A Family Tradition - a Column by Carlos Briceño

vote, white coat syndrome, protective, show, details, unexpected, party on, choose, outside the box

Carlos is a journalist in the Midwest, who through the grace of God has been blessed with a brilliant, beautiful, and courageous wife and daughter. His wife found out she was gene-positive for Huntington’s Disease (HD) at the age of 41, while his daughter found out she was gene-positive for HD when she was 22. Carlos’s aim in writing column is to offer a caregiver’s perspective while also trying to inspire those families who are dealing with Huntington’s. He loves to evangelize, read, play soccer, and share — according to family members —really bad puns. (For the record, Carlos thinks his puns are really punny and funderful.)

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…

Telemedicine Makes Life Easier for Patients

Last year, I wrote about the possibility of telemedicine visits for Huntington’s patients with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Center of Excellence in Chicago. My wife, Jill, and I were excited about this possibility because she has “white coat syndrome.” As someone who has witnessed Jill’s anxiety,…