Tag Archives: caregiver

Sympathy extended to Sue Harrison

As you know, Sue Harrison is a generous contributor to my blog, sharing her wisdom and experience as an international best-selling novelist. Her “Writing the Third Dimension” posts are informative, helpful, and appreciatively anticipated each month.

Sue has also been a longtime caregiver of her elderly family members. The circle of life brings us all the way around to taking care of the ones who cared for us, and on it goes. Recently she has had more help, which is such a good thing as it is very draining being the main care provider.

With regard to that … This brief post is to inform you that Sue’s precious mother passed away on July 28; therefore, life has been more hectic than usual for Sue the past two weeks. If you wish to leave notes of sympathy and encouragement for Sue, please do so in the comment section for this post where she will read them. You also can visit her blog and leave condolences there. 

Although Sue and her husband are taking a much-needed break from the usual demands of life, a time which I hope will be restorative and healing, there will be a “Writing The Third Dimension” post this month. Sue sent it to me today and it’s now scheduled for August 27. It’s a good one – as usual. In September she will respond to comments and questions regarding the topic.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂



Caregiver Stress Management; challenge updates

Hi All, I hope you had a great day. This is a short post in my effort to do my post for the day.

I participated in a Caregiver Stress Management workshop this afternoon with a friend, one of my daughters, and several other ladies. It was worth it, although I left feeling more stressed than when I went in. So then, why would I feel it’s worth it? Because it pointed out to me that I am not handling my life situation (caregiving and everything else) as well as I thought I was.

Oh I’m doing what I need to do to be sure things are running smoothly here at my dad’s, and I am treating him with love and respect (because I love and respect him), and he is not neglected in any way. What I am not handling well is caring for myself, mainly in that I don’t organize my time well – which has always been a problem for me. The hang-up is I can’t stick to a schedule very well or for very long. On my respite time what I want to do is write. And walk. And read. And nap. Then I feel guilty about doing my own thing … resulting in not getting much done at all and I feel guilty about that! We are blessed to have lots of help here, and I feel guilty about that. There’s more, but … if I were to tell you, then  … you guessed it! … I’d feel guilty about that!

On to NaNoWriMo report … zero words written. 😦 I’m still hoping and looking forward to after tomorrow to change the nothing total. I’m having a busy first half of the week.

Day 5 of PiBoIdMo: I wrote one idea today for a total of 10. I could likely come up with more but I stopped at the requirement this time since I am very tired and hoping someone will soon ‘retire’ so I can get some sleep myself.

This wraps up my post for today in NaBloPoMo!

Did you do anything fun or educational recently that helped you realize something important?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂


Learning how to split in half and still keep one’s sanity

Wow! Time is certainly travelling along, isn’t it? It has been too long since my last post, so I will try to remedy that.

My life has been split in half. So has my sister’s. Therefore, so have our husbands’ and all else connected to our private existence.

Life has changed a lot, being a full-time part-time caregiver has affected my life drastically. With my sister, I am alternating weeks living with our dad (which makes it part-time), but we are going to be doing this for … who knows how long? (which makes it full-time) Even when I’m not on my ‘shift’ I’m still sort of on-call – if my sister phones and needs support or information or whatever. She does the same for me. That’s how we have it set up for each other and so far it is working out.

Recently, we were approved for a few hours respite each week, which is a blessing. A huge blessing. We were getting very weary, it’s a mental thing — always having to be alert to where, what, when — so getting a break is an assist to retaining sanity. Respite is so new to us that it is taking a little time to work out the glitches, and I find it hard turning things over to someone else even for a few hours. But, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it and need it.

Can anyone relate to any of what I’m sharing?

When I get home from my week on duty, I lose at least one day from total weariness. Being on constant alert mode is exhausting, and even feeling tired there it really hits when getting home and being able to let my guard down. whew! I don’t know how people do this for years, and not being able to alternate weeks. Perhaps it’s a little different having one’s own home to maintain as well, but either way … it is taxing. Even so, it is an honour and a blessing to be able to do this for one’s loved one, regardless of the difficulty as conditions worsen. Further to that, it’s not really understood that there is even a problem. Challenging.

So, how do we do it? To be honest, The Lord is our Strength. Prayer, talking to other people who understand, getting those little blocks of time out of the house or just being able to read or work at a hobby while a nap is happening .. usually not our own 🙂 .. all are very important in order to keep one’s sanity. Another top thing is that our families are understanding and very supportive in this. I doubt that we could do it otherwise. So, really .. the wheel that turns it all is LOVE.

I originally set up this blog to track my journey in writing. Why do my journeys seem to always have side roads? Do the sidetracks add to the well from which stories come? I’m hoping so. The novel I got well underway in 2010’s NaNoWriMo (refer to https://lynnadavidson.wordpress.com/nanowrimo-updates-2010/) has not been altered one bit since. Do I try to work more on it in NaNo 2011? I really want to finish it instead of starting something new yet. My hesitation is because I fear attempting NaNo this year would set me up for an incomplete. But gosh! If I keep putting it off I could be years .. or never! ..getting back to it.

How do people write, sometimes their best work, during times of stress?

It seems I still have much to learn about splitting my life in half while keeping hold of some measure of my established interests — and sanity.

Do you have a similar story to tell? How did or do you manage it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

How do you want to be remembered?

I’ve been thinking about memories and the impressions we make on others.

Family health issues, and being a part-time caregiver for as long as we can handle the stress that comes with it, has caused me to think about memory. As memory slips away from some people, I’ve been pondering about the impression we leave of ourselves on others’ memories.

I had a very discouraging day recently, and I was rather rude to a store clerk. It’s not the way I always am nor do I want to be thought of that way, so when I got home I called the shop and apologized to that lady. She didn’t ask for my attitude, nor did she deserve it. One bad day, one bad mood, is not how I want to be remembered.

So, what DO I want people thinking when I come to mind?

Am I patient, kind, pleasant to be around? Or am I moody, snappy, seeming to have a dark cloud hanging over my head?

Am I cheerful, helpful, loving? Or am I angry, irritable, sullen?

Do I handle disappointment with grace or do I let it take me into a sour mood?

What impression am I making as my path crosses someone else’s today?Are they glad of the encounter, or do they wish they had not met me? Did I make them feel blessed or did I leave them with an ugly hole in their heart?

Attitude is very important, and I have discovered that it really affects everything. I am working on mine.

How about you? Have you ever thought about the memories you are leaving of yourself? How do YOU want to be remembered?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Have you come full circle yet?

Do you ever feel that life is taking off without you? That you can’t keep up with all that is in your line of vision? It is times like those that I realize I could not hold up without the strength the Lord gives me.

I am delighted that our youngest daughter moved home in March, and so is her little dog – as much as a dog can be delighted. 🙂 Now she is job searching so that she can get herself established again. Having her home will be helpful.

What is upcoming for us as a family is that we have come full circle, my husband and I. Several years ago, my sister and I lived with our parents again for the last month of our mother’s life when she was dying of cancer.  We each moved back into our old rooms which allowed us to be there to spend time with Mum and minister to her however we could, and to support our father. (My sister’s husband would bring their baby some days, and each evening I would go home to have supper with my family and put our youngest to bed before going back to my parents’.) This month my sister and I will be starting a rotation of living with Dad, alternating weeks for as long as is manageable. We will be companions to Dad more than caregivers in the way it is most understood. This time it is a sacrifice that will affect our own households for an indefinite length of time, but it is the only right decision at this time as he needs someone there with him. We don’t live far from him anyway, but it is time to do this. And Dad won’t be overwhelmed by us — 🙂  — because we won’t both be there all the time, but taking turns week by week.

To be honest with you, in considering all this it is something that I want to do and do not want to do. Even though I want to be there for my elderly father, I know it is going to change my own life, marriage, home. I will do this, though, because my family supports me in it and I love my dad – otherwise it would be nearly impossible. Do you know the feeling? It will be a good challenge, very important to our relationship and with fun potential. 🙂

During our quiet evenings, since Dad is still able to enjoy his own reading time, I plan to read more books, prepare more book reviews, and finish writing my novel and picture books. Then the weeks I am home I can post to my blog and catch up wherever else I have fallen behind.

Yes, that is the plan. A good plan. A reasonable plan. I’ll soon find out how well it works.

Have you come full circle yet, becoming the caregiver for the one who cared for you?

Maybe you are caregiver for someone else you love, or are available to give someone else a break? (Being a caregiver can be very stressful and exhausting, so if you are considering helping someone who does this, I’m sure they would appreciate a few hours for themselves each week.)

I’m very interested in hearing your stories.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂