Practical Tips

Rick on December 21st, 2010

Driving past a neighbor’s last week I saw him and his wife setting up Christmas decorations in their yard. The lights around the edge of the house had been put in place the week before. These decorations were the large figures that sit on the ground and are lit up at night. Later that evening […]

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Rick on April 19th, 2010

In Multiple Sclerosis has a History, I wrote, “I didn’t know lumbar punctures have been used for diagnostic purposes since 1913”. I think that piece of the History of MS jumped out at me because lumbar punctures (aka “spinal taps”) give me the creeps. Believe it or not, (and I am certain she will disagree […]

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Rick on March 27th, 2010

Mark Twain said something about cats and hot stoves. “We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again – […]

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Rick on January 17th, 2009

As a caregiver, you know your family finances are probably different than those of some of your friends. You have medical expenses most of your friends do not have. Chances are good that your friends’ families are dual income families. Yours is probably not. Caregiving often brings its own unique set of financial burdens. Helpful […]

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Rick on December 7th, 2008

My wife fell this past week.  When she fell, I was in an airplane between Phoenix and Dallas headed for a connecting flight on my way home from the last session of the Faith-based Leadership Institute.  She’s strong and independent, but a part of me imagines she wouldn’t have fallen had I been home. She […]

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Rick on May 3rd, 2008

Skilled doctors are busy people and tend to be very intelligent. Some of the mystique that surrounds doctors places them above most others on the social ladder. Not only that, but doctors tend to be “experts” in the very thing you need help with. It’s difficult for many people to think of doctors or talk […]

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Rick on March 20th, 2008

“I need more Leg Hours in a day!” You’ve heard the term “man hours” before.  I heard my wife use a new term today.  It’s “leg hours”. “Leg Hours” are the number of hours in a day that my wife’s legs work well enough for her that she feels stable and productive.  The number of […]

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Rick on February 13th, 2008

A bad thing happened last night. So I called the National Poison Control number 1-800-222-1222. (There is also an excellent poison control website!) A calm, friendly voice answered, “Poison Control. How can I help you?” I, a little stressed, asked quickly, “My 30-pound Cocker Spaniel just swallowed one of my wife’s 5 mg Aricept pills. […]

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Rick on December 8th, 2007

Literature exists because people need stories of others. Stories are why communities have libraries. Books of woe caution us. We’re encouraged by tales of people who advance against overwhelming odds. We’re quieted by stories of people with hope. Stories of others are important because they allow us to put ourselves in another’s place. Stepping outside […]

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Rick on December 5th, 2007

We choose to face the future in one of two ways: prepared or unprepared. If you care for someone with a disease, daily needs and routines often require so much attention that preparation for the future sits on the back burner (bad pun alert). In terms of planning, I think every caregiver should consider fire […]

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Rick on December 3rd, 2007

I spent last week in Arizona at a leadership conference. It’s difficult to feel good about going out of town for a week because I worry I’ll be needed at home. Fortunately, cell phones, text messaging and email make it easy to communicate with my wife and daughters throughout the day. But there are things […]

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Rick on November 20th, 2007

Shopping for a wheelchair is not like buying a new car. I think my wife and I had psyched ourselves up about wheelchair shopping. Personally, I expected we would walk into a store and find rows of wheelchairs all shined up and waiting for a test spin around the room. It wasn’t to be. My […]

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Rick on November 13th, 2007

If you care for a spouse or other family member with MS you already understand the impact medical expenses can have on your family budget. The financial cost of a chronic disease like Multiple Sclerosis is high and the financial drain is constant. I was born in the early 60’s. I went to the ER […]

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Rick on November 3rd, 2007

Pets are not for everyone. And if you’re not an “animal person” you should probably avoid getting a pet. Pets require attention because they can do so little for themselves. If you feel stretched already, you may not want the additional work a pet requires. Now, with that disclaimer provided, I’ll begin to tell why […]

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Rick on October 25th, 2007

I took a flu shot earlier this week. Afterwards, my youngest daughter and I were talking about influenza, how it spreads and why vaccinations are important. She was uncharacteristically silent for a few moments after we finished the flu conversation. Then she asked me the question I’ve dreaded, “Daddy, will I get MS when I […]

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