In the lingo of bicycling, this caregiving-life is a marathon. Marathons are NOT easy and you do NOT come away unscathed.
Lance Armstrong recently crashed in a race in Spain. He ended up with “road rash” and a badly broken collarbone requiring surgery. Here is an interview excerpt:
Interviewer: You almost never crash.
Lance: “I was thinking the same thing in the hospital that this never happened in my 17 years of pro cycling. That’s cycling. It’s nobody’s fault. Crashes happen all the time. It is part of the job.”
In our marathon, we’ve already crashed quite a bit. Unavoidably. Because, yes, it is part of the “job”. Those crashes have produced many scars. They have interrupted life. They have threatened to end life. They have been so hard.
Some crashes can be avoided. Whew! As I look ahead, I have thought of two potential crashes: pregnancy, and legal control.
Aaagggghhhhh!! What?!?!?! Pregnancy? That requires s e x, doesn’t it? Well, yeah it does most of the time.
My daughter’s IQ is less than average. However, her parts all work. She experiences happiness, sadness, anger, fear, excitement, frustration, impatience, curiosity, etc. So I’m thinking her body is sexual and will have sexual urges even though mentally she’ll always be childlike. So what to do?
Impulse yes. Control? No. Not so much. You should see her with scissors. We’ll have to plant a forest to make up for what paper she consumes in her lifetime.
I’m not with her all day every day. I don’t know what opportunities will exist in the future. I do know that if she were to become pregnant it would be a major crash with significant injuries for all involved. After the crash is too late.
So last doctor visit, this was one topic of discussion. We are planning injections of DepoProvera from the “moment” she gets her first menses (period). Why? For one thing, wemanage bathroom issues. She usually makes it there on time and deals with all that mostly on her own. The monthly visitor? As if I want to deal with that! As if SHE will want to deal with that, and why should she if it can be avoided? We are talking quality of life, independence, elimination of unnecessary stressors (yes, for both of us) and risk management.
Another potential crash is legal control. In some states, once she reaches 18 I cannot obtain medical records, etc. unless I have legal guardianship over her. Based on her independent attitudes now, she will probably think she can decide things herself, even though she will not understand them. I will investigate legal guardianship along with any other options that exist.
Gotta prevent crashes when possible. Recovery can be difficult, painful, and less than 100%. I don’t mind coming in last if it means we are all safe. This marathon has no prizes for first place as far as I know!