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The other side of the coin

by Sy OgulnickMay 2016

It’s time I begin to write about the ‘caregivers’ side of the story. At first I thought I can’t write this paper although I am at the benefit of its gift to me. As I’ve said and written so often, what we experience we know and what we are told or read about may just be filler, and more often than not only opinion, not fact.  Only through our own personal experience do we know, not through the experience of others.

The more I thought about the subject of care giving the more I began to realize that I’ve been a caregiver for most of my life. After all is said and done what are those of us who choose to work with children and to create and run programs that have to do with the lives and growth of others? It has to be as care givers because it is certainly not a path to riches, but to other types of rewards. So what I begin to write below I feel confident I have a right to write about because ‘I’ve been there and done that.’

So before I begin what may be a series of one page papers on the subject of ‘care giving” I need to clear something up about my most recent paper ‘on being in the now. ’  I write what I write from where I presently am. I’m not that many months from turning 90 so what I write is from where I am and not as a historian writing where from I’ve never been or have not been for a long time. A dear one to me, and so many of you are dear to me, called and we talked about his being 70 and felt that he still had a future in front of him and that he needed to plan accordingly. He mentioned that a 30 year old is definitely living in two place, the present and the future and that it was my almost being 90 that contributed to my being so in the present. And he was ‘right on,’ so if my age, be here in the present as totally as possible and enjoy the sights, smells and others in your life to its fullest. I am and love every split second.

The other side of the coin:

Almost immediately after my operation (Oct.29th 2015) I knew how helpless I was. My only concern was for Lenette. My own demise meant nothing, but leaving Lenette alone was everything to me. I pained for her. And, of course she pained for me. She could do something for me if only to touch me and to smile her loving smile. I was totally helpless and could do nothing for her and nothing for myself. This lasted for weeks on my part, but on her part she was ‘Johnny on the spot’ instantly, every second from the moment I came out of surgery and she rarely left my side. In fact, she stayed in my room. She was and is my reason for staying and being alive.

It did not take long for me to realize that I was no longer me, the strong, independent, entrepreneurial Sy, but flesh hanging by a thread and needing every bit of assistance to sit up, to drink water, to go pee. And all around me, Lenette, nurses, doctors, attendants, visiting friends were all there to support me, and I mean to SUPPORT ME.

I became so totally vulnerable, so in need that it was impossible existing without the immediate help of others and the first amongst them all was Lenette and Jeff too. Insisting he be there for her and me he flew in from Colorado and gave his all to both of us. A parent could ask no more of a son. More to come:  Sy

 

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