Friday, June 9, 2017

Mistakes - #FridayReflections

You haven't lived if you haven't made mistakes.  Mistakes are how we learn, and how we live.

I have made my share of mistakes.  In fact, I can think of a number of mistakes my husband and I have made, when it comes to his autistic brother, "Bil". These include:

1.  Not getting involved in his life soon enough - when his father kept saying (when we tried to bring up Bil's future) "everything is taken care of"....well, it wasn't.  Actually, nothing was taken care of.  Surprise. 

2.  Not applying on his behalf for Medicaid, soon enough, because his mother didn't want us to.  We waited until his widowed mother was struggling, trying to pay for his medications (see #1 above)  that she had to say "yes".  Erroneously, she thought that applying for Medicaid was something that "decent" people didn't do.  But many people don't know that the major beneficiaries of Medicaid, a joint state/federal program, are the elderly, and the disabled.

 By the time she allowed us to go forward, the government had tightened up the requirements.  It took over a year, and a first rejection, to get him the benefits that could pay for his medications, and make other services possible.

3.  Exercise.  Bil never exercised.  When not at his sheltered workshop, he mostly stayed in his room.  Food became a recreation for him.  He loves to eat out.  With his mother, he did plenty of it.

We took him walking in the mall once, and his mother ws upset because he may have had an asthma attack.  We never tried again.

Yes, he has asthma.  But it has also been well controlled for years.

So, why would we want Bil to exercise more, something he doesn't seek out on his own?  For starters, he is overweight bordering on obesity. He does get a little exercise now, at his day program, the program he goes to twice a week (they have exercise videos he enjoys).

But last week, I saw something worrisome.

In our back yard, there is an Adirondack chair.

At a Memorial Day BBQ, Bil ended up sitting in one of our two Adirondack chairs.  The problem?

He couldn't get out of this chair without help.

Bil is in his late 50's.  If you can't get out of a chair in your late 50's, you have a problem.    I've received some education in fall prevention, and I know that your ability to get out of a chair ( a simple sounding thing if you are young)  can predict much about your life as a senior. You need that muscle strength.  Without muscle strength and balance, you become susceptible to falls.

Bil is starting to show signs of vulnerability to falling.  And now I know another mistake - we never paid attention to his physical fitness.  His mother has a long history of falls.  Falls are deadly for seniors.

And now -what do we do, in a way that he will accept?  That is our latest challenge.  Right now, I don't have an answer.  If you have a suggestion, I welcome it.

Join Sanch and Corinne for #FridayReflections.

Today's prompt - "Write a post about making mistakes"


  1. Hiya - you are in such an unenviable position re Bil - and this is just something else you don't need to deal with - but sadly it is there. I do hope things can work out for you and for Bil ... take care and all the best to you and your hubby - Hilary

    1. Thank you, Hilary, I greatly appreciate your comments.

  2. Yep. My biggest mistake at the moment is not exercising enough. Wondering if I'd be able to get out of that chair...gulps...

    Not sure what to suggest other than to keep him walking somehow. I find it hard enough to motivate myself let alone some one else. DOH.

    1. It's hard for all of us, Ness. Perhaps one reason would be because you don't see immediate results. Bil likes the exercise video because he find the instructor attractive. Perhaps there is a way to build on that.

  3. It's sad that it has gotten to this stage...a lot of parents become overprotective of kids with disabilities and it sounds like your in-laws fell into that category and rather than challenging gradually some of the anxieties, they gave in to it. Of course, it comes from a place of love but it doesn't help anyone, does it? I wish you well in this journey.

    1. Thank you, Sanch. I had not thought of the psychology underlying what my in laws were doing, and it helps.

  4. I agree with Sanch. This kind of blind love is more harmful than helpful. You have a tough road to walk. But maybe baby steps will help. My weight shot to 91 due to a knee injury and the resultant steriods that I was prescribed for the pain. But thankfully with the help of my doctors I started walking just ten minutes a day, and slowly increased it to 30. Small changes in my diet (I am a foodie!) like saying no to colas. And adding another step after I was comfortable with the previous one. Yesterday I was able to walk to the end of the road with almost no pain at all. I actually cried.
    You are doing a great job. Loads of love to you and your husband.


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