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Spring Transition



I am calling this time period the new Spring Transition. Two weeks ago, Bruce said he no longer wanted any caregivers in his home - he had had enough. I told him I was unwilling to give up Jen taking him to therapy twice a week for me - freeing up some time for me here at home and he agreed. Per our agreement, we reviewed it at one week and Bruce wanted to continue. I remember that first month home when I was on deck 24/7 plus all the house stuff. I literally fell asleep standing up in the kitchen and on the floor of the bedroom I was so exhausted, hence Jen and Leo and they have been with us for 8 months. So I was a bit apprehensive. As you all advised, the first year is the worst. Now things are in a routine. I know and can manage the household and finances. The fine tuning of the layout of the house is complete and you all are aware of the advances Bruce has made. The in and out of bed independently alone was a giant help-no more up at 4 am. His coffee and refrig are handy and we set everything up after dinner, so it is set to go for him in the morning. All his stuff is packed at night for any appointments he has the next day. I am more relaxed because I am not prepping for someone to be here - no rush for breakfast, laundry, making beds, etc. Sunday morning we both slept until 7 am and then had a nice big breakfast and had time to read the newspaper at our leisure. Also, when it is time for him to work, he won't tell me "no"-he knows where his meals come from. The savings alone will pay for his therapy. Down side is he is not walking as far as he did with the CNAs. Part of that has been the horrible weather, I can't get him outside. His college roommates are coming for a visit in April and he will have his second Botox to the leg later in the month. Also I have signed him up for a Creative Writing workshop - hoping to get some interest back besides the TV. Also we are talking more - his Speech Therapist mentioned how well he did this week and I think its because we have time to talk. I am seriously thinking of going back to work two days a week and we spoke about it briefly last night in chat, so thank you for the support. By the way, good chat night. Lots of brainstorming-loads of fun and nice to get the old brain functioning on social issues. I find I read a newspaper and as soon as I put it down, I've forgotten what I've read and it isn't really real because of the nightmare that is my daily life. So it was very therapeutic strictly on a personal level. Will keep you all informed and again thank you for the help. Debbie

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Hi Debbie: You have certainly had your share of trauma caring for Bruce. Every situation is different depending on severity of stroke, age, relationship to survivor,etc and none of them are easy. I am able to help out somewhat, mainly anything financial, but I can't do the housework and cooking I have done for 25 years. This has put a large strain on Jerry (he does the evening meals and I eat enough to survive bkfst and lunch). I have been going to a neuropsychologist and Jerry agreed to be part of our session tomorrow. After 3 1/2 years, our communication is not good and we bicker a lot IF he understands what I am trying to convey. I hope my psychologist will help our relationship...we really love each other and this is why this situation has survived.

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