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the beach etc



I don’t usually go to the doctor’s by myself but I did on Monday. I don’t go often as there is nothing much wrong with me. This time I had an earache that despite my best effort with OTC meds and ignoring it did not go away. So I sought some antibiotics and a little TLC.


When you have been a caregiver as long as I have, eleven years and counting, the doctor tends not to see you as a person. So I walked in and before I sat down he asked me how Ray was! I would have thought the whole point of going was to have someone concerned about me. But all he was worried about was how Ray’s caregiver was but he did give me antibiotics so I am just getting my hearing back at last.


I went again to the beach after chat this afternoon, about 80 degrees, warm and sunny,with a gentle onshore breeze. It is a nice spot and I love going there. No-one else there today so it was my beach, just me and the sand, the wind and the waves. I could sit there for hours but as I had 80 minutes and that included the drive there and back about an hour was what I had. I probably have five weeks more of nice warm weather so need to make the most of it.


I got home about the time Ray would have been home but the bus driver picks his grandkids up on Wednesdays so he dropped everyone but Ray, did a little loop and picked them up. It is good we are still “small town” enough for that to be possible. It was the Monday/Tuesday driver today as the Wednesday/Friday driver was off sick. I like it that the carers are up close and personal with the Daycare clients. Some, like Ray, have been going for a long time and it is part of their routine.


The doctor asked me how long since Ray’s first stroke – I told him 21 years now. He looked at me and said: “That is a long time for you too.” So he does recognize the work I do as a caregiver. I have to get paperwork done by him each time Ray goes for his two weeks of respite and so he does know he goes there now. Of course when Ray goes in as the patient he concentrates on Ray’s needs.


I think few people relate to the “long haul caregiver”. Mostly when we think of caregiving here we think of those who look after cancer patients and those who look after elderly parents, not so much the spouse caregivers. When I left Social Services in 1999 there were over 300,000 people in New South Wales who qualified for a Carer’s Pension, who looked after someone needing 24 hour supervision. Of course that does not figure in those who look after someone but work part-time or are self funded retirees. I don’t know what percentage of the population are caregivers but there are a lot of us out there.


Sometimes I feel sad about how life has become for us. I know we do less and less in the community and spend more and more time in the home. I guess that is inevitable with Ray now having dementia as an addition to the stroke damage, the diabetes and other minor ills the doctor hands him so many pills for. He is less and less able to relate to others now so socializing can be a painful experience for him.


My advice to others is go out when you can and while you can. It is great to have plans for good things to happen somewhere in the future but we do not know how much future we have. And good times do not have to be expensive, a picnic, a drive to a farmer’s market, a movie if the person you care for is capable of lasting the distance. There are regular activities that are pleasurable to do which don't have to cost a lot of money. I used to enjoy swimming at the heated pool, or bowling or just regular get-together with friends, I just have to look at all the possibilities.


I love to eat out once a week, with or without Ray and to spent time on the beach by myself like today. If Ray had been with me I would have gone to a different beach where he can sit in the car but still be fairly close to the water’s edge, or go down by the lake which is just a ten minute drive from here. It doesn’t have to be across the globe to be a break or a change of scenery; it can be across the road and round the corner. Anywhere that is not just looking at the same view gives you a different perspective.


Today on the beach I sat on a rock with my feet in the water and thought my own thoughts. It was not a big intellectual exercise, more a slow washing of ideas through my head. I felt in tune with the ocean, pleased to sit and do nothing for a while. I used to do that a lot in my younger days and it is one of the things I have been missing.


When winter comes I will have to find different things to do. There is an art gallery about twenty minutes drive from here and a couple of interesting old houses opened to the public. There is close by a heated pool if I decide to keep up my swimming and of course cheap eateries galore. I don’t have to be bored because I am by myself I can phone one of half a dozen old friends and get company if I want it.


Half of making life good is in the planning, the other half is allowing it to happen and allowing myself to enjoy the break.


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I'm glad that you can get out and to the beach that sounds so relaxing. :cloud9: Enjoy your warm weather while you can and keep thinking of ways to get out in the colder weather so that cabin fever doesn't set in.

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You are so right. YOu must do what you can while you can do it. I do take pleasure in the little things of life. Any outing is a good outing. Even the grocery store is a journey. All of the samples of food and new items on display.

I was hoping to have a great day off on Thursday. But, I had to schedule a doctor's annual visit in the middle of the day.


I am so glad that you have the beach. It is a wonderful place to meditate and unwind.


I hope to see you on Thurs.


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Sue, I so envy you with the environment you live in - beaches, scenery. I am longing for "a different view". Today we go to the doctor's office again and this time for training on the INR machine. This will be helpful so that I won't have to take Larry to the lab and he won't have to have those blood draws as he hates needles. This will be a finger stick, not as bad. Later, my daughter is coming in for a short visit from Michigan. She is changing jobs and starts her new one Monday. I am so looking forward to having some "girl time" together. I plan to get out of the house more as you suggest with Larry this spring. This will be good for both of us.

Also, I'm happy to hear your earache is better. Good luck with the new chat. It's a little late for me - 10 p.m. my time.



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sue just got back from ocean and thankful for the time away from snow. i'm happy you got a chance for" me" time while weather is still good. hopefully your winter won't be too long.glad you already have ideas for the winter.get out and enjoy. blessings lynn

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Sue: I am glad the ear is improving. And good luck with your new chat. I am going to try to stop in, but Friday is my early day at work and I try to keep Thursday night to schedule for I can be ready for the Caregiver when she gets here.


When Bruce first got home, all his therapies were afternoon and as you know Mr. Farmer was up with the birds. We went on a "Jaunt" as Bruce calls them, every day. We have some beautiful State Parks here in CT. Had picnics or just snacks, but just got out.


When Outpatient started, we were on a treadmill every day and now with the pool and Bruce's work, weekends are mainly errands, but every once in a while, he will say lets go on a "Jaunt." We have a favorite reservoir and the local dairy farm. And of course now, in the middle of all this flooding, just sitting by one of our local rivers with coffee is fun. Good week, Debbie

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Sue, Hope your ear is feeling better. I love when you talk about the trips to the beach and the water. You describe it so well I feel as if I'm their.

Soak up all that warm weather to hold you over the winter. As, we are coming out of winter and it was a long cold one this year that I'm not going to complain about the heat this summer. remembertolaugh, Jeannibean :cocktail:

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