Tag Archives: aging

Reflections ~ Journeys, Great and Small

I see that I have been inattentive to my audience in my little alcove. Please accept my apologies. Life’s journeys have kept me very preoccupied of late and it’s time I express some of those experiences since they bear greatly on one of the themes in my rooms here: caregiving.

Way back in January I posted that I had made the decision to seek out a new home, a place nearer the ocean that both my spouse and I love so very much. It started with a day trip to Aberdeen, Washington in search of a place we could call home. It was the first time I had been out of the house to actually go somewhere since bringing him home on January 9. Nearly a month at the time. A very odd experience.

I found a place that suited all of my requirements. A one-owner home that had been well cared for but never upgraded. A project house, if you will, to help me bridge the space between caregiving and, well, “after.” It also provided a comfortable arrangement for my office and library so that I could build my practice and be able to work with clients without anyone invading my private home. Perfect in so many ways.

Then the stuff of contracts and negotiations and inspections and appraisals and all the other commotion required in such things began. It’s been a rocky road. It’s still not over. But we are closer. And while the wheels of real estate deals grind, many changes have continued to occur in my life.

One of the advantages of being certified for hospice care is that you suddenly have an army of people to help you. Volunteers are limited in what they are permitted to do. They are not permitted to transfer the patient, feed them, or change them. They can, however, spend hours reading, talking, sharing music, or simply watching. Without them there is no conceivable way I could have hoped to have us packed in any reasonable length of time. I also managed to acquire a volunteer that was a professional mover. The woman was a machine. I would sort for hours and she would come in and have it all packed in no time at all. She ran stuff to Goodwill, the post office, the UPS store and helped me try to find homes for things I no longer needed. Between my volunteers and my truly amazing hospice care team, the last two months have been manageable. The dream of a home of our own truly possible.

In that process, though, it has become increasingly apparent that the love of my life is declining at an ever increasing pace. You don’t notice quite so much from day to day until you sit down to talk to the nurse about the changes since her last visit. With amazing rapidity he has developed many of the end-stage conditions of dementia and related ailments. It is now a balancing act between what must be done for one condition versus what must be done for something else. I face the stark reality of palliative care decisions each and every day.

The hardest part of my journey thus far was this past week. As I anxiously waited to find out if the seller was going to accept the value assessed by the appraiser (an answer I still don’t have at this moment) I had to take myself quite firmly by the emotions and acknowledge that he just might not be with me on my journey to the sea. The prognosis at this point is weeks, not months. With that acknowledgement I was able to turn down the stress meter on myself, my agent, and my loan officer. They have been working so hard to make this happen and every little bump caused everyone so much stress I was afraid we would start to make decisions that were not wise for anyone. So, I took a step back and accepted that I may be finishing this particular journey on my own.

I have thought about care options in these last difficult weeks. It is not that I am completely adverse to professional and caring facilities. I know that when I checked him into rehab what seems so very long ago, we were both in tears. Leaving him there was one of the hardest things I had ever done. The issue is that the tie between us is so tight that even outsiders observe it and often mention it. He has not known my name or who I am for nearly four years; and yet it is me that he reaches for, me that he holds close and wants to hug, me that he wants to touch, and me that receives his kisses. For both our sakes, I shall do my best to keep us as one to the very end.



Filed under Caregiving Backstage, Personal Journeys

Reflections ~ an Afterword to Who I Am Yesterday

I am working on a few bits and pieces to add to a re-release of my book:  Who I Am Yesterday.    These, of course, are more interpretive and give you insight to my thoughts, my day to day amazement and sadness.

I ponder, at times
Just how you’d feel
If you knew the person,
The you that is now.

I know there’d be anger,
Frustration, rebellion
Is there then wisdom
In the theft of your mind?

I know that you’re lost,
Unsure, confused.
Thus I shudder to think
What you’d do if you knew.

Locked in your mind,
Fighting to learn
Each simple task
Just to show you still can.

Wanting to go
Somewhere to work
To contribute or die
Yet still locked in your mind.

You reach so hard
For the things you’ve lost
The appointment forgotten
The trip you won’t take

Yet you remain focused
Many hours each day
On your books, your papers
Your unfinished works

I’m never quite sure
How the anger you’ve known
Stays locked beneath
This man you’ve become

And yet your love for me
Still finds some way
To whomever I am
Each hour each day

In the dead of the night
I lie awake
Craving what was
Yet grasping the now

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Warning – This is a Promotion!

I have established promotional pricing for Who I Am Yesterday for one day only – Kindle version at Amazon.   The sale occurs on Sunday, August 26.  It has also been added to the Kindle Select program which means it can be borrowed for up to 30 days free of charge.   So, if you were thinking about it but not quite sure (or hadn’t found the time) grab it!

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Featured Title!

Just sharing another milestone!  Who I Am Yesterday is a featured title at WonderWorld.

This blog features various genres of ebooks of indie authors.  As it happens, my book made it to the front page!

This was made possible through friends at Facebook and community supporters.  Thanks everyone!  I really do appreciate it.

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Who I Am Yesterday – Contents

In response to a few requests, I am posting the table of contents for my book, Who I Am Yesterday, A Path to Coping With A Loved One’s Dementia.   This information and more is available at Amazon.com where the title is listed.   If you are ordering from Canada I strongly recommend that you order direct from the publisher, CreateSpace, or download the Kindle version from Amazon.  Shipping through Amazon export is more than the cost of the book and takes forever.

Here then are the contents:

Acknowledgements (i)
Introduction (1)
Lost on a Civilized Island (2)
Seeing the Light in the Fog (3)
Short Course in Grieving & Therapy (4)
When I Became Legion (6)
Home Coming to Someone Else’s Home (7)
The Path to Mental Breakdown (10)
Adjusting After the Island (18)
The Visit (20)
Another Major Change – “We” Must Leave (21)
The Trail Back (23)
Finding a New “Normal” (27)
Show & Tell & Tolkien Languages (30)
Prodigal Pronouns (33)
Time is an Essence (34)
Stealing Mail (38)
The Magic Desk & Other Disappearing Acts (39)
Fixing the Coffee Pot (40)
Buying Clothes & Other Closet Adventures (42)
Personal Hygiene & Other Cleaning Guides (46)
Medical Issues & Playing Nurse (50)
Books & Magazines (57)
Movies & TV Shows (59)
Through Thick & Thin & Emily Post (61)
Grocery Shopping & Anything Goes (65)
Telephones That Translate & Other Tele-tales (68)
Ears & Other Removable Parts (71)
Unlearning to Drive (74)
Finances in Fantasy Land (76)
Legally Speaking (81)
Relationships with Real & “Real” People (84)
Becoming Who I Am to Him (90)
It is a real attempt to seek humor, keep sane, and meet the requirements of being a full time caregiver for someone who has no clue they need one.

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Who I Am Yesterday, now available

Who I am Yesterday is now available through the publisher: https://www.createspace.com/3843895

The book and the Kindle version are also listed on Amazon.com.

To clarify for all my Canadian fans:  The book will not be listed on Amazon.ca for various reasons, some apparently rather obscure.  I noted some other books I am familiar with on that site and the prices are really out of line so I wouldn’t want you to pay from there anyway.  I am assured by the publisher that you can purchase direct from their website (noted above), or nearly any other Amazon site in the world.  I think Japan is another one that is not available (just saying).  So, it’s quite a jungle out there and you should take your compass with you!

Thank you, sincerely, for all the support I have received in the journey and the sharing of it.

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Entering the arena

The book has been released to the publisher.  My understanding is that it will be available to the market within the week.  I will, of course, post all relevant information as soon as I have it.  There will be a Kindle version probably early July.

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Nearing publication

Who I Am Yesterday should be released within the next week.  I have included a thumbnail of the cover in this post.  It has been quite a journey; both the actual writing and the story behind it.  Each day is a new adventure and adds another tale.  It is time, however, to share what I know and hope that it helps others facing this process.  This is the cover shot for all marketing channels.

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Marching ever closer

Well, the manuscript and the cover have been submitted to the publisher for review.  Also had to add a description for all those “distribution channels”.  I thought this was appropriate:

“This book is my personal journey through the first year of learning to manage the day to day joys and tribulations of living with a loved one’s dementia. It is a personal story which provides the foundation of the relationship that I have with my husband. It is also a journey of observation, a tale of learning and discovery, and a sharing of the coping mechanisms that worked for me.  Join me as I follow the incredible workings of the human mind and learn how to find humor in the midst of heartbreak.”

I guess the next step is something called a “Press Pack”. After all this and my head is already into the “next one”.  At least I won’t have to write that one in the middle of the night!


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