Friday, January 14, 2011

The final frontier

Just kidding with the title, above. Making fun of the previous post, in which (just guessing) I got a bit too full of myself. Good grief. And GOOD LUCK making space in the schedule! That part made me laugh when I re-read it just now. Thank goodness for my part-time job. Thank goodness for being busy, really, because--you know what? If I weren't busy, I think I'd go crazy. When you are the primary caregiver for a person who is losing his mind, there will be times when you question your own sanity. You heard it here first, folks. (Maybe. Unless you'd been there and done that, and then I'm betting you've said it, or at least thought it.)

My husband seems to be sliding off the plateau we've been on for many months. He's less energetic, and more temperamental. The hallucinations are frequent. I'm very grateful they aren't frightening to him, like the hallucinations he had during chemotherapy. Those were awful. The current hallucinations are mostly conversations with random people--an engineer on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, an Amish guy...

We have much for which to be grateful. We're still able to laugh, and enjoy music and friends. (And food. But don't get me started on that.)

So, when you are a full-time caregiver and a part-time employee, what do you do with your free moments? Those times when you're home with the caregivee (made that word up) -- and he is napping? In my case, anything unrelated to caregiving and the outside job. My big faves right now are watching my hair turn silver (fun, easy, inexpensive), and getting rid of stuff (fun, easy, inexpensive, and addictive).

My current focus is on cleaning out the home office. What do I need, what can I do without? The desk may be going out. Why have a desk when I can curl up on the daybed with the laptop, or the Bills file...and the tissue box. (And hey. I thought there was some kind of law that caregivers do not get head colds. Didn't I read that in the fine print somewhere? I need to know where to file an official complaint. Leave the address in the comments below, please.)

What do you do to keep yourself sane when life is hard? I'd be interested in knowing, and I bet other people would be, too.



  1. Hi, Mags! Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you, and sending you a BIG SMILE.


  2. Mags, I'm so sorry your husband is losing ground. My thoughts and prayers are with you still.

    As a caregiver for nearly 33 years, I can tell you that it doesn't get easier--unfortunately. I've always tried to keep busy and do things that engage the old noodle--like writing. Writing has probably been my greatest salvation. I have good days and bad days (make that weeks or months). Depression is my worst enemy, but I work really hard at keeping it in check (no drugs, so far). I wish I had some great, magical advice for you but all I can tell you is, stay strong and keep working toward your personal goals.

    Sending you a big hug.

    p.s. - I started a new blog with the old me, but haven't posted anything yet.

  3. Hi, Irma. It's so good to see your face again! Amazing how out of touch I've been for a year.

    I cannot imagine your caregiving situation. There are many times I've been nearly overwhelmed here, but to do this for almost thirty-three years?

    I really appreciate that you said this: "stay strong and keep working toward your personal goals." Sometimes I feel guilty for doing things for myself, until I realize that is part of what keeps me functional for all of us.

    I look forward to reading your new blog, though I'm not online much. Come over and remind us when you're visitors, please.

  4. I find that cleaning visual clutter is a great help in ridding oneself of mental clutter. Do a bit of de-cluttering in your space and I bet you will find the space you uncover externally will lend itself to a bit more peace of mind. Good Luck

  5. That's a great observation, Garden Girl. Of course my mental clutter is pretty deep...