Who is Yvonne?
She is my lifeline!
She is my dear caregiver who makes my existence possible.
I am 20 years older than Yvonne. On my good days we are two giggling women making future plans for travel to distant lands (if we win the lottery!). Sometimes I am her “Mama.” Sometimes I am her “child.” “Don’t cry, Mama,” she would say. “I will take care of you.” Sometimes she is the tough taskmaster. “Child, you can’t give up,” she says. “You have to get dressed. We are going out. Put on lipstick. You never know who we might meet.”
In the morning she stands quietly in front of my bed. I can feel her presence even if my eyes are closed. When I open my eyes, her beautiful smile tells me, “It is another day and we made it.” In the evening she says, “I will open the drapes for you so we can watch the sunset.”
Swallowing food is very hard for me. Yvonne says, “Eat, I will blend it for you. This cantaloupe looks sweet and fresh.”
Yvonne had never heard of ALS. She met me at the beginning of my decline. She watched me lost my ability to speak. Now she patiently waits to read the words that I write.
I can’t walk. She transfers my heavy load from bed to the washroom to the wheelchair and back.
Most of all we treat each other with respect.
Yvonne is one of those unsung heroes that we are lucky to meet when we are in desperate need. She does not know about ALS. Her heart feels and tells her what to do.
Thank you Yvonne.
In tribute to Funia and to share her valuable insights, Qualicare Franchise Corporation is featuring this and a number of her other articles in the Homecare Library.
In addition we have prepared a booklet entitled “The Way I Am: Living with ALS”which has assembled all these thoughts and more. This can be viewed on our website. You may also order free copies of the booklet by filling out the form on the website.