Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown


Being a caregiver...the good stuff

Being a caregiver...

You learn to be more patient.
You are more understanding.
You are more loving.
You learn new skills.  (the ones you thought you could never do)
You forgive easily.
You appreciate sleep.
You appreciate quiet.
You appreciate good health.
You appreciate life.
You cherish all that is good, learn from the bad.
You really do learn what are the important things in life are.  And having the nicest home, the most expensive cars, a lot of money, you name it - none of us are immune from sickness. 
You appreciate friends and family.
You find joy and laughter in the small things.

Just a few things..there are more...but I bet you can add to the list.

Beng a caregiver....the not so fun stuff...

I want to share this.  I want people to know it is not easy being a caregiver.  I only can speak from the point of being a caregiver to an Alzheimer's patient - but there are so many other folks suffering from diseases that cause much pain.

I can laugh, I can find joy - but it is hard.  I get mad, I cry, I yell, I question my faith, you name it.

If you have kids at home, it is hard.  Thankfully Tori and Sam are older and have jumped in and helped unselfishly.  Given me breaks, help take care of mom.  Now when mom needs lifting, Sam helps.  But as a mom, I feel divided.  Do I go to this event or do I stay home?  Will he miss me at this one game?  Will Tori mind me not going to the dinner with her?  The guilt can weigh you down. 

It is terribly hard on your marriage.  Especially when your spouse doesn't quite get the disease.  Being my second time going through this and watching from afar, three aunts battle this hateful disease, I understand.  Not only do I feel divided between kids and mom.  Add hubby.  I feel like I am failing miserably.  As I mentioned in an earlier post - there is much much strain. 

It is hard on your health.  Mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and physical.  My doctor tells me I am stressed.  Ya think?  I am tired all the time.  I hurt all the time.  My mouth and face hurt - I need something done to my teeth or lack there of.  It is a must - I am really going to try to get this done. Constant lifting or fighting off mom hitting, punching, kicking, you name it - is hard on me.  I try not to hurt her in the process - and end up hurting myself.  There is no easy way to deal with the violence.  I would have thought we would be well past this stage - but just the other day - she threw a hot baked potato at me.  Her new thing is spitting - ugh.  Mental health, you have to make decisions constantly, hourly at times.  I used to read about seven books a week - now I am lucky to finish one in a month - and that is my sanity - reading.  I don't want a Knook or Kindle - I like turning pages.  Emotional.  I am a blasted wreck a lot of the time.  This ride into Alzheimer land - is up and down, turn for turn.  I get mad, sad, happy, cry, you name it.  Spiritual health - I pray - I try to have a quiet time.  I try to read devotionals - but I often wonder does God see?  Does He hear?  Does He understand?  I often wonder about the one He cast out demons from  - was it mental illness?  Addiction?  But why doesn't He cast out now?  I don't get it - this is a hateful disease.  It robs a person of everything.


I know some are highly allergic...by far easiest recipe! 

Random Pics...

One of Tori's gifts finally arrived! I am out of paper and bags. I refused to go to the store! I used an old birthday bag..and covered up Happy Birthday. She thinks it is hilarious and said she is going to save for me! 

I saw this on Facebook and it hit me hard. Talk about conviction.

Church on Sunday. Our choir sang beautifully.

Mom completely happy and content with babies and such.

Mom and Tori. And nosey Barney.

Ignore the mess in Sam's room...look at Barney trying to hide. 
I  a mother of a police officer. All the recent violence has really touched my heart. We've seen some major crimes for our area.  Rural we are no more. 

Totally behind

I will post pictures and other updates later.  I am so behind in EVERYTHING.  I haven't let it get to me - just taking things a day at a time.  I have so much swirling in my head.

This has been a hard month.  Appliances breaking, unexpected bill, me not feeling that great (probably from stress) ... you know LIFE.

I have to be honest - our marriage is under so much strain - I am a wreck.  Where is all this strength, courage and faith supposed to come from?

Mom is okay - she is not walking.  But can if she wants to.  She is still eating and swallowing.  Playing with babies and toys.  And will talk.  Will respond to you - but you have to be eye level - looking directly at her - you can't talk across the room or from behind. Alzheimer's patients have tunnel vision.  They only can focus on what is directly in front of them.  I am considering calling in hospice for extra help -  they evaluate Alzheimer's patients differently. By talking to Melecia, if they came today, they would ask why they were called.  I am still thinking about it.

I went to church on Sunday - our pastor spoke on peace - and it hit me hard - in the midst of these life's troubles - I have been focusing on the troubles and the worry and not on His face.  This time last year - my nephew had cancer.  He is cancer free today.  I looked around church and saw people who a year and days far worse than I did.  What is a refrigerator problem compared your child having cancer?  What is a hot water heater - knowing this will be your last Christmas with your wife or husband?

And I have been battling memories.  I just do not have many memories from childhood. There really are not that many pictures of my childhood.  My parents were in middle age and grand parents at the same time.  Well, as mom has been chattering - things are coming back and they are not good memories - so I guess as some of sort of internal/emotional protection - I blocked them.  I am going to share - a form of therapy for me.  Now, I can see them as clearly as the screen in front of me, from clothes, to scents, etc.

At six years old - I remember being in a room with dad, he was drunk, he held a gun to his head.  I remember my oldest sister coming through a window to get me.  Dad later overcame this problem - he and mom were separated - he had an affair - but I guess I just chose not to remember.  I remember him falling out of the attic drunk.  What a horrible thing to remember.

Momma used to hit me in the face all the time (still does) with shoes or whatever.  She was verbally abusive.  It has been hard to overcome this as her caregiver.    My sister asked how I could take care of mom - based on what happened in the past.  I told her I have to forgive daily. We are forgiven by God, we must forgive.

Happier posts and such to follow - I just wanted to share and document before it slipped my mind.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Can I Be Real?

In the past two weeks, we had $900 in unplanned expenses. Our fridge stopped cooling...Arrrgghhhh.

The parts were $140. Because our fridge has a board...not just a simple thermostat. 

 Thankfully Steve was able to repair.

 The repair job forced me to clean..which is a good thing...just wasn't ready!  It was a tight squeeze for Steve. 

Now the real part, and if you know me, I'm me all the time. What you see is what you get. We are BROKE!!! I am eyeing my Salvation Army change jar. Seriously.

I know compared to so many, we are blessed, but heck I'm tired. The company that sends moms depends sent us some that had no seams...and would not work. Horrible. They replaced them. A local animal rescue and spay/neuter clinic can use the bad ones to line cages - they are picking them up tomorrow. 

While Steve was repairing....I wrapped up our Colorado kids Christmas to mail. It sure doesn't look like much when it's wrapped. 

I wrapped up mom a new baby doll. I hope to pick her up some sweat shirts and such. Tori bought her some pj's as did my sister.