As my mobility weakened they were first to come up with ways to help. Monday , Wednesday and Friday one of the Angels came over to cook for my family. I would choose the recipe, purchase the ingredients and they would prepare the meal. They did this for a year!
People in the area started asking how they could help us. Susan organized a meal group/ministry, our Meal Angels . Those interested would sign up to bring a dinner for my family . This was an enormous gift. Steve was always the weekend cook and I did the everyday meals. I did not have enough mobility in my arms to cook anymore. I could not imagine Steve making dinner every night after work and commuting to SB, he would crack. Receiving 3 dinners a week has given the kids a routine and a sense of "normalcy". To this day we still have dinners delivered Monday and Wenesday, many of the families have been with us since the beginning. Our Meal Angels come from all over the Valley, a true community effort. Our 3 Angels have shared the organization efforts, with unselfish fervor . The Meal Angels go out of their way to bring us healthy and fun meals. Chris, Steve and my mother look forward to the meals and there is usually a thoughtful extra dessrt with Chris in mind.
|Grandma , Nan, Susan, Lori and Sammy (dog)|
|Janis doing her magic, Wanda looking on.|
Another Angel: One thing that PALS (people with ALS) need to be watchful of is stiffening / freezing of the joints. Nan recommended a Massage Therapist, Diane. I had only had massages as a vacation luxury but it sounded like a good idea. Diane came to my house twice a week and gave me an hour each time. Pretty decadent, right? It was obvious that this was a much needed therapy. As time went on our expenses grew, especially when I went on the ventilator. I had to cut back with Diane to once a week. Diane was very sensitive to our financial needs and after reducing our rate a few times , she offered to continue as a gift! We have been together since late '08. This is another enormous gift. I know for a fact that the reason I have good range of motion and good flexibility is because of Diane.
Lori, Nan and Susan still come over, every week. Each has a different day, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They come over for a couple hours. We visit and talk about what is going on in our lives. They help me with business calls and yucky, complex business situations (insurance and medicare). We choose an assortment of books and try to get in reading time each week. Between my audiobooks and the books they read to me, I am usually involved with 5 books at a time. Very fun. Diane and Janis come on Wednesday, my pamper day! These Angels bless me with so much. They encourage, challenge and support me. Incredible people that feed my soul and are a big part of why I am doing so well.
There are many articles that state good caregiving is key to staying healthy. I realize that sounds like stating the obvious but you would be surprised to know that what I have is not the norm. There are so many PALS that don't have family nearby or are in a facility with limited stimulus other then the staff.
I have a wonderful team of family, Inner Circle friends, Angels and caregivers. (You haven't been introduced to my caregivers yet). I am truly thankful and truly blessed.