“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown
Significance of the Leap Year
Today, February 29th, marks a leap year. A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is due to the Gregorian calendar’s disparity with the solar system. An orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete. The Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
Leap Day is also the day the world celebrates International Rare Disease Day. When you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a rare disease, there is no roadmap. In the event it is also life-threatening, it throws you into a new world with new language and systems to learn. Your family members, siblings and spouse may react very differently adding stress to the mix as well as hampering decision making. Financial, legal and health/medical industry navigation can leave you exhausted. Worrying about the other children and adjusting to new schedules can overwhelm even the healthiest of partnerships, and leave everyone wondering, “How are we going to do this?”
Take the Leap of Faith
This leap year might just require you to take a leap of faith. There are two basic human emotions that are the driving force behind each thought, each daily inspiration, and each life-changing decision. Those are forever intertwined – fear and love. In order to feel passionately about something, fear and love must coexist.
Learning to adjust and moving forward to care for the one you love requires you to get over the fear of asking for help. Enlisting help – whether on a volunteer or paid basis – can be challenging especially when there are so many unknowns that it seems impossible to add one more thing to the list (Will they care for my loved on in an adequate manner? Can I trust them? How can we afford it?). Here are some things to consider when you are ready to make the decision:
- Replace fear of the unknown with a sense of desire for what’s to come by envisioning a positive outcome, for example as good a quality of life as possible under the circumstance for you and your loved one
- Let yourself be supported by likeminded people and those who have a happy heart when they help you
- Avoid falling into feeling sorry for yourself, which will hold you back versus propel you forward into action
- Celebrate what’s you’ve manifested to date, for example a loving family or having the fortitude to pursue and obtain a medical diagnoses for your loved one
- Account for your finances and options through a professional in the field
Luckily, in the Reno/Sparks area, there is a group called Solutions and Resources Associates (SARA), a non-profit collaborative of specialized healthcare and life services professionals. SARA was brought to life by a team of healthcare and life services professionals who saw the need for a single information and resource destination service to assist families and individuals meet the complex challenges of life transitions. They recognized the need for easy and rapid access to “the best of the best” services when faced with life changing events. They offer a commitment to a returned phone call within 24 hours. Once you make a decision to enlist help, they can assist you in identifying what next steps to take and then refer you to the professional legal, health and financial services that you will need to consult. The Caregivers Journal believes in the mission and vision of SARA and we are involved as part of their board of executive partners. Visit www.asksara.org or call them today at 775-742-3288. If you are outside of Reno/Sparks, SARA is also aware of similar organizations through the US to which they would be happy to refer you.