It’s been since April 2015 that we have written an update on Bev. Now in October, several of us felt it was time to catch up with Ms. Bev and see what has been going on for her and the family! So I had the privilege of sitting down on the morning of October 8th with her and her AM caregiver Pam to recollect about the many memories over the past few months. What a true joy it is to have this role! –Mindy Irish
After a great summer, the kids got off on a great start at school. Bev and the family still receive morning help throughout the week and also on weekdays as soon as the children get off the bus. The after-school hours are an important time to receive help, because according to Bev, this allows her to have quiet, calm moments with each of her children while someone else can help with the responsibilities of tending to the home and preparing meals.
Bev’s children are of utmost importance to her!
Katie attends school at a nearby intermediate school, but most recently she has been in transition to receive services from a private center in the afternoons that can better meet her needs socially and academically. Katie is a smart gal who knows what she wants, but her ability to communicate it with others is very challenged.
She is learning new strategies for functional life skills, and the staff at the new center are enjoying getting to know her. Bev asks for prayer that Katie can receive financial aid from Bob’s insurance to pay for her to be full time at the center that specializes in servicing individuals with her needs.
In late September, Bob and Bev traveled to Costa Rica to enjoy five nights away to celebrate their anniversary and Bob’s upcoming birthday. They left their home at 3:45AM the morning of the trip and after a long, long flight, they got lost on the dark roads of Costa Rica. Siri was not on call to navigate them, but they finally found their way, arriving at the hotel at 11PM that night. What an incredibly adventurous and frustrating day!
While the travel put them off to a rocky start, Bev reports that the trip was just what they needed, including respite and alone time together. The weather was pretty overcast and rainy, but they took the time to relax and meet new people at their hotel. Despite the cloudy skies, they hung at the hotel pool and got drunk! I asked if she wanted me to put this in there, and she says, “Oh please do! It was a blast!” That’s our Bev!
In addition to the fun pool days, they also experienced a “Bucket List” item for Bev by doing a zip line over the rain forest. They saw monkeys, rode horse back up a volcano, and took in the sights and sounds of the rain forest. Bev is SO thankful she made this trip with Bob and was all smiles telling me about it.
Bev and Bob: 1, HD: 0……..she is still living a BIG life in spite of this disease!
When asked how Bev is doing physically and mentally, she reports an incident of a fall this summer. She was home alone with Ryan and Katie and Katie was having a really rough evening with behavior and physical needs. It was very stressful on Bev and she ran upstairs to get something she needed to take care of Katie. On her return down the back stairs into the kitchen, she missed the last few steps and flew head first into the kitchen island, including hitting her head on the granite counter top. She immediately called her friend Frannie, who is a surgeon, and she came over to take a look at it. Bev ended up needing staples in her head and was pretty shaken up from this fall.
Bev explained that falling is one of her biggest fears. She reports that her father who also had Huntington’s Disease suffered a tragic fall and ended up dying from head injuries due to a TBI, traumatic brain injury. Her fear is completely understood as she battles the ongoing effects of HD.
Currently Bev is not playing tennis, but really wants to restart so she can be active again AND get to enjoy social times with her dear friends. She says her energy is actually pretty good and she has not had any medication changes since her last doctor’s visit earlier this year.
Bev is SO thankful for the help she receives and tells us that she really needs the morning help to get the kids up and on the bus as the day begins. As soon as they leave, she usually takes a short nap to recharge, since she is up around 5:30 to get Katie ready for school. This regroup helps her be present for the kids when they return home in the afternoon and also gives her the extra pep to be able to help with homework and dinner prep when needed. For now the family does not have help overnight, but they know that time is coming soon and they’ll need a caregiver to be there in case Katie gets up overnight or Bev is in need of night time assistance.
When asked what her needs are at this time, she beams with gratitude for the help she does receive. She has a few drivers throughout the week and the AM/PM help as we’ve mentioned. She is also in need of someone to drive her on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the case she needs to run errands or attend an appointment AND simply to get out and enjoy life with other people. Who doesn’t like a midday lunch and shopping date with a great friend?!
Bev also reports they will need a good Saturday night babysitter so she and Bob can have their ongoing weekly date nights. This person would be someone who is able to care for an individual with special needs and be available on a regular basis. We suggested checking in to some of the local colleges for students who are in education and best suited for what the Hartigs need. Bev and Pam are looking into that option, but if you know someone who would fit this calling, please let the Hartigs know!
Our Bev is just amazing to be around. Every time I get the chance to interview and write for her, I leave feeling like I’m a better person because of her. She inspires me to be present in the moment, focus on what really matters, and make the most of TODAY!
What a great message her life is to so many!
And, she wants me to tell you she still loves her online shopping. That’s her forte and she’s quite proud of that!
Stay tuned every couple of months as we update on Bev’s life as an Overcomer, living for the purpose of using her story to impact and change lives for the future! If you desire to contact her, you can reach out to her on Facebook HERE or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Please make sure to like and select to “get notifications” from Bev’s Facebook page for ongoing weekly updates into our research progress and tidbits about our family throughout the year!