Most Caregivers know that once you are knee deep into your Caregiving role, you literally channel the energy of MacGyver. Yes, MacGyver, because as a Caregiver anything can happen on any given day where you will need to act fast and get the job done.
My dad suffered with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and as the disease progressed, we found ourselves helping my dad “MacGyver” certain things to help him accomplish his every day living tasks. One of the most memorable “MacGyver” moves was the belt contraption we assembled to help my dad lift his legs into the car. We thought it as the greatest contraption until his foot got stuck on the gas pedal, and he was careening down the road flying through street lights at top speed. Thankfully that situation ended in our favor!
The MacGyver episodes continued as my Dad’s MS progressed, and he spent the entire day in a powerchair. Living in a powerchair means wherever we went, we had to make sure it was handicap accessible. And even though most places comply with handicap accessibility, sometimes a 300-lb wheelchair can’t fit in certain areas. There were plenty of “MacGyver Episodes, ” where we had to jerry rig our way out of a restaurant, maneuver off a narrow pier hoping not to accidentally fall into the water, finagle a ramp made out of cardboard to get over some ice, or figure out how to push a 165-lb man and 300-lb wheelchair over the sand.
Most recently in the Caregivers Hub Support Group on Facebook, a fellow member Karen, mentioned her “Operation Summer Hydration Plan” to keep her dad healthy and strong during the summer months. Karen is on a mission to try different nutritional ice cream concoctions for her Dad because he is reluctant to eat anything but ice cream. Karen has MacGyvered her way around a blender, slushie machine, ice cream molds and most recently a coconut refrigerator pie that is actually protein powder, Greek yogurt and coconut milk. And guess what? Dad gobbled it up! A huge win for Karen!
As Caregivers, we literally have to do what we can with whatever resources we have; we’re constantly on a mission to ensure that those we are caring for have exactly what they need, whether for physical or mental health reasons. And truth be told, sometimes it can be exhausting to find a solution to our loved ones’ issue, but when that issue is solved, we’re beaming with pride and a strong sense of accomplishment!
To borrow this line from Oprah, “what I know for sure” is that, as Caregivers, we’re willing to do anything for our loved one because the love and bond we have for them outweighs anything obstacle we may face.
So, if you have to make a back scratcher out of few toilet paper rolls because it’s what our loved one wants, well, channel your inner MacGyver, and make it happen!
Deanna @ Drive
Deanna, a Drive team member in Digital Marketing has cared for her dad and mom through many disease related challenges; her experience as a Caregiver has made her a stronger person and a Caregiver advocate.