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Ethyl17

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Bruce's project list is down to organizing his tools. He has several really nice tool boxes and one big one that sits in the garage. They are mostly empty. When Bruce would go to help people, he would load up what he needed in a paper bag. When he got home, the paper bag was dropped. In cleaning up the house, I have relocated the bags to one area. Thing is, nothing was cleaned up, wiped off; so I have no clue what mess is in those bags.

 

I was planning on setting him up in the garage at a large folding table in late Spring where I could keep the mess contained, clean as things were sorted and then Bruce could organize in either sell or keep. This winter's weather is forcing me to consider bringing all this stuff into the living room. I guess I could cover the table with the vinyl tablecloth for the deck table. Then get all new nice linens for summer.

 

Weather report for this week was possible snow for Wednesday, then they backed off that and finally a significant storm starting Tuesday afternoon. The biggest issue however was the frigid weather due after that and we are talking a few weeks, not just a couple of days. The ramp is in the sun, so if I can get it cleaned off, it will be snow and ice free in a day or two. Driveway the same. So we could do rides. But I am always considering if we have to get out of the vehicle for any reason and Bruce does not like layers - LOL -or hats, gloves, scarves.

 

Bruce had PCP on Tuesday. I had a nice list of errands we could do after. But when they changed the storm to Tuesday afternoon, Monday was a holiday and even Kira's Vet was closed. So I said, we will do what we can after the Doctor and finish up later in the week if necessary.

 

When I got home Monday afternoon, Bruce says he would like to take his shower in the morning so he would be "fresh" for the Doctor. "Fresh" is Erma's word. Bruce never asks for stuff like that. Mostly he doesn't even think about things like showers, shave. Thing is, to protect my double-time pay for Monday, I had to work Tuesday.

 

Bruce got up at 4am. I had him get me up at 5am. I left him with his newspaper and coffee and went to work. Yes, I know, taking him out of routine, but had to be done. I got home at 8:30 and popped him in the shower. I spent the next hour doing the morning stuff: bed, dishes, setting up for lunch. I knew he would give me a hard time as to outer wear, so I warmed up the truck and spent the next 20 minutes trying to dress someone who was acting like a 2 year old. Hat on, hat off. Gloves on, gloves off. Scarf on, scarf off. Finally I said Bruce if you don't stop, I am going to cancel everything and you are going back to bed! It was 19 degrees outside.

 

We got right in to the Doctor's and she did spend some time with us. She is a bit upset that the Botox is now cancelled. She wants him to exercise more, very upset with the "tone" which she has never seen because he always had the Botox. Pleased with his weight and cognitive improvement. We will do more therapy in the Spring.

 

So the list is about an hour long. It was dreary out, but no snow yet, so off we went. Now you have to understand none of this "had" to be done. It was things that needed attention within the week, but not imperative. I had some mail, so we did the post office and I picked up stamps. Kira would need her special food, but even so I have back up of normal food for emergencies. I save the bank to get Erma's money just to get him out and Pharmacy pick up could have been done later in the week. The issue was to get him out, in the fresh air because I don't know when that can happen again soon. The one thing I do know is if he doesn't stop with the TV remote, I will lose my mind.

 

Bruce got out of the truck for the Doctor's appointment, of course. And I did make him go into the Vet's. He does love her dogs.

 

We got home just as the snow was starting to accumulate. Got him up into the house, unloaded the truck and got it parked so Cliff could snow blow the driveway in the morning. Lunch and Bruce went down for a well-needed nap. Bruce's friend and Mary Beth called. I wanted to talk to both of them-but no down time for me. Bruce was up, dinner and then after he went to bed, prep for the morning because I knew I had to get out with neighbor and shovel.

 

I popped in the shower and went to bed. Bruce up at 4am, me up at 5am. Morning routine again messed up - no newspaper. We got about 9 inches of snow - the light, fluffy stuff. Not really normal for us. I dressed for shoveling. Neighbor came over about 6:30, we did the driveway, ramp and cleaned off most of the truck. Newspaper finally came, rest of morning routine, I dressed for work and off I went in the Honda. When I got home; lunch for Bruce and nap, back in the shoveling clothes to finish off the truck and shovel the deck. Bruce up, afternoon routine and prep for dinner and morning.

 

I am so thankful Erma was here today. I did get an hour down-time. And so we start again. Saturday was supposed to be warmer, so I told Bruce we would just do something outside-maybe the fancy Cheese store, he does love that and a lot of it is outside, on ramps. But now, snow predicted again. So I will stay up for the weather report and plan from there. I don't have to bring the tools in for the weekend. I can keep him busy with cooking, grocery lists, coupons, etc. But I don't know if I can stretch all this out for another week. Makes me exhausted just writing about all of it - LOL.

 

Erma is going away for two weeks in February. I will miss her, but mostly she won't be here to take care of Kira, so Casino trip is out for a bit. We will be ready for an overnight break when she gets back!

 

It has been impossible since early December here. Frigid weather, then two days of 50 degrees. Now, I guess we will be in the deep freeze for a bit. Pre-stroke we would hunker down with hot teas and good books, comfy clothes and afghans. Go for walks, maybe a glass of wine on the deck. Then Bruce would light a fire in the woodstove. I was told by several this week that I am "nuts." But I see how distressed Bruce is with all of this, how helpless he feels. I sat him on the front porch for five minutes this afternoon - 11 degrees - because this is his season. Always has been and now that has been taken from him.

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i am tired just reading your blog.... funny part is my life is so similar.... we each live "it" and don't necessarily realize how much we do in a day until we "read" it in someone else's world... I don't work outside of the house (yet) but i have little man weston to factor in... so that bumps it up.. lol.. but you are such a tornado of activity love to read about it !!..--- I am considering a very small job working in laundry for a basic care center.. no drama , basically working alone, some interaction with other staff and residents.. and the owner/boss completely understands my obligations at home.. dan needs me - i go home period.. with family around i can always go back and finish duties later in the day -- or if i am up at 2am go in early... just a get my feet wet type of job.. not a lot of responsibility. . If the guy figures out i am med certified ( both through the jail and previous DD jobs he will flip - they are always looking for med passers - and they get paid well, but i dont want to think to hard .. and if mixing up a residents clothes is the worst i can do - than no "life threatning issues" mix up meds and yes life threatning issues... but this will give me a chance to see if i am ready ... well my dear i managed to steal your thread.....

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I know Nancy: I haven't been blogging lately either, just hijacking threads out of pure laziness. I don't feel like anything going on with me right now is big news. At least you do blog! Glad to hear you're looking at a job; as you know with our new agency (two months later) still no aide for us since Pat decided to back out at the last minute and take unemployment instead. I've sort of given up on the whole idea at that point. They told me to look on Craigslist for someone else but I don't think so!

 

Debbie, same with me about the snow. All the preparation and worrying beforehand about the storm is worse than the actual shoveling out. I also had a doctor appt (the GYN for me) in the afternoon Tuesday. I had cancelled already in the beginning of the month due to weather (the previous Polar Vortex) so I was determined to get there by hook or by crook. I've been feeling weird lately and need to get it checked out, if just to ease my mind. Snow wasn't predicted to start until lunchtime, and my appt was at 2:15. But as you know, it started 9AM, which is always a bad sign. I left at 1, for what is normally a 45 minute ride, hoping there'd be cancellations by the time I got there. Of course I had to take Ray with me as always, he sits so patiently in the waiting room for an hour and a half or more, don't know how he stands it. Anyway, the Toyota started slipping and sliding right off the bat and the anti lock light or whatever it is keep flipping on and off. I was scared, made it to the main road but then knew I'd have to turn back. With all the prepping for this kind of doctor appt, I was annoyed but what can you do? When I read the newspaper the next day, how the highways were all at a standstill and it took people five and six hours to get home, I knew I did the right thing at least. We haven't left the house since, although I do have to get to the post office today myself. Hope the car starts!

 

. At least we only got about 4 inches, don't know how since the rest of the Island got 10 to 13. Just lucky I guess. I had no problem starting the snow blower, the first machine that has cooperated with me in a long while. Also a Honda! I did the driveway and walks myself for a change, the snow was as light as a feather. Then I find that Pat in her ying yang way had left some food for us, fresh meat and fish, on the chair on the front porch (we never use the front door). Too bad it was apparently from days ago, so into the garbage, what a shame. Well, better than finding it in the spring ;-)

 

Oh the funniest coincidence, Ray for the first time since the stroke also woke up and asked for a shower a couple of days ago. I was so shocked that I dropped everything and got him all set up. Hope that's a new pattern, usually he makes me put it off until I have to say, no more stalling! But unlike Bruce he HATES the cold (his Sicilian blood I guess) and even said no to going out one day last week. Which again is a first! Ah well I am starting to plan my garden, only a month and a half to seed time. It helps to visualize the garden in August at least.

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Like Nancy, I was exhausted reading your blog Debbie. lol Larry does not like to go outdoors in this frigid weather and that is fine with me. I hate it too. That means I have to make sure I have enough of the food and milk Mr. Picky will only eat. I almost canceled Jim Thursday because I did not want to go out myself. My sensor light on my garage burns day and night but I cannot deal with that now. Colleen, Larry also hates the showers. It has to be like a suana in that room so he won't get cold.

 

Well, it is only a couple months until spring. : )

 

Julie

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I had to go out to the post office this morning, plus wanted to go to the library to pick up some DVDs that had come in. A quick trip. Ray came along of course but we didn't take the wheelchair. I was trying to decide the cheapest place to fill up on gas (car, plus gas can for snow blower/lawnmower) and said should we go to the one by the mall and check out the new Walmart across the street? I was shocked that he said yes. We always had a Walmart but they just moved down the road to a new, slightly bigger and obviously cleaner building; the old one he often stayed in the car since I was never in long. I said if they have wheelchairs (not the electric ones, he is so over that) then maybe we can kill a little time and check it out. To my surprise, they had a bunch of them available, with and without leg rests, so we browsed to Ray's heart's content. Funny the things that seem fun now, isn't it? I got some packets of Burpee seeds to start my garden, whoopee! All I know is I got him out, the hardest thing this time of year.

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You all hit the nail on the head. And that is what I try to explain to the naysayers - and frankly, I am all done with that. I do what I do because I THINK it is what is best. Don't belittle or make fun of me. I am open to all suggestions, but if you don't have something positive to offer, just be quiet, please.

 

I don't want Bruce thinking that I am entertaining him. He will just as easily say to me "take me for a ride." Well, baby, those days are over. I did that every single day for three years. He has to take some responsibility for his own recovery - even if it is just pouring a bowl of cereal, taking dirty dishes to the kitchen, urinating by himself. So if most of the time we are doing stuff for the house, he understands that life goes on, things have to get done and he is responsible for that too.

 

In good weather, that is easy. Just get out every day and do a few things. And my big thing is, he has to get out of the vehicle.Even as difficult the last two winters were, weather after the storms was above freezing, so we were only stuck in a day at most.

 

Nancy: I'll message you. But I am so happy you are thinking of something for yourself.

 

Colleen: you did an awesome job on the driveway and walks. My little snowblower would have been good this year. But with the wet snow we got over the last two winters, I left it in the cellar. My Dietician says if you have the right machine, it is not too physical. Ray always has the best, so I may consider one like yours for the future if you think I could handle it.

 

Jules: got home from work today - sunny, but 23 degrees. Snow due tomorrow, so I offered to take Bruce out for a bit. He refused! LOL. And I will say, the wind really cut through me today, something I have not had, even getting the newspaper in 3 below. Neighbor's sensor light on the back of her house is on all the time. Totally lights my bedroom and bathroom. Makes it so much easier to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking Bruce - LOL.

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I enjoyed reading everyones blog! I keep on saying this, but you caregivers are wonderful, and heaven has a speical place for you all.

 

I live in Florida so no snow, we haded a few "cold spell" , it drops to about 30, during the night, for floridans that is cold! Wish you all the best, take care, spring is coming!

 

Yvonne

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I'm happy that Bob has no desire at all to go out in the cold. My life would be much harder if he liked that! We have had very fluffy snow, and I've found it was easy to use the wide garage broom and stand at the front of the car and drag off the snow from the top of the windshield down the front of the hood. I have used the broom to also push a small path to the end of the drive. My neighbor does come over a lot and work on my drive, but I have a major problem out there, in that we are on the low side of the street. Anything that melts, runs to my drive, where it pools on my driveway and refreezes. So, even when others have a good day and their drives become completely clear, it just shows up over here and freezes into a pond. I have pondered the situation a lot, and have come to realize that the original owners must have dug those little trenches on the side of the drive (called 'edging the sidewalk') and therefore, the grass was not like a dam, preventing the water from leaving the driveway. This spring, I will endeavor to dig this trench down our 3 car long driveway and end this mess. We actually have the largest snow plow known to man, but it is locked in behind moving boxes, and I will have to find the book and the key. Thought I would do that this Nov, but winter came early.

 

ANYWAY, I was thinking Debbie, if you could wait to sort the tools, I think he'd enjoy it in the garage better, it is a man thing, to be out in the garage. It's not just the sorting, it will give him a feeling of his old self. Just a thought....

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