Beanery Online Literary Magazine

May 14, 2008


—written by Fran

Being a caretaker for a loved one is challenging, life-changing and a lesson in finding joy in the simple things. It is riddled with medical crises, often accented by runs to the emergency room. Below is a page from Fran’s journal—written on a particularly calm day, March 31, 2007.

5:00 Saturday morning….  Time to get up, BC (our cat) has the insane idea she is hungry and now is the only time that will work for her!!

5:20 – Coffee, hot, creamy, and absolutely divine….I am now awake and going.

6:30 – All showered and ready for the day.  Time to check on Jim, get him his first of the 35 pills he takes each day.

7:30 – Help Jim get dressed, he decides on breakfast, we eat.  It’s a pleasant time to “chat”.  No pressure, just relaxing conversation.

8:00 – Get Jim into his recliner. Had a minor slipup when he stumbled going to living room.  Nothing broke, not even for me when I caught him!!  Set him up with coffee, and I’m off to the bowling alley to watch my grandsons bowl. (I can do this because of the wonderful person who will check on Jim for me)

9:00 – Enjoy the visit with my son and grandsons.  Watch one grandson bowl a 201, his first 200, exciting for him and for us.

11:30 – Home and time for pills for Jim, lunch, and help him to bed for a nap

12:00 – Carolyn calls, she and Monte will be stopping by for a visit.  This is great, nice break in the day.

1:30 – Monte and Carolyn arrive so time to get Jim up.  He gets to the living room and thoroughly enjoys the visit.  BC surprises us and takes to Carolyn (she runs and hides from everyone else!).  The conversation is easy and relaxed – Jim stays awake and enjoys the visit very much. (He uses a walker but NOT when we have company.)

2:30 – Our company needs to be off for their dinner, Jim gets his meds and goes back to his nap.  BC falls asleep in the sun.

3:00 – Jim has a bad headache, get him a cold cloth, he goes to sleep.

4:00 – Jim gets up, too achy to sleep, dinner gets eaten and I help him to his recliner.  BC climbs into his lap and continues her nap.

5:15 – Jim has bad chest pains, but they ease with meds.

6:00 – Help Jim with shower, get him ready for bed – he’s more comfy laying down, but doesn’t like being alone so I do the dishes, set the coffee pot up, and grab a book to read while sitting on the bed.

7:00 – Get his meds for him.

8:00 – Both my sons call to see how things are.

9:00 – Jim is unable to sleep, help him with a hot shower, get him a sleeping pill.

10:30 – He sleeps, I think about what needs to be done tomorrow, BC runs around the living room in the dark chasing a ball – we all have our nighttime routines!

Midnight – last time I look at the clock – time for sleep.

This post is taken from my journal, one I started keeping a long time ago.  Usually I just do a paragraph, sometimes just a short note. Once a week I keep track of a day with hourly entries.

A wise person once suggested this, saying that every now and then I needed to look at what I truly did during a day, what gave me pleasure, what kept me going.  It works. Of course there were other things I did: cooking, cleaning, laundry, stuff like that.  Those things are just that, things. It’s the human part of the day that keeps caregivers going.

The pleasures in life are many, free, and often not seen because we don’t look for them.  We’ve been married for 43 years. I can’t imagine anyone else caring for him. The good days are often not what someone else would consider good, but for us, they mean a lot.

Faith and friends help you carry a burden. Don’t be afraid to share it.  The more hands that carry, the lighter the load.

1 Comment »

  1. […] IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE!! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: 03Wednesday, 9/30: What key terms should I review for my Unit Two test tomorrow? Leave a Comment […]

    Pingback by A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 15 « Carolyncholland’s Weblog — March 5, 2010 @ 2:55 am | Reply

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