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coping better


swilkinson

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I am feeling a bit better. My nose is bothering me less and the cough is not getting any worse. Thank goodness I am also finally getting some energy back and feeling better about life. I have been a sad sack for the past week or so,now it is time for me to pull up my socks, get myself together and start planning things like spring cleaning.

 

I sometimes feel as if I am half-awake, as if I am not able to give life my full attention. I know that is common in survivors but I think it is common in caregivers too. It might be because thinking for two people gives you almost a split personality, it keeps your mind very busy, far busier than when you worked or raised kids or thought you lived a busy life.

 

Today I was doing what I often do, looking for my keys and I came across a pile of unopened mail. I know Trev often brings our mail in and it sits on the table and I clear it off and put it in a heap. This pile contained the usual information letters from insurance companies, banks etc and two unpaid and almost overdue accounts and a 60th birthday invitation from an old friend. I knew it was coming as she rang me to tell me she was inviting Ray and I to her birthday party, the venue is disabled friendly and she hoped we would be able to come. So I will make the effort and we will go.

 

Tonight I received a phone call from another long term friend. As she talked I realised she didn’t know much about our last year or so, so it must have been a while since we last spoke. She is in a good place in her life as her children and grandchildren are all doing well. As I talked to her I realised how wide the gap was between us now.

 

My friend is a person of goodwill and was once a very good friend, we had children the same age, came from the same kind of background. Our husbands were once really good mates. But somehow our lives are now so different that we have very little in common. I think in the end she made an excuse to ring off. I didn’t really get a chance to say good-bye but that was what it felt like, as if I was saying goodbye.

 

Mum was good when I saw her yesterday, she is not as alert now as a few months ago, sleeps more, seems a little frailer. It is hard to chart the development of her Alzheimers as she seems to change very little. But I realise that changes have taken place, like she is now having energy foods instead of cake for morning tea, to “build her up”. I can see she has lost a little more weight.

 

She was making a little whimpering noise as if she was unhappy. I asked the staff if she was okay and they said yes, no infections, not in pain as far as they know. As soon as the warmer weather comes I will take her outside in the wheelchair, maybe sunshine on her skin will make her feel better. I feel like a mother with a small child, worried about her well being and wishing I could understand her in her strange wordless world.

 

Caregiver chat this morning was good. It had some sad elements in it as chat sometimes does but it was still the usual supportive framework for discussion. I enjoy the chat as I think the other participants do. I have been doing chat for close on four years now and never tire of it. I do miss people when they no longer join us but also enjoy meeting newbies and making them into friends.

 

This afternoon Ray and I went to Kid’s Club. It was cold and blustery so I was out in the yard with the five boys who always love to play outside. They come straight from school so enjoy the 30 minutes of wild play. I let them go without comment unless I think what they are doing will result in injury or death. They build the cubby house out of sheets, play ball games, generally play very noisily, then it is in for afternoon tea and the rest of the program. Twelve kids today and a good but robust time had by all.

 

The tiles are finally set, a bit more painting, doors and window frames and the toilet is done. We still need the rest of the interior painted but there is a lot to sort and pack up for that to be done so we will have a break for a while so I can clean up present mess and attempt a spring clean. It will all be done eventually.

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You have such a way with words Sue. Your comment "I sometimes feel as if I am half-awake, as if I am not able to give life my full attention." is spot on. Sometimes my mind gets going so fast on so many things I get confused. Chat was good last night, it always lifts me up a bit.

 

Glad you're feeling better.

 

MJ

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Sue,

Yes, I like the quote "I sometimes feel as if I am half-awake , as if I am not able to give life my full attention".

I feel like that. Sometimes Wm has me up so much at night that I am really tired the next day. Yes, it is difficult to give life my full attention. Today, my son called me at work. I was talking to my boss and trying to field questions from 2 different techs and talk on the phone. This is very difficult to do.

I missed chat. I was working on a quilt. I just had to sew this one up. I had just bought this great looking panel and wanted to put it together.

 

Ruth

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Hi Sue

 

I tried to find the chat session but wasn't sure if I was in the right screen. I am in New Zealand so tried to get on at 12 noon on Wednesday as you mentioned that you were in NSW which is two hours behind New Zealand.

I have been reading your posts and it sounds as though our situations are similar. I am carer for my husband full time - he has had several strokes over the past five years and is doing quite well considering but has very little sight and doesn't talk very much unless spoken to but understands all that is going on.

 

The group for carers sounds very supportive.

 

Best wishes and I will try again next week.

 

Gwendoline.

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