Multiple Sclerosis: When the doctor is the patient

Dr. Goodson’s insightful perception caused him more fear than contentment. When he recognized the physical changes in his vision and legs, he realized Multiple Sclerosis had come to knock on his door.

Determined to not retire, he set up a small medical office in Higgins Valley. He could still treatment patients. Complicated cases would require referrals. But he enjoyed listening. Watching the light in patient’s eyes when they realize the physician in front of them was not only compassionate, but truly cares.

However, what Dr. Goodson did not want to admit, after five short years, he was having more days when his arms and legs were not obeying his wishes. The first time a patient assisted him to a chair, he convinced his ego that episode would be the last of its kind. Well, he thought so, until it happened again. . . and again. . . and again.

Now the patients, because they adored him so much, counted it a privilege to assist Dr. Goodson down the hallway or get a drink of water for him. They had learned to listen to him almost as attentively as the endearing man they called “Doc” cared for them.

Amy, his wife, could see past the mutual contentment. She had become concerned that people were too attached to the mutual relationship they had with her husband. Total retirement would probably be more difficult. His perception of his limitations blended to what he wanted to see.

Olyvia, his nurse, needed to be the balance between wishes for independence that dreaded thing called reality. She wanted her boss to continue to work as long as possible for his own emotional health. However, when safety concerns fell into their presence, things started to change. Predictably, so did Dr. Goodson.

You can read what happens next, in the chronicles of Higgins Valley Moments.

Golden Independence: A Resource for Safe Seniors

Over sixty chapters detail how to remain safe while aging. Interventions for families of senior citizens offer solutions to issues of memory loss, falls, driving, and other health care concerns. Twenty chapters address personal care. Twenty chapters discuss behavioral challenges. The final twenty chapters outline how to improve home safety for seniors to remain in their own home safely.

This practical resource is full of subjects written by Paula E. Gibeson, RN-BC. With over thirty-five years of healthcare experience and certification as a gerontological nurse, Paula’s first hand experience offers explanations how to support dignity of aging individuals.

Personal Care Subjects include: bathing, bladder, driving, falls, feet, hearing/ears, communicating with doctors, laundry, living alone, medications, memory loss, mobility, monitoring finances, nutrition, pain, personal care, skin care, sleep, teeth, and vision/eyes.

Behavioral Topics include: apathy, agitation, anxiety, boredom, confusion, delusions, eating disorders, hallucinations, hiding things, hoarding, inappropriate social behaviors, insomnia, physically abusive, refusing care, refusing to change clothing, repetitive behaviors, sun downing, verbally abusive, wandering, and wanting to go home.

The areas of the home included in Section Three: Entrance, living room, dining room, home office, kitchen, bedroom, closets, bathroom, medication storage, laundry, craft corner, basement, deck, garage, and gardens.

GOLDEN INDEPENDENCE is available on Amazon and Barns & Noble.

Olyvia’s Story: A Nurse for all Seasons

Olyvia met Zach when she was in elementary school. Sweethearts all through their teen years. At the thought of marrying at nineteen, her parent’s discouragement gave her more determination to have her perfect wedding day.

When their first daughter arrived a year later, Olyvia thought she was living the plan she had seen for her life from the time she meandered the woods with her childhood friends.

Then only a year and half later, nothing seemed real. When she got the call from the hospital, her ears would not let her hear their words. Or perhaps she could hear words, but disbelief was too powerful to comprehend that she had just become a widow.

Even with a four month infant and a toddler, Olyvia’s twenty-second birthday was filled an emptiness. She strove to prove to others that she could take care of herself. Truthfully, it was an endeavor to convince herself she could survive.

Nellita came to her side often. Whatever her needs were, her life long friend was there. When Olyvia decided to go into nursing school, it was Nellita who made sure the little girls’ needs were met.

Now, all these years later, working for a doctor who himself had health issues, Olyvia was the one, again, doing whatever the moment asked of her to do. Caring for Dr. Goodson’s patients as well as his patient’s doctor, that was her job. Better stated, that was her privilege.

Yet, there was a one emptiness that Olyvia never chose to share. Not even her closest friends new the pain she felt daily.

Where will the next journey evolve?

Parkinson’s: Daily Challenges

Nellita was first diagnosed at about fifty years old. Eight years later, she could glace back and see symptoms that she thought were explainable.

“Are you nervous, too?” the mother of a bride had inquired. Nellita had designed and assembled bridal gowns for over thirty years. Why would anyone think she was nervous?

“My mom can help you with those pins!” Brides exhibit anxiety in many ways. She could tell stories that would fill a library. But really, does a professional seamstress need help with pins?

Then came the day when she herself noticed that her hand would not stop shaking. “What is going on?”

When her doctor mentioned the typical tremor of her right hand that Parkinson’s causes, her world stood still. Would she be able to keep her business? What about the customers she had already promised? What would happen to her if she could no longer sew?

Being single all her life, she had spent many sleepless nights wishing and dreaming for a husband of her own. Now more than ever she wanted a partner to depend on if she could no longer support herself financially.

Typically, Nellita found it challenging to admit her true feelings. Discouragement encompassed the heartfelt desire to have a partner now. She longed for loving support to face the emotional wall that the world of Parkinson’s had just painted in front of her.

Blossoms can only open one day at a time.