greatness

July has come and gone

Oh My!  Where has time gone?  I’ve thought about sharing a few updates over the course of the last 6 weeks, but continue to get waylaid by life and time spent with Mom.

If you read my last post, you know that the last round of PT visits didn’t quite go as planned.  The PTA wasn’t the best fit for Mom and it was difficult to get Mom to do the exercises when the PTA wasn’t here.  We did learn a few things with that experience… and have resolved that Mom’s well being doesn’t always mean bringing in an army of reinforcements.

We still experience daily, weekly, monthly highs and lows, but overall, the past month wasn’t as much of a low as the one before.  Change is hard and upon reflection, probably as difficult for the caregiver to handle/accept as it is for everyone else.

About 2 weeks ago, the finishing touches were added to the wheelchair ramp.  It makes it so much easier to get Mom in and out and spend a little bit of time outside every few days — we haven’t been able to do that recently since the air quality has been so bad due to the recent wildfires in the area.  But when we have been outside, it’s definitely worth the smiles and seeing her eyes light up as she takes in the sights and sounds.


A side note:  Self-care for the caregiver is again at the top of my list.  I hope you do the same.  Despite the fact that I can’t control the number of hours of sleep I get at night right now, I can and do make time to take a walk, observe nature, get a little bit of sunshine, read, study, take a class, shop, go to lunch, and make time to do a few other things I enjoy.

It’s been a blessing at so many levels. We can do so much together with the right support.

Remember, Be Kind to YOURSELF!  No one else can be the kind of caregiver you were meant to be. 

kindness matters

Kindness Matters! It can warm any winter day!

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Light up your day and theirs with a smile, a conversation, a movie, a song…. awaken their spirit with things they are familiar with.  We’ve been enjoying a change of pace the last few days.  Mom has had a renewed interest in music, and her love of classical music and show tunes is so apparent as the twinkle in her eyes and the smiles are definitely more frequent.  She taps her toes and keeps a beat with her hand on her knee.  Occasionally, we’ll hear her humming along or even singing the words to the song.  That’s definitely a bit of sunshine on a very wintry day.

 

blessings begin

…with the little things.

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We’ve experienced so much in the last couple of weeks and a major issue with a significant shift in mobility presented itself this last weekend.  We  (the caregivers) weren’t quite prepared for it — and frankly neither was Mom.  She experienced frustration, anxiety, sadness, anger…. the whole range of emotions… While we’ve had some similar experiences in the past, they were short lived for the most part.  Not much has changed in the last couple of days and she’s “scared.”  Who wouldn’t be?

Enter in the greatness work — seeing the little things that really are blessings in disguise!  Smiling through.  Baby steps as we make those turns and transition from chair to walker or visa versa.  Planting feet for easy push up and being sure that we are balanced in our lifts.  Grateful for giggles when we don’t quite get it right the first time and are willing to “try, try, again.”  Chairs that “lift” when needed.

Finding a lap tray she likes that allows for balanced plates, bowls and glasses.  Raised toilet seats and secure grab bars.

Family and friends who open their hearts and drop in for a visit, just because you were on their mind.

Root beer shakes (with a scoop of protein powder added) for those days when the number of her awake hours don’t give us enough time for 3 good meals.  A bedtime snack with a little more protein and fruit.  And yesterday, it was a straw!

The list of “little things” is long when I look at it and last evening as we reviewed our short day – we honored each other for making the day a good one despite all the stuff that didn’t go as planned; for creating opportunities in making moments better because we could AND most importantly for sharing the love and respect we have for each other with joy and dignity.

We DO HAVE so much to be thankful for!

 

silver linings

What are you looking for today?

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Don’t be afraid to stop and think about this… I totally understand that some days it’s more difficult than others.

We are blessed with a pretty wonderful familial support system.  Not all caregivers and “patients” are and their worlds come crashing down when they can’t reach out to others.

Recently, we took Mom in for an appointment with her primary care physician.  I guess I wasn’t expecting nor was I fully prepared for the discussion he wanted to have regarding goals and other possible outcomes for the year.  While open to the process and discussion, I know I can’t make those suggested changes without the help of those in our support system.  He also suggested a few things that might make our lives as caregivers easier, but some that may not.

I spent last evening thinking about the changes… and the possible silver linings that might be there… I’m still making my list, so yes, there are many potential silver linings.    I’m game to have an open discussion and hope you, the reader are open to changes and silver linings too.  Let’s have a #bestdayever!