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think twice before reacting



On the Carer’s Strategies for Coping list number 7 is: Patience and tolerance – think twice before reacting. It is such good advice but so often it is the opposite of what I do. Under stress I rush around, hurry, hurry, hurry I say to Ray. I get into an anxious situation and over-react, I lose my keys, my purse or my handbag and I panic. In short I am just an ordinary caregiver doing extra-ordinary things (as we all do). I do it not because I am special but because that is what is required.

Ray survived the four days of our grand daughter Tori’s visit fairly well, I think because she is less intrusive than the other grandchildren. She is very considerate for a nine year old and if I signal her to go or to be quiet or send her to fetch something she obeys immediately. Which is why we can have her here for four days on her own.

She had something special to do every day. I collect bits and pieces so she has fun stuff to do. On Sunday morning she came to church with us as she normally goes to Sunday school when she is here. In the afternoon after lunch she painted some little plaster animals. I bought them cheap and already had the paints from another project. She enjoyed it but when we went shopping and saw a similar kit with only two ready-to-paint plaster items for $11 she realised how lucky she was to have had four to paint. I think I paid 50 cents each for them at a garage sale.

We had a pretty good day yesterday. It was the short Daycare day so I was hoping to take her to the movies and timed it just right so we were able to see "Hop". It was expensive as we had lunch afterwards but this is her school holiday treat so I was not worried about the cost as long as she enjoyed it, which she did.

It was another busy day today. It was Tori's last day with us so I packed a picnic and we went to a local park. Tori loves a "fancy feast" so we had savory biscuits and cheese, then a meat and salad roll, then a muffin with our drink and lastly chips. She was very impressed. She climbed all the equipment and played in the open area with some other children. The park is called a Liberty Park as all the equipment is set up to be handicapped accessible. I think because of the intriguingly different equipment the able bodied kids love it too.

Ray has some sneaky ways. People with dementia it is said replace lost intelligence with cunning and I am sure that is true of Ray as he waits till he thinks I am occupied elsewhere and sneaks food. Sugary foods and diabetes do not go together but as Ray's diabetes is often way out of whack, the sneaking food compensates for the fact that I monitor what he eats.

When we came home from our picnic he went to the fridge and got a large handful of grapes, he dropped most of them as he couldn't eat them fast enough to prevent me from seeing them. After the episode with the diabetic blister he still can't resist sugar rich foods. I get mad about it but what can you do?

Tonight we went to the Lions dinner so I had to wake him from his nap and of course because of the extra sugar he was argumentative and awkward and so slow so I got flustered and we went off very unhappy with each other. That is when the patience and tolerance needs to be exercised – by both of us. It takes one to start an argument but two to continue it.

I stay with Ray because of the good times we have shared, the children we have raised and the memories we have of better times. We have been married 42 years and neither of us can wipe that out. We used to be a good team, raising our kids, keeping the inside and outside of the house immaculate. Now I struggle to do that all myself. I know I am losing the fight but battle on valiantly. So I do try to think twice before adversely reacting and keep the peace.


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Tori had an incredible vacation. She is certainly a gifted and intuitive child. A blessing to her parents, I am sure. Sue, she wouldn't visit if she did not want to and I am sure she holds a special place in Grandma and Grandpa's hearts. Debbie

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You and Tori had a blast. I am sure that her visity was R & R for you. Sometimes we all need a little change to keep going.


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glad you had wonderful visit from Tori who is caring child, sure her parents raised her well & have loving gene of grandma. kids add so much to our life, they break the monotony of life & give us kick to go on despite problems in life. I feel blessed to have young child at home.



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Tori is one lucky kid to have a gem of a grandma like you.:cheer:

And you are fortunate to have a granddaughter so polite. at

the age of 9. You and Ray must of done something right

raising your kids. :You-Rock:


You and Ray are one hell of a team. But, Carl pulls the same

tricks on me and he doesn't have dementia.

The patience you have with Ray is remarkable. You have some

fancy steps their lady:happydance: .


I agree with Juli, your a super duper grandma. As for Tori, she has

come away with allot of memories of her grandparents.

remembertolaugh, Jeanniebean :cocktail:


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Dear Sue, Thank you for sharing a little slice of your life. It's 420 A.M. I really have no business being up so late but frankly, I'm addicted to the silence and the fact that I actually get to make decisions and otherwise think for myself without having my wife direct my every move. We are very nearly unable to communicate with each other due to her severe aphasia but we're light years ahead of the communications curve compared to three years ago. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed hearing about your adventures there for four days. You took me with you to the park; I imagined the terrific spread of food you prepared for your granddaughter. What a lucky man your husband is to have a wife like you. I think perhaps you and I know why people leave their spouses when health disasters strike; we also know why people stay with their spouses at such times, in sickness and in health.

I "shared" your post on my facebook page with the following comment: Need a little escape? Read this short post on Caregiver Sue's blog. This lady is a "Caregiver's caregiver". This is one strong and very wise woman.

Be well Caregiver Sue. God's speed to you and yours.

Rick Griffith

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