What Is Normal


What Is Normal

texas-holdem-617227_640My name is Johnny Yarbrough. I care for my wife and my father. My wife has been ill for seven years. We have been married for 23 years. My Father is 83. He had a stroke on February 6, 2015, and he has made a remarkable recovery but still has weakness on his right side. To complicate my wife's illness, she was rear-ended by a young lady doing 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. My wife was spun across five lanes of the highway and slammed into the concrete divider. This resulted in her having extreme leg weakness and has been in a wheel chair.

I have owned a bathtub refinishing business in Dallas for over 21 years. Of course in any business you have issues and you take care of those issues and continue on. However, when you are taking two separate people to rehabilitation appointments and everything from doctors appointments to specialist appointments plus caring for those people, as many of you know, your life is put on hold and your personal dreams can quickly become a nightmare. Example, there is a guy that owns a competing business right here in Dallas that has done what most of us would never dream of. He posted four blogs (all from the same I.P. address and all on the same day) pretending to be disgruntled customers. So I traced the I.P address and actually commented on his blog and he admitted he did this because he thought I was talking bad about him. So, he then went to ripoffreport.com and said I was harassing his wife and threatening him. The irony is after I let folks know on my site my wife was disabled and I could not book jobs on days of her doctors appointments. He now claims his wife is disabled. WOW. I don't even have the desire to go after this guy legally.

I feel as if Monday thru Friday is a non-stop whirlwind and I usually work when I can on Saturday and Sundays only doing one job a day so my wife is not left alone for a long period. The point I am trying to make is life is hard enough for all of us without someone intentionally starting trouble. I have had others call me every name in the book because I did not respond back to them. I would try to explain that while at the hospital I simply don't get phone service and the WiFI cuts on and off. Most people understand and on many occasions I have people say, No rush Johnny. I bet 99% of my customers are that way. However, that 1% can cause more mental anguish then necessary. I fought for years saying, "I can still have my business." However, I realized today when my wife fell in the bathroom that is not an option any longer. All I can do is sit tight and hope the disability comes through.

I feel so mentally drained by mid afternoon that I just wish I could go to bed. The worst part is I have caught myself being short with my wife and that makes me feel horrible. I don't intentionally say things but I end up showing my ugly side through facial expressions and actions. I have hurt my shoulder and back lifting my wife and her wheelchair. I try to hide that but as many of you know when someone else depends on you for everything from a glass of water to getting food prepared it is hard to hide and ignore your own pains.

In closing, I was watching 'Tombstone" last night and there is a part of the movie were Doc Holiday is dying and Wyatt Earp is about to leave Doc for the last time. He says he just wants a "normal" life. Doc Holiday answered with words that touched a spot with me.

He said, "There is no normal, just life."

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Jo Rozier

Johnny welcome!\r\n\r\nAlways exciting to have another \"Dude\" aboard the website. We're terribly out numbered. Or is that wonderfully out numbered. I always confuse the two. \r\n\r\nThat is a very good quote about life.\r\n\r\nThis is a wonderful and safe place where people \"get it\" about the challenges of Caregiving.\r\n\r\nCome back and read as much as possible, post when you can.


Welcome, Johnny. I'm glad you've joined us and are sharing your situation with us. I'm sorry that you have a competitor playing dirty and adding to your stress while you are already going through such a challenging time.\r\nI understand that mental exhaustion, and when you have physical pain from the demands of caregiving, it makes it even harder to stay \"cheery\". I know that horrible feeling when you realize you take your frustrations out on your loved one. It would make me feel low.....\r\n\r\nI too hope that the disability comes through for you. And I hope joining us here can give you an outlet for that frustration. Again, welcome.


Hi, Johnny. Thank you for taking the time to join us and explain what is going on in your life, normal or not. It is no small thing to keep carrying all these responsibilities, in addition to sharing them in public. I'm glad you've joined us here. You are doing the best you can under such challenging circumstances. Life as a caregiver is anything but normal. You have to keep adapting to changes all around and in yourself. I hope the disability comes through for you, too, and anything else that could lessen your load.


Hi Johnny! Welcome to our blogging team!\r\n\r\nI often wonder why, during our hard time, others in our life give us a hard time. It's incredibly frustrating. I'm so sorry for what happened to you. \r\n\r\nAnd, wow, I love the quote from Doc Holiday--\"there is no normal, just life.\" \r\n\r\nI hope tomorrow will be better for you and will bring you unexpected solutions. \r\n\r\nI'm looking forward to your next post. :)