Author Archives: Carlos Briceño

Fasting as a Means of Solidarity

When my sister died in a tragic accident a year ago, grief caused me to lose my appetite. As a result, over the next two months, I lost around 13 pounds. I found myself being content with one full meal a day. Losing weight like that usually isn’t…

Making a Difference in the Upcoming Elections

When I write this column every week, I try to only share the things that can, and will, affect my family’s battle with Huntington’s disease. Today, I would like to write about something that affects people with every disease and the families who care for them: voting.

It’s Not About You … It’s About Me

I have decided to get my wife a T-shirt that reads, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I want to get it for her so she can wear it each time she visits a doctor. As if her having Huntington’s disease is not bad enough, eight months ago she started…

The Protective Mindset of a Caregiver

I’m protective, a trait typical of most men. For example, I will drive for 18 hours across the country while my wife sleeps in the passenger seat. Jill has trouble sleeping in general, and the motion of the car acts as a sedative, rocking her to sleep. Long…

Life Is Short, So Live It Well

The anniversary of my sister’s death is coming up in about a month. Rose died on Halloween last year after a massive red oak tree fell on the car she was in during a fierce storm. The car was parked in her driveway, and the tree was from a…

Learning to Expect the Unexpected

My wife, Jill, and I have not been to the local movie theater in months. It’s been so long that we can’t remember the last movie we saw there. By contrast, we averaged about two movies a month before the pandemic struck. With the recent reopening of our town’s theaters,…

Writing Keeps This Caregiver Sane

I stumbled into my future profession when I took a creative writing class as a junior in high school. I took the class because it was an elective, something easy. In other words, it was what my teenage self considered a “blow-off,” something that didn’t require studying. Studying, I thought…

Learn How to Party On, Dude

One of summer’s guilty pleasures is watching mindless movies. On a recent weekend, Jill and I watched “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” which is so egregiously and heinously bad, it’s good, dude. (This is how the time-traveling characters talk to each other. Needless to say, the dialogue is…

As Caregivers, We Can Choose to Be Empathetic and Patient

My mom is dying. She’s 90, has dementia, can’t walk, yells angrily at times, and lives in an assisted living home, where visitors are frowned upon because of the COVID-19 threat. Several days ago, an ambulance picked her up because she had vomited and was unresponsive. Several hours after visiting…