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An Interview with Lee Woodruff  (Page 3 of 3)

A Partner in Care
An Interview with Lee Woodruff 

LW:  I think Bob was willing to put a face on brain injury and say, “This is what it looks like. These guys are not getting the attention that I got as an anchor for World News and something needs to be done about that. We need to be giving them all of our resources and all of our concern.” That was a wonderful position to be in.  Not everybody would have handled it that way and I can look at him and say that was my husband’s decision and how proud I am of that.

GB:  What one piece of advice would you like to leave other family caregivers with?
LW:  One of the best pieces of advice I got was from a very dear friend who told me, “You are going to be overwhelmed with people asking you what they can do for you in the beginning. Initially, there is nothing they can do; but what you need to do is ask them to subscribe to the chit system. You say to them when they ask, “There is nothing at this moment that you can do, but can I ask you for one favor sometime in the future?” It helps you when you need that call made to the insurance person, but you just can’t get to it.  It makes the people who are trying to help feel special because you actually have remembered and you have called and asked for something; and they are doing something worthy and worthwhile, and everybody is a winner. It may be as small as asking somebody to pick up a pizza, or something larger like, “Can you spend the night with my kids because I need to be at the hospital?” Maybe it is the end, where it all becomes crazy and all you want to do is just sit by that person. You need more of your needs taken care of at that point.  I would also say, “Try never to despair.” I know that everybody has moments and walls or the black day that you feel is the end of the world. The truth is that each day is a new day and you can look for the little moments.
Sometimes, I would just think about a great big latte with a big foamy top on it. That one little thing might be enough to put me in a good mood for that day and give me something to look forward to. I think you need to take it in bite-sized chunks when the going gets tough.


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