On Bad Weeks, You Need the Best Team Ever

Caregivers for people with angioedema can't do everything by themselves

Danita LaShelle Jones avatar

by Danita LaShelle Jones |

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Regardless of what was behind his motivation, at the 10-minute mark of the movie, we already know that a recently released convict, Danny, wants to pull off the biggest heist in Las Vegas history: robbing three casinos for $150 million.

At first, Danny’s partner in crime, Rusty, deems the task virtually impossible. “You need at least a dozen guys doing a combination of cons,” Rusty tells him.

“Like what do you think?” Danny asks.

“Off the top of my head,” Rusty replies after thinking, “I’d say you’re looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros, and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever.”

While the line is hilarious, Rusty, played by Brad Pitt, is correct. They would need many people executing individual assignments to attempt to pull off the job. Thus, Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, recruits nine more people and takes the audience on an entertaining journey that leads to a successful robbery.

Of course, it’s fiction. However, the 2001 movie “Ocean’s 11” taught me one of the greatest life lessons. No, I’m not going to attempt a heist. But when faced with the large job of caring for a child with a chronic illness, you need a team.

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Lesson learned

When our daughter, whom we affectionately nicknamed Ladybug, was diagnosed with hereditary angioedema (HAE), I made the terrible decision to try to manage everything on my own. In an attempt to prevent my husband from having to take off work or avoid changing our other children’s routines or even asking for help from friends and family in the city, I considered myself the champion of HAE care.

I took the training to administer the medication, spent countless hours arguing with our insurance company, made daily phone calls to the specialty pharmacy, stayed at the hospital, had meetings with school nurses, and made and traveled to all of the doctor appointments.

Forget “Ocean’s 11,” I was “Jones 1,” and I was exhausted.

“Let me go this time,” my husband, PJ, said when I reached for the hospital bag. Ladybug and I had only been home for about six days, and because we were between deliveries for her at-home medications, the hospital had become our second home.

Although I attempted to protest, I was too tired to argue. However, with my husband and Ladybug heading to the hospital, I had three kids to pick up from school, dinner to cook, homework to help with, and children to later put to bed.

“What do you need?” my father asked when I picked up my ringing phone. PJ had texted him about the situation.

“Can you get the kids from school?” I asked.

“Sure,” he replied. “Do I need to keep them for a while?”

The answer was a resounding and tired yes. I needed an uninterrupted shower and a nap. Our other three kids had an impromptu afternoon with “Pop,” which gave me the relief I needed.

After updating my status on social media to let others know that thoughts and prayers were welcome, I was bombarded with text messages from friends. One offered dinner for the rest of the week, while another proposed grocery pickup.

Hours later, I woke up rested and received a food delivery from a friend. Much later, I fed the children after my father dropped them off. “I’ll take them to school tomorrow,” he said as he hugged me and left.

Now, when Ladybug has a flare, I assemble the team. No, I don’t have cute nicknames for school pickups, assignments for phone calls, or medicine retrievals. But I have a group of people I can call on when I need help.

If anyone asked me what advice I would give a caregiver, I would tell them to find their team. Even though you’re not trying to rob casinos like Danny, gathering a group of people and allowing them to help with your tasks is the best way to succeed at one of your best and biggest jobs.

Note: Angioedema News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angioedema News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to angioedema.


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