Tell me more, tell me more…

I used to feel shame and embarrassment when telling someone I had a caregiver, feeling like it made me weak and less than. Luckily, I realized that a good caregiver is priceless, and they have become a basic fact in my MS life, while several have even grown into genuine friends. So today, I will talk about some of the leading cast members in the movie called Scott’s Life. I unlock my front door when Brianna leaves after lunch and relock it at bedtime. I do this so that anyone can walk in saying hello, like Lenny and Squiggy in an episode of Laverne & Shirley. I like to be welcoming to everyone because no one was stopping by unexpectedly before my new Floridian life.

Brianna is my Personal Aide who assists me with everything and always has a smile and a positive attitude, even in an unpleasant situation. I often tell people she is a wonderful work wife who should wear a superwoman uniform because she is fantastic and a lifesaver. Brianna works weekdays for five hours, and upon her arrival, everything needs doing, yet when leaving, everything is complete. Constantly moving like a Mako shark, when she stops to rest, you can put a clock on it as within 90 seconds, she is up doing more. Brianna has undebatable, inexplicable, and unfathomable abilities, and her existence in my life is irreplaceable. She is the person I see the most in an average week, and if you think I am exaggerating excessively, then you do not understand. While yes, some are for dramatic effects, the truth is that the rest of my days are impossible without her twenty-five hours of work each week.

My next-door neighbor is Devin, who has cerebral palsy. Although his name sounds like “yachting with Devin and the other one percenters,” he has a genuinely down-to-earth personality. He is a great guy with CP and is funny; although he talks more slowly, his sluggish speech makes me think he is simply being thoughtful about what he is trying to say. These paced words are as opposed to those I know who have verbal diarrhea and do not care about getting their mess in others’ conversations. Devin would give you the shirt off his back, although because of his CP, he might not get his shirt off. Still, he would be willing. However, do not mistake his kindness for weakness; he would not hesitate to give a tongue-lashing to anyone who disrespects him or anyone with a disability. On the other hand, if you would rather talk behind his back, good luck; more people in this town know and love him than not, so speak at your own risk.

Then there is Devin’s mother, Dolly. This remarkable woman is always willing to help others whenever pleas persist, even to her detriment. Sometimes I have been in a pinch and needed help, so I called her and received aid quickly. I have always considered myself an old soul. For example, in my mid-teens, I could often converse with my mom’s friends many times better than those my age. Dolly and I get along and can chat extensively about any topic, issue, or concern. She and I do not solve any of the world’s problems, but we can have a decent conversation about them. Dolly will not think twice about verbally standing her ground in the vociferous defense of her son, Devin, or others with disabilities. Keep your comments to yourself because not only does everyone know and love Devin but Devin’s mom as well.

Alyssa is another person who helps me in the evenings and on the weekends, even though she is Devin’s caregiver. Strong as an ox, she has caught and picked me up, keeping me from falling, and gentle as a lamb, placed me back down. She is always sporting a smile, so having an enjoyable conversation with her is easy because Alyssa is also into music of all genres. So whether talking about Al Green or Meghan Trainor, our chummy chats make me think of caregiving less and friendship more.

My mom and stepdad are also highly beneficial and essential in my life. I live close to them, which is suitable for the convenience of visitation but disappointingly close. I do not want them to feel obligated to care for me, as I have lived independently since leaving High School nearly 30 years ago. It is important to me they can live their lives, and I live my life and occasionally interact for dinner or socialization. I love them very much, but this is their retirement, and they should enjoy every minute.

These five people are currently the most important and impactful in my life; each merit mentioning magnanimously. In Ohio, during the pandemic, I regularly went two weeks without seeing another human being making for a sad and lonely existence. However, that is far from the case in my new home state of Florida, as I now have very few days in a month when I see no one. I am happier in Florida, no matter the medical ailment issues, because friends and family make it manageable.

We are social creatures; people need people.

4 thoughts on “Tell me more, tell me more…

  1. scott , this is a very thoughtful and outstanding blog. I’m proud that you profiled those wonderful people in your life. Great job

    Charlene English ”I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Scott, for sharing your life experiences with us. You are truly an extraordinary young man and we feel privileged to be invited to read your blogs and to learn about your struggles to overcome difficult tribulations. We never know what obstacles we will be presented with in life. Some challenges are extremely difficult both physically and emotionally. You are a role model for all of us. You learned to adapt, to keep a positive attitude, and to be grateful for what you have, instead of what you don’t. You inspire us and we are grateful that you are our neighbor.

    Rich and Linda Somma

    Liked by 1 person

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