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Balancing Act



Am dealing with so many emotions tonight. My family has gotten hit with the triple whammy today. A precious and dear cousin is battling a rare form of cancer. She is into her fourth week of chemo and radiation, terribly sick and the doctors report she is just not responding yet. Her Mom, who is 88, took a tumble and ripped open her leg, now hospitalized and going off to Rehab when all she wants is to be with her daughter. Our dear friend Barry, who suffered stroke last Thursday while undergoing cardiac surgery, suffered another massive stroke last night. Family has chosen no life support measures. Prognosis is not good.


My darling sister Mary Beth is frantic in New Hampshire, wanting to be here supporting Barry's family and our brother John. John, who is Barry's best friend, paces, chews his nails and can not function. While trying to support Mary Beth and John; Bruce is asking questions I can't answer and he is frustrated. I myself keep having flashbacks to March 2009 when I did the 24 hour watch for days looking for an answer from God. I can only imagine what Barry's family is going through.


Still my main responsibility is here and Bruce's recovery. He continues to refuse to do anything with the caregivers. They in turn are reacting, in many ways not to my liking. Had to talk to two of them today and explain that they are here to care for Bruce. It is not about them or what they would like or how they think they can change things. If he refuses care, they are to let it go. It is not on them to judge or punish him.


Bruce and I are working on more independent dressing, not calling for me to tidy up his area and get things for him. Everything is within his doing now and he is expected to take care of things himself. Personally, again it is a matter of reinforcement and routine. As soon as I say, "No, you take care of that", he smiles and says "Oh yes, I remember now" and off he goes.


He asked to go to the pool yesterday. I said "no, because if you go today with me, you will not go tomorrow with Jen and I am not paying someone to sit here, clean out her purse and car, make you lunch, help you to bed to nap and maybe, if she feels like it, fold some clothes". Well of course, he refused to go to pool with her today. At dinner says to me "I am going to pool tomorrow with you". I said "Bruce, you really hate the caregivers here, don't you". He said "yes." I said "you do understand that the more independent you become, the less time they will be here. And the only way that will happen if you work every day, even with them." He said "all I want to do is go to bed and forget all this."


Still with me he is continent all day, even after nap. Helps prep all meals, sets and clears table, does dishes, helps fold laundry, helps make the bed. His transfers are hand on only. We are getting there and I continue to remark and praise all his improvements. Our coffee maker broke and yesterday we went to local Chef store and he picked out marinades he wanted to try and prepped his pork chops for dinner for him and Leo. Still, in my heart and mind, I know he does this a bit for me, mostly out of boredom and is still looking for that one goal that will make him want his life back.


He still goes to work, only one day a week now, but his friend and boss reinforces the benefit of him going and that his last two projects were difficult and Bill chose them for that reason and Bruce's work was perfect.


I want to try Lydi and Ruth's volunteering at the local animal shelter. That may just grab him. We went this afternoon to get Kira's prescription. Kira's vet has a blond lab and golden retriever. Doc was in surgery and the dogs knew she was late, so responded to anyone who walked in the door, thinking it was Doc and time to go home. Pretty funny. But Bruce had to go over and comfort them once the receptionist explained their behavior. It was just precious.


Am in for a long and emotional weekend. This I already know. I also know I have to function here and try not to let my feelings interfere with the work Bruce and I are doing. Bruce is more than willing to slide on his work-lol. Rain coming in for tomorrow afternoon into Sunday, so again we will be working mainly on stuff here in the house. I am tired of our winter and am only looking for one weekend day where I can get him out on the deck or onto his scooter for a turn around the yard.


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Debbie, I'm sorry to hear of your triple whammy. My prayers our for your misfortune. Sounds like Bruce is doing his best with you. As for the caretakers you were right to have a talk with them. The caretakers you have don't have the patience for it's not their loved one. Some caregivers have it and some don't.Some people have an upside down view of love vs dislike (hate).Sounds like all of yours don't.

Suggestion for you to tell Bruce. Kill'em with kindness. remembertolaugh, Jeanniebean:cocktail:

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Unfortunately our husbands love us to care for them. William will do lots of therapy with me. He does not like his caregivers to do the exercises with him. I unfortunately do not have any caretakers that would do the water. My son was going to help him while he was here at Christmas. but, William insisted that only I could do it.

William is getting tired of the caregivers but is not at that point to take care of himself. Fortunately, the caregivers that I have are very sympathetic with his plight. I have told them to call me if William refuses to do stuff on the list that I leave. He usually does the bicycle pedal and stretching. and shower and shave and brush teeth. I stress that certain things need to be done to make my life easier.


I am so sorry to hear about the whammy of bad luck in health that you friends and family are having. I will pray for them. But, you are correct. Bruce is your responsibility. He is doing well. Things are just alot slower than we would like.



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Debbie I'm so sorry for your family's medical problems. It seems things happen in triplicate. We have had our adult children in the hospital over the last several months but they know my priorty is Larry. We cannot visit or help out much these days. Your support and prayers for your sister and family are what you can do now. I think Bruce is doing well. Look at the positive as he is going to work and solving problems, cooking, helping you where he can. I don't know how you do it with working on top of it all. I will be praying for you and your family. Take care. :hug:



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Debbie, I sympathise with Bruce, truly I do, but I can't empathise. We've all got a reality to live with and our wish list can never be our reality. I think Bruce is still in the "wishful thinking" stage, still not accepting his life as it is, so he can't move on to what it could be. With you two working as a team it could be a great life.


I do feel for you with friends so ill and nothing you can do about it except pray and keep in touch. The caregiver and the nurse in you must be longing to reach out to them all. I've been in the same situation myself, longing to help but knowing my duty was elsewhere.


Just keep going, one day at a time,and life will slowly change.


((hugs))) from Sue.

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