Author Archives: Brandon & Erica McAfee
Fit to parent a differently-abled child….
For the past month or so, Erica and I have finally found a way to divvy up Maxwell’s night time routine- we take turns each week, on who puts him to bed. This week (1/14/19-1/18/19) has been my week to give him his meds and put him to bed. However, in an effort to assist Maxwell’s nurse, who’s pregnant, we’ve now added a bath to his nightly routine, opposed to him being bathed in the morning by his nurse.
Thus, after giving Max his bath for a 2nd straight night, I’ve realized how big he’s getting. If you follow our family on social media, then you know that Max doesn’t walk yet, and you also know that he’s getting bigger by the day and seemingly the moment. So, giving him a bath is no easy task, when it entails picking him up out the bed, bending down to put him in the tub, picking him up out of the tub, and then putting him in the bed. It’s difficult because we have to pick up Max and his “live weight” with no assistance from him and often times, he may stiffen up and extend. That’s the bath routine.
Similar to the bath routine, is the task of putting Maxwell in and out of the car. Unfortunately, our family has yet to purchase a handicap accessible vehicle, and not only is difficult at times with getting Maxwell in and out of his car seat, it’s also the task of lifting his wheelchair in and out of the car. Needless to say, parents and/or caregivers to differently- abled children, no matter their age have to be “fit” for this lifestyle.
As I write this blogpost, my back is hurting and my neck is stiff and to be quite honest, I don’t know if it’s due to my workout today or, giving Maxwell a bath. I surmise, it’s a little bit of both. Whenever I feel these kind of aches, I always tell myself, that I must get in better shape, in order that I may be fit enough and strong enough to do what needs to be done for Maxwell, to live a Super Mighty Life.
In closing, if you are reading this as a caregiver to a child, spouse, parent, family member, or friend— how important is fitness for you? How could living a healthier and more fit life be beneficial for you? Also, are their trainers or workouts, that could be beneficial for caregivers to work on? Lastly, I ask that you keep all caregivers in your prayers! It’s no easy responsibility.
What a Difference 2 Years Make
Around this same time 2 years ago, Erica and I were preparing to go on our first “real” vacation since our marriage in June of 2012– we were going to Jamaica. The plane tickets were purchased, the resort was booked, the passports were a go, and the swimsuits were purchased. As excited and prepared as we were to finally vacation, not too many people shared the excitement with us. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our trip to Jamaica, causing us to lose our airfare, get reimbursed for resort, store the passports, and put away the swimsuits. It seemed like Erica and I would never get on a plane to vacation somewhere.
In July 2015, Maxwell had yet to turn 1 years old, his health wasn’t as stable as it is now, and quite frankly, our family didn’t feel comfortable babysitting Maxwell, with us being out of the country. I mean, we were just going to Jamaica, that’s not too far, they could handle it– right? Nope, they weren’t having it! Thus, we cancelled the trip and decided to vacate domestically. We went to New York City and Charlottesville, Va. It wasn’t the beaches of Jamaica, but we made the best of it.
Fast-forward to May 2017, Erica and I are now preparing to fly to Cuba, and we’re excited. Again, the plane tickets were purchased, the Airbnb’s were booked, the passports were a go, and the swimsuits were purchased. This go round, Maxwell is stable, he has nursing care during the day, and our family is more comfortable with his care. And off to Cuba we go!! All goes well!!
Fast-forward to June 2017, Erica and I are now headed to New Orleans, La and Houston, Tx. Again, we’re prepared and ready to go. This go round, Maxwell is still stable, he has nursing care and respite care, and more family is in town, ready to watch our son. And off we go!!! Thank God, all goes well again!!
Reflecting on these past 2 years, its been a long journey to get to this point, but we thank God for his continued care and blessings upon our son. Maxwell, is truly growing and progressing in life, and we have God to thank for this. We thank Maxwell, for being the resilient, super, mighty Max that he is, and for allowing his parents to get some much needed time away. We thank God for his nurses and the way they compassionately care for Max. Lastly, we’re grateful for Maxwell’s grandparents and Auntie, who rose to the occasion, and watched our baby-boy! We know its not easy and can be a lot of work, but we’re grateful for you!!!
Oh, and how can we forget you!!! Those of you reading this, liking this, and sharing this, we thank you for your prayers, love, and support!!
Stay Super, Stay Mighty, and Be Blessed!