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Network of Caregivers

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My mom is the eldest girl of 10 siblings. Most of my feisty aunts regard her in a respectful maternal manner. After all, the younger siblings she practically raised herself, as my grandmother was just plain old tired.

This past weekend when she called upon one of my aunts to take the lead in assisting me with my activities of daily living, my aunt Gail was eager to rise to the occasion. And that she certainly did. Keep in mind we spent the weekend at my mother’s home. She is in the process of making her home handicap accessible for me. So some things were a little more complicated. This particular weekend I needed more help than I do normally. My aunt Gail helped me to take a shower. She in fact, in the process got as wet as I did.

She found herself huffing and puffing as she attempted to help me dress afterwards. She had trouble working with my legs that refused to bend. She was constantly worried about hurting me, but I told her that in actuality I just might hurt her. As she pushed my legs with all her might, she kept asking me, “How many muscle relaxants have you taken?” She’s learning the lingo.

After we finished and I was dressed she sat, took a deep breath and declared,” Remember, I am 59 years old!” Then she politely fixed her jewelry, and hair and got back to work on me.


By the end of the weekend she knew exactly what I needed, what I could do for myself and what I couldn’t do. My mom’s plan worked out beautifully. I simply enjoyed the company and felt like once again my mom saved the day through the help of my aunt Gail. I love them both!

It helps to have a network of caregivers if you can.

24 thoughts on “Network of Caregivers”
  1. Laurie H. 30 June, 2013on11:54 AM Reply

    How blessed you are to have such a network of caregivers. I wish I had an Auntie Gail in my life. Just seeing her photo makes me smile! My mother is 78 and totally confined to a wheelchair by arthritis and tremors. She has a whole network of caregivers assigned by the State, some better than others. Because of my condition, it’s nearly impossible for me to even visit her (but I will today with help from my little boy.) I grew up isolated from all my relatives, never met any of my aunts or uncles or cousins. My husband has the sole job of being my caretaker – and he never worries about hurting me. Just wrenches my legs into position. Sometimes I think I could use a more tender touch.

    • Nicole Lemelle 30 June, 2013on12:05 PM Reply

      Laurie,I’ll have to show her this!Yes, my husband yanks too!

  2. Gail e. 20 June, 2013on10:49 PM Reply

    It’s Auntie Gail! Thanks for the article with my picture right in the heart of the article! Next time take a SLIMMER picture of me!!! Trust me when I say I do think I get more out of assisting you than you’ll ever know. It’s true that when you help someone your really the one being HELPED! That weekend we spent together kept my mind off my own problems. I’m always glad to be there whenever I can for you! And always remember that!

  3. Roberta 13 June, 2013on11:09 PM Reply

    I have such good friends, coming to get me to go to lunch, etc. When my legs won’t bend to get into or out of the car, they bend them and feel that it must hurt. I wonder why it doesn’t. They just won’t move sometimes, especially in the heat.
    I thank the Lord for the wonderful people in my life.

  4. tc 13 June, 2013on4:27 PM Reply

    I read your blog quite often and learn a lot about your experiences with MS. As I read today I hear how blessed you are to have support from your family, well I want you to know that we are the ones blessed to have you a part of our lives. We all thank you for your courage and strength for how you face the everyday challenges of daily living. We will continue to do whatever our bodies allow us to do, so I guess I need to schedule my workouts. 🙂

  5. My Odd Sock 12 June, 2013on7:28 AM Reply

    Good help is hard to find–but family is the best help!
    I had to chuckle about your aunt’s struggle to bend your legs and worry that she would hurt you. I experience the same and have told many that “you can’t hurt me” as they strain to bend my leg.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Lindsay 11 June, 2013on4:23 PM Reply

    You are so very blessed and I’m quite certain you blessed your aunt even more than she blessed you!

    • Nicole Lemelle 11 June, 2013on6:17 PM Reply

      Lindsay, Tnanks. I never thought about it like. that.

  7. Muff 11 June, 2013on2:45 PM Reply

    Reading your post just brightened my day. It’s wonderful that you have such a loving family who seems willing to step up to help you. Lucky girl!

    • Nicole Lemelle 11 June, 2013on2:56 PM Reply

      Muff, Thanks. What a nice compliment! Thanks for reading and I guess they are alright!!

  8. KIM M 11 June, 2013on10:49 AM Reply

    With the exception of your mother & aunt, I could have written that story! My husband is the one who throws me (not literally) in the shower & dresses me, and he does have difficulty some days with my legs not co-operating. He is also afraid at times he’s going to hurt me, but it never does hurt. Despite having MS I am as healthy as a horse & in perfect health otherwise. When he’s out of town, our daughter comes by. Thank you to all for your help!

    • Nicole Lemelle 11 June, 2013on12:26 PM Reply

      KIM M thanks for reading. Sounds like we both have support.

  9. mary alice buckner 11 June, 2013on10:35 AM Reply

    You are very fortunate girl. I am an only child, parents both deceased, and single. Your family is a big blessing and I know you know all of this. Love to read your stories!!

  10. April 11 June, 2013on10:21 AM Reply

    I, like Lollie, read your post immediately after it hits my e-mail, My husband is my caregiver and very willing to assist me when I need it and lets me do what I can on my own. You are blessed to have your husband, parents and others in your corner.

  11. Lollie 11 June, 2013on8:01 AM Reply

    I always read your post as soon as possible, on the day it arrives. This one about family and helping out is so beautiful. Thank you for the description and your mother’s background. Many of us will have to use a network of caregivers as our parents age, and someday I will be in a similar position of needing a network of care. Your insights are always helpful.

    • Nicole Lemelle 11 June, 2013on12:32 PM Reply

      Lollie, That’s nice to hear. I began to accept that caring for me is not a one man job!

  12. Judy 11 June, 2013on6:56 AM Reply

    You are blessed to have such a community of support.

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