Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm tired. I don't know how caretakers take care of everything on their plates. How do they maintain their sanity and keep a positive outlook? I certainly don't know. I'm sure they struggle - maybe as much as I do, maybe more, maybe less. Unless they're saints, I don't think most caretakers ever do everything they need to do without some kind of feelings of either insecurity, fatigue, or something...

Moving to our new location was necessary due to all of the circumstances we found ourselves in, but...
  • I'm now 45-50 minutes away from my job
  • I'm gone 10-11 hours each day
  • When I get home from work, I have dinner, laundry, any cleaning that needs to be done
  • Sometime during the week, Ron needs to get showered (ideally, more than once but I do what I can)
Speaking of Ron, I need to make sure that he can handle the activities of daily living (ADLs) each day.
  • Food, water. Some days, he tells me "all I had to eat today" stories. I leave stuff that he can eat - fruit, yogurt, frozen vegetables, things he can heat up, etc.
  • Medications. He does a pretty good job of taking his daily meds but some days he takes the evening dose instead of the morning dose. Or, he forgets to take them entirely and I'll catch him fixing to take his morning pills late enough in the day that he can't safely take his evening pills when he should.
  • Medical visits. We can get a ride to the doctors' offices if they're local and he's already been once. The cost is anywhere from $5 to $11 per trip. That's cheaper than me taking off from work or driving each direction more than once. 
  • Knee surgery? The only way Ron is going to get any relief from is left knee is to have replacement surgery. I know there are risks involve and so does he. He will have to go to rehab until he can be mobile again. I cannot lift him or transfer him. I'm just not strong enough. He sees the new orthopedic surgeon on10/7.
  • Neurologist? He sees a new neurologist on 10/17 to find out if there's anything that can be done about the tremors. Ron shakes, sometimes so badly that he just can't even get up and walk. He's trying to wear his leg and get around but between the body shakes and the knee, it's a losing game.
  • What next? Today, he took Maisey out but got hung up on the ramp and could not get his wheelchair moved from where it was stuck. Since I wasn't here I don't know exactly how but I guess he was "high centered" and stuck. He ended up crawling out of the wheelchair onto the patio and back into the living room. He called the main building and asked for someone from maintenance to come and help get his wheelchair off the ramp. Maisey was outside loose so he was worried that she would run away.
Since he fell and had to have the stitches we've only managed to get him in the shower once. We had to wait until the stitches came out (that was 10 days) and then get a new shower chair. I ended up paying about $75 for one that is very sturdy and has very thick legs. It's heavy enough (and made well enough) that it's like lifting a weight to move it out of the tub so I can shower. LOL! The day we were doing the shower, Ron's sitting in his wheelchair and trying to slide his leg (his "good" leg) over the shower chair and try to pull himself over. It's hard to describe but the gist of it is there was no way it was going to work. None. I'm not strong enough and the room is not laid out in a way where that move would EVER be the way to go. Just not happening.

I had to say, "Ron, how many times do I have to tell you you have got to put your leg on the floor. You cannot slide across." Thank God, he doesn't try to shower by himself. I think I need to hire someone to come in at least once a week to help him with ADLs, at least the shower portion of it. But I'll need a giant of a man to do it. Don't know of "aids" that are men who I could hire, but I think I'm about to find out. Ron's friend, Chuck, is big enough and strong enough to help. He takes Ron out frequently and is great about taking him to the bathroom if they're out and he needs to go.

There are days when I'm having conversations with Ron and I think that he's perfectly fine (in the mind) and will be OK when he gets his knee fixed and the tremors taken care of. Other days, I have conversations with him and have to step back and analyze what he's saying. Or what he's not saying. He forgets little things that could be overlooked and missed by most people but I pay attention. He says that he's perfectly fine. He says things that make no sense and thinks he's funny. He says he's losing his mind and I have to agree. He is sometimes so far out in left field that I think I'm losing my mind.

Some days I'm sure that I'm losing my mind.


SkippyMom said...

At least the doctor's appointment is only a week away and you may have some sort of answers.

He is always getting himself into something, the little minx. heehee Tell him Skippy said behave. Glad him and Maisy were okay tho'.

Tomorrow is Friday. Try to relax this weekend. You know you don't have to do everything. Let others help you and concentrate on you and Ron. You need the rest sweetie.

Mama Page said...

I called your house the other day and he answered the phone all out of breath. He said "oh,I was in the bedroom putting on my pants and I slid off the bed onto the floor." He was all out of breath because of the struggle to get back up. Reminds me of the time I had to call911 for the Firemen to come help me get Mom up off the floor - she just didn't have the strength to help me lift her. Maybe he needs to do like Mom does now and always have a phone within reach (she keeps the cordless on her walker so it goes with her everywhere in the house).

Thisisme. said...

Hi my friend. I've read your post a couple of times and, honestly, I just don't quite know what to say. I shouldn't think that the word 'tired' even begins to say what you must be feeling. Such long days at work, then having to cope with all these things when you get in, plus all the worry about Ron. All I will say Teresa is that I will hold you in my prayers and pray that you will find the continued strength to cope with it all. Sending you a big hug anyway.

lyndylou said...

Being a carer 24/7, I know exactly how you feel. There are days that feel like you are climbing a mountain and other days just a hill. There is always an emergency of sorts happening and nothing is ever simple and straightforward.

I don't think we are saints, we are just trying our best to get by with the tools that we have, which are often few and far between!

There are days when I can laugh and days when I can't but all in all I have learnt to not sweat the small stuff. Who cares if my house isn't as clean as it used to be, that the washing is building up? I'd rather spend the time with my kids :)

Hang in there, things will get better. As well as help for Ron, what about help for you? Someone to come in once a week and blitz the cleaning for a few hours?

Mynx said...

I cant even imagine how difficult some days must be for you. I think you are amazing.
I hope the doctors appointment helps and you find some help with those daily tasks.
Hugs for you

orchid said...

My Dear Friend Teresa,
Well, we all know you are doing your best☆☆☆ And like lyndylou said, we are not saints.
I wish that letting it out may help you tiny bit.
And I STRONGLY hope you will be able to have some solutions to ease your burdens!!!
Please remember that you are always in my thoughts, my friend,
Hugs to you, Orchid*

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh, sweetie. I can only imagine the toll this takes on YOUR health, too.
If there's any blessing from your post, it's that you remind me to look in on my dear friends Alice and Bud and give her a hand with him.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I hope you have a restfull weekend. Too bad Ron's son can't come over once a week and do the shower.

Cerebral Tickle said...

Hang in there Teresa! Nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass eventually.

kneesandpaws said...

Hi Teresa, I'm sorry to read about your struggles, but I'm glad that you can share them here with us. I am praying for good things to happen for you and for Ron. Perhaps there is a big guy out there who has been waiting for just the right job and needs you guys just as much as you need him. I wish I could help and will be here if you need me. Sometimes we do get as far as Kansas City so when I'm there next time it would be great to meet you and give you a big hug! If you need to rest, rest. Give yourself permission to care for yourself too.