Tell Us: What Is the "New Normal"?


Tell Us: What Is the "New Normal"?

suns-rays-478249_640You'll often hear (and maybe even say) that you have to adjust to a "new normal" during caregiving and then after caregiving ends.

I'm curious: What does a "new normal" mean to you? Does it help to think of creating a "new normal"?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share your perspectives and experiences in our comments section, below.

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There are many things that make up the new normal for us. What stand out most to me right now is that there is no more spontaneity.


New normal to me has meant, simply put, auto pilot and heightened senses. My first new normal was about realizing, at 27, I wasn't single anymore. It was suddenly being married to my mom. It was tapping into super human strength to lift her and becoming the bladder whisperer when everything else was suddenly more pressing than my having to pee. It was realizing that, though childless, I too have a mother's ear that hears a pin drop even when in a deep sleep after a day had lasted well beyond 24 hours. It was becoming one with my inner feline, amazed as my cat-like-reflexes saved many a stumble and near spilled cups. It was mastering my inner zen to remember patience in places I never needed it before.\r\n\r\nMy new, new normal is accepting that my zombie life isn't over yet. It's not sleeping because I see her face or because I'm afraid to have that nightmare again. It's finally passing out only to pop back up 20 minutes later because I feel the urge to check on someone that is no longer there to check on. It's realizing that Supertramp and ELO will never sound the same again. It's feeling guilty for praying for alone time when now the alone time is more than I can fill and the quiet is deafening. It's realizing something has changed you to the point you cannot even remember what your original normal was. But most of all, it is no longer stressing over the threat of a new normal but instead finding solace in the comfort that there will be a next one.


My new normal is the unpredicibility of each day/hour/minute. I could get home from work and my wife has a burst of energy and wants me to help her tackle a small project or she could be in bed with the lights out and needing to be left alone. One moment she may have energy and one minute later is completely drained. It has forced me to operate in the moment and life happens as dictated by her illness. My new normal is also a smaller world. A year ago, when she had a good day, we could take a brief trip out to a restaurant for dinner. Now when she has a good day, we can get takeout and watch a movie in bed at home. I spend a lot more time at home and much less time with other people.


My new normal means driving a car with 2 children's car seats, 2 roller walkers, and my small electric scooter squashed in the trunk and/or back seat along with my parents. Wanting to make plans and then getting the phone call that reminds me why I don't make plans. Listening to my dad's jokes, again. Making yet another excuse for why I can't take mom to get her \"stuff\" out of the storage unit. Cleaning up small piles of dog poop in the house because the puppies haven't all been adopted and they are not housebroken. Trying to prevent my dad from buying out all the candy and chocolate in the store then trying to explain to the nutrition expert at Kaiser why I don't think my dad would be helped by taking their nutrition classes.


\"A new norm\" means something that never was, has now become an everyday thing....a diagnosis of a disease that never was a part of our marriage for 45 yrs, but now will be with us everyday to the end of our days together.\r\n\"A new norm\": the daily unpredictableness of this disease, has become a daily commom place thing we must adjust to & flow with. \r\n\"A new norm\": Medications that never were a part of our lives, has become a daily scheduled thing, being reminded by the sound of an alarm thats programmed to go off.\r\n\"A new norm\": Opportunity for creativity and fresh humor as we laugh at some of our attempts to make an unfamiliar situation into a common day we share toghether.

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