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Time out for me


Jillza

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Yesterday I took some time out and went bushwalking with a group of friends. Our group 'wise women walking' has been operating for about 6 or so years now and it always is so good to get out away from the suburbs and walk in the bush. Yesterday, although we didn't walk far, was no exception. It does requires quite a bit of planning - after the usual morning routine of showering and breakfast which John manages with minimal input from me, his carer comes in for a couple of hours, [ I need to have morning tea prepared and the house in reasonable order] for her, then my daughter takes over and ensures he has lunch and goes down for a nap and by the time I get back mid afternoon John has just woken and demanding a cup of tea !! I cherish these times and really miss them if for some reason I'm unable to join the girls. I'm lucky too, John is always pleased to see me have some time off from the caring role, and is happy having others around instead of me !!

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You are so lucky! With me it is the exact opposite.

 

I have a caregiver I am paying to watch my husband tomorrow so I can take my annual trip to the city to meet up with some old friends, but I haven't told him yet because I dread the tantrums that will follow. At least it will be nice out and the aide promised to take him to the beach, yet I know it won't be pretty!

 

Everyone tells me how important it is to get out by myself, but the logistics are almost impossible right now. You may have heard, the US is switching to a new "Affordable Healthcare Plan" (aka Obamacare) and everything is topsy turvy until January, when things get figured out. One thing for sure, they are no aides anymore coming in for free, they are still in the process of contracting outside agencies to take over that part of in-home care. You are lucky to live in a country where they take care of things like that automatically. And you are lucky to have a group of friends to have a little fun with. That makes such a difference.

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I can never tell John of any arrangements until just before its time to go somewhere or do something. The morning of my walk he was awake very early reminding me of the walk and wouldn't go back to sleep - he loves to organise me ! I have a care package for John which consists of speech therapy [hopefully that will start again soon], the hire of some equipment e.g. raised chair and 6 hours per fortnight respite care - mostly this is free - I usually pay a minimal amount for equipment hire. Yes, I think we are very lucky. I hope you enjoyed your time out with friends in the city and that it all worked out OK with your husband. Take care

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I agree with Sting above in that John is in control of most things he has to get done at the home. I'm the same way and had to learn to do many things myself before my wife had to returned to work daily. I enjoyed her opting to quit work to care for me so I learned quickly what needed to be done.

 

I just lost my in home care and my health care lady who came in three days a week for a couple hours. I'm OK at this point in my life and my recovery process too. Care giving is not easy for anyone and can be demanding when you are trying to hold down a job too.

 

Enjoy your time away from John knowing he will be fine at home and not in any danger. That's a true blessing.

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Jill: I too do love my rare times away - not at work. I have six friends, most since Kindergarten and we get together every three months for dinner. Every one of us has gone through some very trying times.

 

The year we were all 50, we agreed on no "surprise" parties. We all made sure family and friends understood that. We did something together every month. We had great plans for our 60th, but that decade was difficult for all of us. Now we do our every three months - simple dinner at someone's home, laugh, cry. Usually I can get Bruce's friend to come stay with him. If I have to pay a caregiver, that is fine, but I do have to leave earlier than most.

 

For so many reasons, all of us caregivers limit our time away, our "me" time and yet when we get back from it, are so refreshed, alive. Maybe it is just the reinforcement of yes, I am still in here and I still am unique.

 

I am so happy your day went well and you had a blast! So important. Rock on - Debbie

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Reading this makes me realise how fortunate I was to have lost the use of my right hand, arm and shoulder, and have ,invited use of my right leg. I can still look after myself without the need for a carer, so Jules can leave me alone for up to a week if she needs to travel to Melbourny to look after the grandchildren. Prolly longer if she wished.

 

I really admire those spouses who act as carers. It can't be an easy task, and at times it must be a tremendous emotional drain. You all deserve a medal!

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