Managing Life When Every Day Can Be Different

This morning, G-J, who cares for her husband, Steve, joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post.

We intended to talk about G-J’s plan for her summer and to take a look back at the past year for her. As we began to speak about her plans for the summer, we moved into another discussion: Managing life when a illness or diagnosis can make every day different.

G-J spoke about the great day Steve had on Monday. And, then he had a really hard day yesterday. The good days can trick because they seem to indicate all is okay. The bad days can upset because they’re the reality check that hits the heart.

G-J talked about the most difficult impact of his diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI): Knowing he can’t return to a job he absolutely loved. When he asks about returning to work, G-J finds herself in the position of being the bearer of bad news.

Because every day can be different, G-J plans options for their day so that they do when Steve feels up to it. If he’s having a hard day, they can adjust to accommodate what he needs.

So… I wonder: How do you manage life when every day can be different because of your caree’s illness? Please share your thoughts and insights in our comments section, below. One of our commentors will receive an autographed copy of Good Morning! Sunny Reflections to Start Your Day. (And, congrats to Debbie, who won an autographed copy of Good Morning for sharing what it’s like for her with family.)

(And, Happy Birthday to Bette!)


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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

6 thoughts on “Managing Life When Every Day Can Be Different

  1. Trish

    I enjoyed the show this morning! It’s always great to associate the actual voice with the written voice. Loved hearing about Disneyland (since it is my favorite place in the whole world!) but it made me sad for G-J’s husband that he can no longer work at something he loves. Wishing you both a great day (hope you make it to the art show, G-J).

    p.s. Happy Birthday, Bette!

  2. Sharon

    How I remember and how true your statement sums it up, Denise.

    “The good days can trick because they seem to indicate all is okay. The bad days can upset because they’re the reality check that hits the heart.”

  3. Avatar of NatalieNatalie

    Wow this hits home! Just recently my husband had about three really good days in a row. I even jokingly told him to quit “acting” so normal. For a brief moment I was hopeful that perhaps this was a new trend. Unfortunately the next day he was horribly confused, disoriented, and couldn’t keep up with activity. I was so frustrated because the days before were so great. The ups and downs of cognitive disorders are so confusing both for the caregiver and caree. My husband verbalized that it frustrates him that one day he can do some things just fine and the next day has no clue how to accomplish a task. I often get so frustrated for how it affects me that I often forget that he is one living it personally and can’t escape it. I’ve learned/am learning to access what kind of day he is having and for me to make the adjustments. Otherwise the whole day is doomed if I expect him to adjust to me.

  4. Jane

    I can’t wait to listen to this (probably will have to be Wednesday). I know how this feels. I thought Nicole had been feeling pretty good and then today she was feeling really bad. Her lips were blue and I thought at one point she was going to pass out just from trying to make a couple of baskets from a standing position.

    It gives you a false sense of security and I hate, hate, hate it.



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