Concluding Replacement Therapy, Finally!

11-15-10  Time to finish this blog post!  I have been at this one since August! Have I come to a conclusion, no…do I have a plan set up for replacing all the time and activities of caring for mom when she was here, no….has these past months been therapeutic in anyway, no. So, the purpose of this post?  Apparently it has none, or maybe this is just the result of all the thoughts, and non-moments and ideas that take place when a caregiver no longer is?  I just don’t want to struggle with this blog anymore to make it be the perfect blog, to have all the answers to what now.  So, if you will all forgive this very un-proper blog… I will conclude and post it today!

Oh  yes, today is Monday, 9:07…Mom passed on Monday, August 16 at approximately 9:15….13 weeks ago, don’t like Mondays……

Sunday at Home…..9-12-10

Isolation and loneliness just don’t seem to get eradicated; they even intensify in some instances, once your caree is gone. There is even a greater sense of being abandoned. I talked about on my radio show how I didn’t belong anywhere as a caregiver before I got involved with caregiving.com. Now that I am no longer a caregiver that sense of not belonging is again plaguing me. If I am not able to leave the house and go somewhere, which is most days, then I am alone, all day and often in the evenings. Alone  in mom’s house with memories of mom all around. Tomorrow it will be 4 weeks since mom passed.

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Rocks And Sticks On The Path

I am upset, surprisingly and not so surprisingly, very upset. The sad thing is, the only ones who will understand why, are other caregivers, or ex-caregivers.

It appears I made a mistake at something I posted online, and it upset the individual it was directed to, which was not my intention. The whole situation came back at me, and I broke down.

I realized the request and comment I had made was not inappropriate at all. But because it upset the other, I became the “bad guy” so to speak. The understanding that people say they have is so fragmented and incomplete, even those so close to you. Why? Because most people don’t really know the depths and multitudes of emotions that a caregiver experiences. These things don’t go away just like that, they linger and from time to time are ignited. Like mine were a short time ago.

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Adult Orphans

I  posted this on a forum I found the other morning, it was in response to the topic of  caregivers, who have lost both their parents, and now feel like adult orphans.

My father passed away in 1969, I was 17. For the past 4 1/2 years, I was my mom’s full-time caregiver as she advanced through the stages of dementia. She passed away the 16th of last month. It is a peculiar feeling to no longer have at least one parent here, even one that did not define what a parent actually is because of an illness, but none the less they were still your parent, and still present.

I have spent all this time quite isolated and alone as I have cared for her. My husband has been the only real constant help or support, but he had to be gone most of the time to work. I had no help from brother(s), both sisters died years ago.  Now, with mom gone, and my new life, or is it my old life, is unfolding each day, I am feeling more alone then before, abandoned even by the hospice people who didn’t even offer grief support counseling.

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Just Me…..

The memorial card I made on Printmaster, the smaller photo card was done through Kodak and inserted in the large card.  I also made photo booklets from hotprints.  If you go on my facebook page, the book is on there and you can look through it.  Only closer family and friends receive the photo books, most receive the memorial card and photo card.  Just thought you all would like to see the memorial tributes I put together for mom.  There is no service for her, this is very private and very personal.

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Embarking on Another Adventure!

I am embarking on another adventure in the land of caregiving. It seems that one of the things, almost the primary thing, that helps me through each day and into the next, is when I have a purpose and project to work on. These past months it has been such a struggle to stay “up”. I get lonely and bored, feeling without purpose and not being able to utilize the skills I have, which is life-giving to me.

Helping Denise Brown of caregiving.com with her online store has been a big help, but once it is done..it is done lol.  Then what? I can’t write a blog every day because things just don’t happen everyday that are newsworthy! This is my first and primary blogsite, but I also have another that I add informational articles on caregiving to, Caregivers Not Alone.

I want to be able to personally visit local caregivers, who have been isolated like I was for so long. This site is addressed to their needs. The thing is, I have not found anyone yet that I can visit! So, it has been a bit of a downer for me.

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The 2Ps (Warning! Unpleasant Reading!)

The following is a post from caregiving.com by Denise Brown on Incontinence.   It is a good intro to what I want to share on the topic.

How Do You Deal With Incontinence?

About 18 years ago (wow!), I helped friends care for an 81-year-old woman named Evie.

I can remember managing her incontinence like it was yesterday. Incontinence has a way of staying with you. She wore Depends during the day, which she hated. The dressing-for-the-day ritual included her throwing the Depends against the wall and stating, “I hate that thing.”

Getting her to wear the Depends was nothing compared to changing the Depends. I remember one unfortunate episode when she began disrobing because of an incontinence episode that, unfortunately, was still occurring. As she walked across the bathroom and left, well, a trail of incontinence, I followed behind with paper towels and wash cloth.

Evie was a very proud woman. But, the Depends and incontinence humbled her. It humbled me, as well.

Managing the incontinence is not for the faint of heart or for those with the sensitive stomach. It’s kinda smelly, pretty gross and awfully embarrassing.

It’s also not something that you can really speak about. So, you go about your day, doing what needs to be done.

“It’s not something you can really speak about.”  Why not?  This is a very real very normal, very “crappy” part of caregiving.  Of course not everyone has to deal with the 2 Ps, but I say statistically speaking the greater percentage of caregivers do.

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Picnics, Parades, Parties

I have written about how even though this is my favorite time of  year, it is also my worst time.  This is the season of picnics and parades and outdoor parties.  We do get invites, but often the work involved to for both of us to attend is just too much.  Setting up one or more sitters for mom so that we can go to a gathering, and not watch the time to rush back home.  It is no fun at all when we have to go by our self, and one stay home, so most of the time, we just don’t go anywhere.

As I thought about this, I went back to my being invisible post, where I had talked about how I had wanted someone to bring me free pancakes at a local spot was offering.  What if family/friends considered bringing a dish or even more then one from a picnic, cookout or party, to a home where they knew a caregiver was, who couldn’t get out and enjoy these functions?  Does anyone think about something like that?

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