For the last six months I’ve been taking care of my junior brother who has cerebral palsy,is fully dependent and non verbalhonestly, it has been difficult. However it has been quite the learning experience. Here is a short list of things I have learnt while on the “job”.
- Patience is key. It is one of the most vital traits you need to survive the experience.
- It can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. The long hours, the physical lifting and the stress can tire one out.
- One learns to appreciate the little things. A lot of the time we take stuff for granted and feel that we deserve more or are owed something by the universe. Seeing my younger brother with his limitations still smiling and happy does tell me that I’m lucky to have what I do have.
- Empathy. Ok this is more as a result of being his brother than the six months of nanny work but having a brother with disabilities does force you to see the flaws and weakness of others, and if you’re not some sociopath you’ll learn to feel for them and in time understand them.
- Your social life does suffer a lot. Not being able to hang out with friends does limit what support and encouragement you get. Though good friends can and will contact you on the job.
- To be honest there is no off period. One is always on call. In case of any kind of complications or issues one must always be ready.
- You will get used to and get tired of the routine. In my case my bro’s life is severely regimented from the minute he’s awake to the time of sleep. What he eats, what medications he gets, his therapy, his sitting and resting periods, you will get this regiment drilled into your soul.
- As said before there is a routine. However there’s a lot of chaos within it. Sometimes the routine is carried out perfectly. Some days, there are colossal screw ups. In others small but needed changes are introduced. So one is never sure of what the next day will bring.
- Your charge/ward is a living breathing Human being. He will express pleasure and displeasure. Love and hate. Boredom and excitement. He will show you what he needs and what he wants and god help you you fail to realise that.
- Lastly you learn to do things not because of what you’ll gain but out of love. Taking care of a sibling with disabilities is a heavy duty. A labor of love. And is one of the few acts of mankind that separates us from the feral animals out in the wild.
And that’s that. A short list of what I learned and continue to learn caring for my bro. However wanna get back to writing my stories.
P.S. here’s a superman pic for ya.