew my lid.

I hate yelling, but there I was, yelling, “Are you kidding me? I need a good night’s sleep! Unbelievable! Get back to bed!”

I believe in the future that yelling at children will be looked in the same way we look at hitting children nowadays — a relic of some misguided child-rearing dysfunction.

C. was just being a kid. She was teary. She was probably worried about returning to school after a couple weeks of Christmas vacay. I don’t know what was going on with her, because I didn’t listen. I had no compassion.

At 3 am, after tossing and turning, I tried to express my unhappiness to my husband but he was not as supportive as I needed.  He was watching the movie, Mean Bosses. The crazy-ness of his staying up all night (due to his Parkinson’s) contributed to my sleeplessness and, I believe, contributes to the family sleep dysfunction.

“I need a retreat at a convent,” I told my husband in the middle of the night.

I haven’t been writing much. I’m unhappy. “Maybe I should get on anti-depressants or go back to therapy,” I said.

“I know I should work out.” I tried to walk home last night, but it was too cold and I hopped on the bus when it pulled up beside me.

Happy New Year.

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September 10, 2011

Why I Couldn’t Sleep Last Night

I tossed and turned, my sheets wrapping around me and my melancholy.

I’ve said it before, Mommy needs a good night’s sleep. And last night it just wasn’t happening.

Here are some reasons:

  • I had worries about getting up early to buy and deliver breakfast to 22 kids at the church lock-in at 7 this morning.
  • I do too much.
  • Chris, my husband, is returning home tomorrow after a couple of weeks of being away. It’s an adjustment.
  • I am worried about the expense and commitment of getting Chris help with daily tasks of living for his Parkinson’s Disease.
  • It’s 9/11 weekend. It’s depressing.
  • I’m not exercising much, because of my foot pain.
  • I’ve focused too much on the kids and establishing their back-to-school routine.
  • My bedroom is too hot; the air conditioner is too loud.
  • I went to a MeetUp last night for writers who perform; had a couple of beers. Felt a little jazzed.
  • I did not write much.
  • I have anxiety about work and the possible downsizing of our agency.

I guess that’s enough. I finished Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz yesterday. I so identified with his discovery that we are open to forgive and love other people way more than we accept ourselves. The point of everything, every encounter — even our encounters with ourselves in the middle of the night — is love.

That is, instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the mire and toward healing.

This is tough. I have to find a way to love and forgive everybody, including myself; I need more help. Some problems can be resolved with more help and more love, and some with healthier behaviors. Here’s how I answer myself on last night’s worries:

  • I had to take one of the girls to the pediatrician's office for her ear infection. This was in the waiting room. My thoughts, like cogs, go round and round.

    You delivered the breakfast.

  • You like being busy. Being busy and happy pays off.
  • You’ll adjust to Chris’s return. You have your own travel plans.
  • Just spend the money to get Chris help.
  • This weekend will pass.
  • Exercise any way. Swim. Bike. Run. Do yoga. Do physical therapy for foot.
  • The kids are doing great.
  • Leave the air conditioner on.
  • Decompress with a book or herbal tea, not a beer.
  • Write more.
  • Let go of the work worries; there’s nothing to be done about them any way.

Writing all this has helped. I need more coffee. Maybe later, I can sneak in a nap. (Or exercise.)

September 10, 2009

Health Care for Caregivers

Just checked out the www.1010challenge.org

Everyone has a health care story. This is the first one I read.

As a United Methodist Minister and Health care worker I affirm the church’s position and pledge my support on this issue. As a small membership pastor I do not have health insurance because the congregation I serve cannot afford the rates of the church sponsored plan. Since my health care job is on a “as needed” basis (prn) I do not qualify for health insurance. – Allen Noah Converse, TX

I do not know Allen Noah. But I believe he should have health care. I do not know a lot of people, but I believe we should all have health care. 

I have a place in my heart for people who care for other people – pastors, parents, caregivers, teachers, and doctors. I believe they especially need care. Just because someone does not have a traditional job that offers health care, that person should not be penalized or denied.

Is a small-town pastor less important than a big-time CEO? I don’t think so. As a follower of Jesus, I want to love, care for the least, the lost, the lonely. I want the above-mentioned pastor to have health care. I want the parent who opted out of the workforce to care for her infant to have health care.

I believe a country pastor or a stay-at-home parent is as valuable to our nation – even more so – than a corporate mogul who carries health insurance for his or her family.

I know several parents at my girls’ NYC public school, who have health care for their children, but not for themselves. They cannot afford it. They are parents who have jobs, but those jobs do not offer health care. And even if they did not have jobs, they should still have health care. I worry about them, I worry what would happen if they required major medical care.

God know, my family has needed major medical coverage over the last several years. My 12-year old has had three heart procedures. My husband had radiation for cancer and care for his Parkinson’s Disease. I have absolutely no doubt these procedures, treatments and doctors’ visits would have bankrupted us, had we no health insurance. Surely, we would be a million dollars in debt.

As we in the United States debate how to provide universal health care, I suggest we remember parents and pastors. Let’s not forget people who care for other people. Their work is priceless and too many of them are not insured.

September 2, 2009

“Mom, you’re just too good for me.”

I swear to God my son just said that to me on the tennis court. I swear to God. This is the happiest day of my life. The best thing anyone has ever said to me.

Okay, okay, I’m a little competitive. I take a lot of (too much?) joy in beating people at tennis. I know I should be a bigger person. I should hit the ball gently to a 12-year old. I should hold back. But, God help me, I love to win.

The game was kind of crazy because we played Australian – or is it Canadian – doubles. The two of us against Chris, but Chris’s adding was getting a little funky. It was deuce and he’d say it was 15-30 – that kind of thing. He wanted to sit out. He dozed off on the bench, watching us play. Well, he wasn’t watching. He was dozing.

Hayden and I kept playing. The game was 3 to 0 in my favor. And he said that ill-fated line. “Mom, you’re just too good for me.” Oh God. I can’t tell you how good that felt. I asked him if he minded if we put that on my gravestone. I felt the endorphin rush.

Then he came back. It was 3 to 3. And it was game, set, match point; we were playing to 4 games.

Hayden served. It was deuce, add in, deuce, add out.  It was deuce, add out, then he double-faulted. I hate when anyone double faults, but in this case, I took the victory. It tasted sweet. I’m just too good.

September 1, 2009

Rattlesnake Mountain

We hiked Rattlesnake.

Maybe a fourth of the way up, Charlotte discovered a shedded snake skin stuck to the trunk of a toppled tree. Hayden peeled it up, like a nametag off a suit jacket. He made us all touch it. So yuck.

We arrived at the parking pull-off around noon and I think it was about 3:25 when we returned. Or else it was 3:52. I’m fairly beat now. And will likely feel it tomorrow.

In terms of endorphins, I think I hit them about 20 minutes into the hike on the way down. I was by myself. I felt a rush of well being as I watched my kids holding hands in a tunnel of light ahead of me. You know the kind of yellow light in the middle of green trees on a late summer day. Very nice. Very Hansel and Gretel. Heartwarming.

But then a stick and leaves were thrown. The girls broke into a fight. Catherine threw some kind of handful of seeds or leaves at Charlotte, to make it look like it was raining. And Charlotte took offense, said something nasty like “You touch yourself!” And Catherine said, “I was only making you look pretty.” And Charlotte said, “Without that stuff falling on me, you’re saying I”m not pretty?” in that kind of head-wagging way.

The endorphin buzz was lost somewhere in there.

But that’s what I get, hiking with 9-year old twins, a 12 year old, a 5 year old (Izzy, Kristen’s daughter), a 30-something year old, (Ben, Kristen’s boyfriend) and the husband with Parkinson’s.

I worried that the climb would be too difficult for Chris and Izy. But Izzy was only carried briefly on Ben’s shoulders.

Chris managed pretty well. Unlike our hike up Coon Mountain last week, when he was nearly last at the end of the hike, Chris, this time,  finished towards the front. With the help of a walking stick. And grit.