Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

30- You might be a caregiver..... For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story. For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you!

You might be a caregiver if.....

My mother has been discharged from a hospital or rehab setting at least five times over the past year and half (not including ER visits).  Each time I prayed I was equipped with the skills necessary to provide an adequate level of care.

Unable to locate a family caregiver "handbook", I turned to the internet to determine if I indeed had what it took to be a caregiver.    I decided that anybody who could identify with at least half of items on the list would qualify.  I sat with this list and wrote my thoughts and/or comments about each item on the list. (my thoughts/comments are in bold font).

Thank you to my friends from Senior Caregivers for sharing this list!

You might be a caregiver if...

1. Your new hobby is canceling credit cards, writing letters to collection agencies and
canceling numerous magazine subscriptions.
Mom had no credit cards to cancel, no bills had gone to collection and I like her magazines!

2. You spend 1/3 of vacation time backtracking as you look for eyeglasses, purse, hat, gloves and sweaters.
I spend 1/3 of ALL time backtracking as I look for eyeglasses, purse and puzzle books.

3. You place most of the bills in a folder labeled, "I will think about this tomorrow."
Tomorrow may be a little soon!

4. Going out to eat is a Big Mac or a Whooper.
 Or anything that can be picked up from a drive-thru window. Carry out or home delivery qualify as a fancy meal!

5. Your hands are missing fingers because he/she regularly "bites the hand that feeds him/her."
I still have at least 9 fingers.

6. An outing consists of going to get the mail.

7. You lobby your Congressional Rep. to have more hours added to the clock.
Why bother? They'd just want to tax it.

8. Taking care of yourself means...?
Well, I'm waiting???

9. Coffee, cola, and aspirin are food groups.
I don't drink coffee, but don't even tell me we are out of Pepsi! Ibuprofen doesn't upset my stomach as bad as aspirin does.

10. You never sort your loved ones socks because they seem to like to wear them
They have a pair just like them in the drawer!

11. Your loved one's wardrobe consists of sweats, a bathrobe, and socks, and for informal wear....
Sweats, bathrobe and socks can double for the informal wear.

12. Your lawn has been declared a wildlife refuge.
We have a lawn?

13. The pattern on the hood of your car is actually 2 year old cat paw prints.
Is that what that is?

14. Your house has more cobwebs than a 1950's 'B' horror movie.
I choose to call them fly traps.

15. Your friends know to call you six months in advance before they visit to give you time to clean up.
Who are we kidding? If we're really friends, I don't need to clean up!

16. At the mention of Social Security, you snarl, foam at the mouth and wish you had purchased that AK-47 when you could have afforded it.
How much is an AK-47?

17. Someone mentions neurologists, and you snarl, foam at the mouth and wish you had purchased that AK-47.
Seriously, how much IS an AK-47?

18. Fast food means shoveling in leftover tuna noodle surprise by the cold light of the fridge after the chores are done well past 10pm.
I do love tuna casserole!

19. When someone mentions illness, by the time you've finished speaking they mistake you for a neurologist.
I've been mistaken for a nurse and a therapist, but never a neurologist.

20. Crying is just another task that goes on your to do list.
Another thing I will never finish.

21. You can spot your loved one having a bad day, within 15 seconds, from 50 meters, in the dark, while its raining, with your back turned.
I do have good vision.

22. You often know more about how your loved one is doing than they do.
I'm just more willing to share the information.
30. The first place you look when your loved one has misplaced their shoes is the fridge.
I don't usually look that long. She has another pair. Besides, maybe the shoe will absorb some of that odor.

31. You've got the new, 24 hour, $19.99 a month unlimited Access to God Prayer Plan, and they are now telling you your limit has been reached.
I should get that notice any time!

32. Losing track of time, the day of the week, the year and your marbles seems normal.
You mean it's not?

33. Vacations are what you take just before you fall asleep.
I usually have to wait until I get to sleep.

34. You can spot an uncaring physician from 20 feet even before they open their mouths.
If something is in your eye, don't worry, it will only take 3 seconds once they do open their mouths.

35. When you and your loved one find a caring and understanding physician you first weep uncontrollably then fall on your knees and worship.
Weeping uncontrollably is part of the gig, but I'm really not worried about skinning my knees much.

36. When you see a person on the news who has had a blow to the head, you can instantly recognize the signs of a injury, while mouthing the newscaster's statement from the doctors, "...and the doctors say it was only a concussion and he should be as good as new..."
I thought the news was only 3 minutes long and only featured the weather!

37. Family get-togethers are when you go on-line to be with the people who understand.
I love my computer, my friends are in there!

38. The warning bells go off in your head if your loved one doesn't say anything about their day and you anxiously ask "What's wrong?"
And then cringe while you wait for the answer!

39. When going out it takes two hours to just get ready.
I'm jealous. Only two hours! Really?

40. If you read this far you must be a caregiver!
I must be a caregiver!


Anonymous said...

OMG...I am a Care Giver for my Mom and I can so relate. My life has completely changed and much to do. Like you say, bills, medicare, doctors, scheduling special transportation, shopping for supplies and food, changing clothes bedlinens, washing/drying/cooking etc. etc. Early this year, she was tubed fed and totally bedridden. It was a 24/7 duty. She had a stroke and has blood pockets on her brain. She was knocking on heavens door and the Doctors to give her much time. However, she is a miracle and has done so well that Hospice can no longer take care of her because she has improved so much. She's eating, swallowing, talking, moving, even getting out of bed now. It's been such an amazing experience. Nobody really knows what care giving entails until it happens. I never did prior to her illness. But it's so amazing how many people I have talked to and met, that they have taken care of either one parent or both. One thing baby boomers should ensure is that their parents have long term insurance that includes this type of care. They will be so thankful if their parent(s) ever needs support and care. It can be financially challenging if not. Thanks for sharing and thanks for allowing me to share.

I am a fellow nice to meet you. Come visit me some time.

Wendy Baudín
Self-Love Sherpa

Anonymous said...

I think you did an excellent job these last 30 days. I know Medicare needs to be fixed to help people do well, not worse! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for all you do! Love you mucho!

JM said...

Yep, you're a caregiver, all right! And a very good one, too! You're doing a great job, my dear.

JM said...

Yep, you're a caregiver, all right! And you're doing a great job, my dear.

Annett Bone said...

I read the whole thing and I am not a care giver yet. I appreciated the humor you weaved into this post. It made it enjoyable for me to read. Thank you so much for sharing.

healthcare hostages said...


I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I am sorry you are able to relate to it so very personally. It's very challenging to be a caregiver for a loved one, it's also very rewarding.

I'm glad you have been given more time with your mom and that she is doing well.

I agree, LTI is extremely important. Unfortunately, due to my mothers long history of RA she was turned down over and over. Too bad she didn't know when she was 25 that by the time she was 28 she would be dealing with such a terrible affliction! It definitely IS financially challenging without it!

I would love your thoughts on my earlier posts!

Thank you for sharing your own experience. It really does make a difference when you realize you are "not the only one"!

I really appreciate your comments!

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you very much.

It's not just medicare that needs fixed, unfortunately. I truly believe attitudes have to change also.

Not only should doctors listen to their patients and treat with them with respect, consumers (patients) should DEMAND it!

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you Annett! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Sheri Conaway said...

Once again, I am impressed and amused by how well you're keeping your sense of humor in the face of such insane travails. I've heard that doctors practice, but you would think that after so much practice, they might actually get one diagnosis right! It seems you've been exposed to a lot of slow learners! Hang in there!!! You are amazing, and don't ever forget that!

healthcare hostages said...

Kind of like the old joke: What do they call doctors who graduate in the bottom half of their class? DOCTORS!

If I didn't laugh once in a while, I would cry all the time!

Thanks so much for your kind words!
I appreciate you taking the time to read AND comment!

Kathy said...

I was caregiver for each of my parents until their deaths. It wasn't always easy, but I was glad to do it and be there for each of them as I know they would have been for me if things had been reversed.


healthcare hostages said...

Bless you Kathy! I agree, it's not easy being a caregiver for an aging parent. I also agree that it can be a rewarding experience also.

I was just as proud of mom when she took her first steps after working so hard in rehab as I am sure she was of me, when I took mine!

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you stopped by!