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Life as a Caregiver

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Now what?

Holidays, graduations, out of town guests, kids coming, kids going, meetings, appointments…! April and May hit like a tornado and things have yet to stop spinning. As the saying goes.. the hurrieder I go the behinder I get. I didn’t even look at my computer for a month and a half and I only got a few peeks a week the rest of the time. Then – nothing! I have only one thing on schedule for the rest of this month.   Now I am wondering what to do next. I have shared my journey since last f

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Arm Wrestling Five Years Later

In an old blog of mine (2007) I shared the following: “My once big talker is now a captive audience to my many ramblings. This time it was about some thoughts that had been going through my head about respite care. When my oldest children were babes I could not afford baby sitters so co-opped with other mothers; taking care of their children then having them watch mine. Surely there are other people in our area who also need a break from care giving at times who would like to form a co-op  

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Refreshed in and unexpected way

Today has been an amazing day. OK so it just hit mid-night so I guess I am now talking about yesterday. I am still awake just reviewing everything that happened and trying to process it all. The irony is that most of the day was taken up by a funeral!   OK funerals are NOT at the top of my like list. And this funeral was of a ninety year old woman whom I called “Mom” through my teen years. I will miss Gay so much but I believe that she is in a better place. I have felt every emotion in t

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Transistions or What Happens When You Finally Stop for a Break

This has been an odd day. Not and off-day or an on-day but odd. I think it is emblematic of the changes which have taken place in my head over the last month and a half. Two months ago I was in the hospital. Right after that my youngest moved out. At first I was sure that my whole world had fallen apart. I had never lived alone before and was convinced that I would be lonely and that I would miss my baby. I was in the middle of other major life changing decisions but decided I needed to g

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Steps up and down!

What a whirlwind of change has happened around here this month. Some of it has been difficult but for the most part everything has ended up being good.   I met with the Money Follows the Person (MFP) again and the two women were a tremendous amount of help. I am amazed at how much is now available for Dick should he come home. We are talking about 2 hours of home health in the morning and 3 in the evening with Day Care five days a week. Then he will have 20-30 hours of personal attendant

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A Day to Day Thing

I really should write this after today’s meeting with our MFP transition coordinator but I know that I will be too busy then. Yes, I am still pursuing the possibility of bringing Dick home under the Money Follows the Person program. I still do not know if it will happen. And because of the big changes that have happened in the last couple of weeks I am not going to make the decision until the end of next month.   I really took to heart the input on my last post. Not only have I determined

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I did not see this coming!

I have been trying for the past half hour to get my daughter to get out of bed..well wake up because she fell asleep on the living room floor again! She is home for the weekend with the goal of digging out her bedroom. She has the largest room in the house and it is almost like an episode of Horders! She is a beautiful and talented college student so is rarely home and her room has become a storage room of dumped crafts, clothes and memorabilia. Then she had a cat that lived in that room nigh

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Made it through the holidays. Now what?!

I am never up at this hour of the morning but my time table has been turned upside down. And there is so much on my mind. I finally decided to forget everything that needs to be done until the holidays were over. Well that time has come!   I dreaded the holidays this year. I was sick over Thanksgiving so the thought of having the entire family home for weeks over Christmas overwhelmed me. Fortunately the kids understood and everyone was gone by January 3rd. It is not that I don’t love ha

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Happy New Years

I have thought that I need to add a blog for the last several weeks but there simply have not been the time. With all that is going on that was just one “to do” that I was able to set aside and not worry about it. Until tonight. So far the holidays have been on slightly less awful than I was afraid of. I determined to just let the holiday season happen and not worry if it was up to “standards.” My four girls started showing up a week before I expected and I was not amused at the lack of sup

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Marriage

I need someone to talk to and my children are not interested. I am not blaming them. After all how many of us truly comprehend that our parents are people with needs until we were a bit older. There is therefore a void in my life in which I walk with people around me but alone. In these times I miss my husband the most. He was always attuned to my day to day ups and downs. I like to believe that is the way I have been in return but I was never as good at it as Dick.   When you are unwe

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Simplicity

It seems that the most common courtesy this time of the year is to ask, “How was your Thanksgiving?” Never much noticed that before but since yesterday I ate my first solid meal in over two weeks I noticed the irony this year. I had three of my five children home and I entertained them from a hospital bed. And poor Dick spent the entire time alone in the nursing home. Not a good start to a season known for good cheer, but an opportunity none the less, to reflect on the great benefits of bein

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Looking Back or The Countdown

I am in the midst of my annual count down. This year it goes something like, seven years ago I…. I don’t quite know why I torture myself this way year after year. Some years it really does not bother me too much and I have actually thought I was coming to grips with post-stroke life some years. I guess because of all the difficulties over the last few months I am feeling the countdown more keenly.   Seven years ago the beginning of October, Dick and I headed south in our 40 foot motor home

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Its All About Give and Take

Years ago, when I was home schooling five children, I often felt the need to get away from the kids if only for a little while. At that point we lived in a tiny Illinois community so that you had to travel 45 minutes at least to do even do basic shopping or Dr. visits. I loved my children and at that time we were doing an especially absorbing study on medieval Europe. To most people it must have seemed I had a rather idyllic life. The children’s father travelled a little over an hour each da

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The Quiet of Indian Summer

We have had the best weather for the last several days. Temperatures fell dramatically from the high heat and humidity of summer over night. But for these few days it has been warm and clear. I love being able to leave the windows open and hear the night sounds. Or just sit in the slices of sun through the venetian blinds. It gives me time to calm my mind as I grapple with some heavy decisions.     I finally heard back from the state’s ombudsman today. It has been months now that I have

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The Good and the Bad of a Less than Good Week

My daughter took me to see Dick tonight. I hadn’t seen him in a week and missed him badly. Today I had gone through some of his clothes still in my closet and cried. I missed my old friend so much and I missed my current love as well. I was so thankful for that few minutes to hug him, hold him and get him to bed.   I have spent the last four days in the hospital (here we go again). I finally just couldn’t take that anymore and said I needed to get home. So the issues are still not cleare

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Up Coming Care Meeting

Ever find that you have kept far too many concerns too closed mouth and just HAVE to dump all of them out on someone? That is where I was yesterday. I have no support network. My children are young adults and just do not “get it” so I rarely use them as a sounding board when it concerns Dick’s care. In addition to their youth, they tend to want to protect me from having concerns about Dick not realizing that that actually adds to my distress. Therefore I periodically spew everything out on

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What to do What to do

A few weeks ago my father approached me with the idea of making a trip to Indiana. Three days later my daughter drove us to Philadelphia airport for a trip we never imagined could happen. Dad has many physical restrictions and is unable to sit for more than a few minutes at a time so the only way I could see of flying with him was to go first class. I have been saving frequent flyer miles for about 15 years and figured this was the time to cash them in. Believe it or not we did not have a si

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Our Sleep Over

As the month of July quickly draws to an end I am again caught in one of those paradoxes which so often stymie me. I am dreading my girls all heading back to college yet I cannot wait to have the house to myself! Having three of my girls at home has been exhausting because there is so much that I want to be able to do in the short time we have together. I have chosen often to enjoy doing things that I know will leave me unable to function the next day which is well worth the pain until the pa

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Busy Family Week

Yesterday my daughter and granddaughter left after an eventful week. I find that when I sit around too much I feel a lot of pain and I begin to feel it bogging down my emotions as well. On the flip side, if I do too much activity I’m left in severe pain but I feel great because I had a good time getting there! I often choose the later plan. And since it is rare for me to have all of my girls home at one time, I pushed myself to the max and let the Vicodin get me through the nights.   My yo

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Unexpected Outing

I know that I just posted a blog this week but we had such an unexpected day that I just had to share.   Yesterday was an extremely busy day for me. I had Physical Therapy in the morning. It didn’t take that long and I figured I could fit in an hour and a half visit with Dick before my appointment with my back specialist. When I got to Dick he was asleep. I rarely try to wake him because waking him suddenly leaves him especially confused. Gradually I got him to wake up but he was nearly u

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So much to do so little ____ !

Well, here sits the queen of procrastination. There are so many things I needed to do this week so I keep putting off calling the Ombudsman about Dick’s care in the nursing home. I have spent hours talking to the staff and getting his summer clothes photographed and printed up a detailed inventory. I gave multiple copies to the nursing home with a list of all the items that have been lost since January. Now I will see how long it takes them to reimburse me for those losses.   As to care, I

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One year anniversary in the nursing home

My husband’s one year anniversary in the nursing home was last March 13th. I had decided that then would be a good time to update my blog but every time I start to write I get distracted or plan frustrated because I cannot seem to get all I want down in black and white. So while I wait for my night time meds to kick in maybe I will be successful in updating our lives.   The decision to place Dick in a nursing home was not an easy one. I think I fantasize about bringing him home at least onc

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Retired Caretaker

I know that in the past I have always agreed with the statement that even though your loved one is in a nursing facility, you are still a caregiver. But now that it is my turn I must say I feel like I have retired.   One could say that I did a lot of worrying for nothing or you could say all my worry paid off! I never imagined that this time of transition would go so smoothly. Dick is settling into his new environment quite contentedly. He has yet to ask to return home. I took some pictu

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Making the Move to the Nursing Facility

Saturday was moving day. I have to say that moving my husband into the nursing home went far smoother than I ever thought possible. This was the day I had said would never happen. But life had other plans for us. My imagination painted a dreadful picture of what that transition would be like. Most of the time I am grateful for my imagination but this time reality was much better.   I had dreaded telling my husband that he was going to have to make this move. But several days ahead he ha

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