I stood in Home Depot watching an employee cut pieces of wood for me so I could build a foundation for the two sheds I’d just bought. He measured and cut, measured and cut. Once finished, he helped me pick out the right screws to use to connect all the pieces of wood together. We talked about how I would build the foundation, and he gave me his advice on best practices. As we parted ways, he turned around and said to me, “In all things, take your time.”
That’s exactly what I did while building the foundations and sheds — I took my time. It was the best advice because everything worked out just fine.
Since then, I’ve repeated that advice to take my time in all things, and I have found that my stress level has diminished. The advice goes supports me as a parent caregiver for Ella in the midst of her SMA challenges.
Being a caregiver for a person with disabilities takes time and patience. It can be overwhelming at times, yet it also has an element of pleasure associated with it. Getting her showered, dressed, fed, toileted, and moving her from one position to another takes time and patience.
Since Ella is just 8 years old, she often wants to change what she’s doing, to explore her world and play like a non-disabled child. We’ve built a special relationship with each other. As we are performing the activities of daily living, we engage in conversation, sing songs, and laugh. She’s keenly aware of our aches and pains associated with lifting her and asks if we are all right throughout the day.
Caring for a person with disabilities can be overwhelming at times. The best advice I can give is the same advice the Home Depot man gave to me while I was preparing to build two sheds: “In all things take your time.”
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.