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Caring for Spouse and Kids

Read the blogs of those caring for their spouse and raising children.

Donuts, Taylor Hicks and Eyes

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Last month my cousin e-mailed me to make sure everyone at my house was okay because I hadn’t blogged in a while. Since February 4th, to be exact. Frankly, I have composed some brilliant, witty blogs – all in my head! I just haven’t found/made the time to put those wonderful thoughts on the computer. Sometimes once the moment passes, whatever I wanted to write about doesn’t seem like such a momentous thing and I ... Read More »

Finally, Some Good News

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Father-in-law and AH went to the oncologist for my father-in-law’s six-month check-up. Father-in-law had colon surgery more than six years ago to remove a cancerous mass in his colon. Since then, he has been followed by his oncologist and his C count has been monitored and he has had a Pet scan. His levels have been going up and down. Well, yesterday his C level had gone down and pet scan was clear so he ... Read More »

Not Jeannie or a Genie

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I am not Jeannie, as in I Dream of Jeannie, nor am I a genie. I do not grant wishes, I don’t look like Barbara Eden, I don’t live in a bottle or a lamp, and I don’t have a master. I think I’ve given the wrong impression that I might be a genie, though. Either that, or my husband thinks he is Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Many times during the ... Read More »

The Alien in Our House

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My husband has dyslexia, so he’s never been a reader. He peruses the newspaper (yes, we still get a daily paper) and if he reads anything, it’s an article in the business section. My husband doesn’t like to swim. He grew up in a house with a pool, was certified as a diver, was even a lifeguard, but has always told me he doesn’t like to swim. Over the years I’ve seen him lounge in ... Read More »

GOTCHA!

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Things have been going very well here since Steve moved to a lower dose of one of his medications. He has been reading, his spirits are better, he seems to be remembering things, he’s napping less and he planned ahead and purchased a Christmas card and gifts. In the past when this has happened, I have wondered, Is he better? Has it really been something other than MCI all along? Yeah, I know, wondering if ... Read More »

The Energy Crisis

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Steve lives with an energy crisis – his own. If he does too much one day, he isn’t able to do much the next. The catch is what defines “too much” and how and when it will impact him. Sometimes it’s obvious when Steve’s done too much. Last week, Steve attended a meeting at his former employer’s. After the meeting he visited with people for a couple of hours. He told me he knew he ... Read More »

The Memories You Save

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“The memories you save could be your own.” Can you think of any better reason to do everything you can to help advance Alzheimer’s prevention research through education, advocacy and study participation?  There is a way that you, and everyone 18 and older can help. On November 13th, I participated in a webinar with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to learn about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.   First, a quick education about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because ... Read More »

Where to Next?

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On November 2nd, my husband, a friend and I joined a few thousand people to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Huntington Beach, CA. Our team, Where to Next?, raised $2,440. It was an incredibly beautiful morning; the type that you picture when you think of Orange County, California. The weather was perfect! It was warm, but not hot, with no breeze which is so unusual! Often it’s cold and windy at the ... Read More »

Speechless

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“My goal is to live until our son turns 18.” “13 months from now? Is there something you’re not telling me?” “Well, I didn’t expect to be on disability at 55, and I think it’s important for a child to have their parents until they are 18, don’t you?” I was quite a sight with my mouth open like a fish’s and tears spilling out of my eyes. “Frankly, I’m speechless. My goal is to ... Read More »

World Alzheimer’s Month 2013

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I wrote a letter to the editor of our community paper about World Alzheimer’s Month. They published it Friday. Here it is for you to read. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, making this a good time to talk about the stigma of Alzheimer’s and all dementias. First, to clarify, according to the 2012 World Alzheimer Report 2012, “Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive illnesses that affect memory, thinking, ... Read More »

I Can C.A.R.E.

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Steve and I are part of a support group for people with early to moderate memory loss and their spouse. The group starts together and then breaks into separate groups for the caregiver and the caree. In my group, the caregiver has given us the acronym C.A.R. We should not confront, argue or rationalize with our caree. I am tired of being told what I can’t do, which I know probably makes me sound like ... Read More »

Back to…

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It’s back to school time! If you are raising a child, they have either started school or will be returning to school very soon. With the start of the school year comes excitement, anxiety, new clothes, new school supplies, the outlay of a lot of money, and a busier schedule. If you’re also a family caregiver, you may be wondering how you will juggle everything. You might be an experienced family caregiver who has been ... Read More »

Trapped!

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Do you remember that ’80s song with the video on MTV where the man moves from real life into a pencil drawing of walls and doors? I really wish I could remember the name and the lyrics as they would be appropriate now. I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll start in the middle. I need to work and have funds coming in to pay for health insurance and a babysitter for my daughter. ... Read More »

Handling the Wind and Waves

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“Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.” ~ Mary Manin Morrissey We have enjoyed a nice hot summer to date. Oh, it has not been without its challenges but I did finally get to take my boys and Katie out on the waters ... Read More »

The Great Gift of Empathy

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“Imaginative empathy is one of the great gifts that humans have, and it means that we can live more than one life. We can picture what it would be like from another perspective.”  Dan Chaon If there is an undercurrent of distress in this posting it arises from a simple fact: once cancer enters your life it NEVER leaves. Those of us closest to the scene know this. One is forever marked, a sort of scarlet ... Read More »

Birthday Wishes for Caregiving.com

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(For Denise, Caregiving.com, Aftergiving.com, Pat, and my new fellow caregiver friends JB and GU…) Dear Caregiving.com, I know I’ve been away for awhile. I’m hoping to write on that very soon now that my schedule is changing as well as my life. But it would be very rude of me not to acknowledge the occasion or the work that Denise has initiated and all of you have done to support her, each other and myself. It ... Read More »

Déjà Vu

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Earlier this week, you might have read my blog, “The Juggling Caregiver” about my husband, Steve being sick last Friday night. Well, we’re having a repeat performance tonight. Steve met a friend for lunch today and our son and I went out on a few errands and enjoyed lunch out together. Steve told us about his lunch, we discussed a few things and he went to work drawing out plans for a project to add ... Read More »

The Juggling Caregiver

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Announcer’s Voice: Ladies and gentlemen! Today we bring you one of the most daring feats known to mankind.  We have with us a woman, measuring in at 5’ 1 1/2” who is going to try to dazzle you with her juggling, and not just any juggling! She is going to try to juggle two men! Yes, you heard that right! Previously, she has attempted juggling two men and a boy with less than impressive results, ... Read More »

Congratulations! Your Situation is Catastrophic!

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Never did I think that being in a catastrophic situation would be a good thing, but when it comes to Medicare and prescription drug coverage, it isn’t bad. Since Steve is permanently disabled, last year he became eligible for Medicare. We selected a Medicare Advantage plan.  His plan has four drug payment stages, but Stage 1 does not apply to Steve’s plan, so he starts in Stage 2. He stays in that stage until year-to-date ... Read More »

They’re Not Really Superheroes. They Just Seem to Be!

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It is a real quandary. When potential fatal illness strikes someone in the family what do you tell the kids? Our natural instinct is to protect our children from all harm – physical and emotional. If only we can shelter them from the storm all will be well. Right? Wrong. When Katie was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2011 I don’t recall our initial thinking about what to tell our sons Gabriel ... Read More »

Reflections

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365 days.  One year.  First tee at Galt Country Club. My late mom on the occasion of her 100th birthday smacked two balls. Just one year ago yesterday. Seems eons ago given all that has transpired since. What a great memory though. I hope all of you in this community have similar happy memories to reflect upon. Just another small example of living for the present moment. And not so by-the-way – Happy Fourth to ... Read More »

“Is Nana Better?”

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In my group therapy session last week I learned another valuable lesson.  It was this: closely observe my children to recognize in them the wondrous qualities of childhood – innocence, wonder, openness – and to learn that even though these were squelched in my childhood by an abusive father I can resuscitate those characteristics in my own life. I can learn to thrive by learning from my children. If you have ever visited my Facebook ... Read More »