Jerry and I were discussing a story that he had heard on NPR about Caring for our Elderly Parents. We are definitely going through this right now. His father passed away recently (Christmas Eve will be 16 months) and his mom has been in a nursing home for 19 months now. (WOW!) On top of this my father has had bladder cancer and has been in and out of doctors appointments since December of last year. Today he is currently in the hospital with high levels of potassium and some kidney problems. My mom, other then her normal aches and pains and a recent cold, is holding up well despite the depression of having her husband in the hospital.
So back to the NPR story, it basically talks about the need to take care of yourself while you are dealing with all of the other stuff. I’ll admit that Jerry and do take breaks from the nursing home. We try to go every other day but sometimes even that’s too much. So it might be 3 days between. I know that I get wrapped up in making sure that everyone else is taken care of that I sometimes forget to make sure that I’m okay. I can say that my health has declined since all of this has happened. We aren’t eating right, we should be exercising, and it’s not like I’m not aware of any of this. For now, we do what we can, when we can.
My mental health has been, off, if you ask me. I cry a lot more. Just last night I had an episode of mania that I have no idea what triggered it. Thankfully, Jerry is there to help me and vice versa. Most days, it’s more of indifference. Sure, I know that it’s tough, but it is what it is. No use getting worked up into a frenzy about things I can’t change, right? I think last night was a one of those breaking points though where the frenzy got the best of me. It felt like my blood was corsing though my body and it was electrically charged. Not a feeling I’m ready to repeat.
So how am I keeping sane? Well…if I ever was sane in the first place Music helps. Reading. Gaming. Blogging it out. It’s actually the little things. Don’t get me wrong, I could totally use a real vacation. But I know at this time in our lives it needs to be stay-cations.
I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping. I’m dreading it. I printed up the list and it’s overwhelming. Extended family is huge..not just big…H.U.G.E. Hopefully I can get it done quickly and painlessly. I’m going to try to tackle most of it after work and before Jerry gets home in the evenings. He’s got enough on his plate dealing with lawyers to handle his mom’s affairs.
Next Saturday, we hope to take MIL out on a shopping jaunt as well. I hope to get most of hers done prior as to not overwhelm her. I’ll probably have to wrap most of them as well. Thank goodness for gift bags! Is it bad that I don’t enjoy the wrapping? I mean I used to..I used to love to tie the ribbons and curl them. Now? Not so much.
I don’t think Jerry and I are going to worry about buying each other presents. We haven’t even discussed it really. hmmm…maybe just a coupon. “This coupon entitles you to a day of Jeanne not interrupting you while you read”.
I should really start all of this mid-summer…would make it easier all around. Pfft…procrastination strikes again!
I have to admit that I really don’t enjoy this time of year. I used to…but the past several years my heart just hasn’t been into it. Don’t get me wrong..I love all the getting together with people and visiting part…just not the materialistic aspect. Maybe it’s hitting me more because I know that people can’t afford to purchase things and part of me feels guilty accepting presents. Sure..I love presents just as much as the next girl but lately…eh…
My iPod has been playing Christmas carols forever. I never took them off my player and have it on shuffle in the car. I usually end up hitting the skip button to pass the myriad of songs telling me to “let it snow” or that the “weather outside is frightful”. Really?? because here it’s mid 70’s and sunny…*shrug* So even my car reminds me of how not into the holidays I’ve become.
I’m sure part of it is that we don’t have kids to spoil of our own. Heck, we can’t even enjoy spoiling our nieces and nephews because of how scattered the families are. Maybe that has something to do with it too. I haven’t spent Christmas with my family in nearly 5 years…and that was the only time since I moved here in 1995.
I know..I know…I should spend each moment I have with people like it’s Christmas day with them everyday. Easier said than done. I’ll admit that.
Jerry and I are trying to make the best of this holiday season for his mom. Being stuck in a nursing home can’t be fun for her. We’ve set up a Saturday to take her shopping, we’ll help her wrap a few of the presents. Then on the 20th we’ve reserved a room at the home to have her family Christmas. No clue how that’s going to work but I’m hoping it cheers her up. That’s all the really counts.
As I peruse the social websites it seems everyone is listing what/who they are thankful for..blah blah blah. I don’t really want to be so typical but I am thankful for things and I do feel there needs to be some acknowledgment. Even if it’s for my own records. So here goes…
What am I thankful for?
My health (as out of shape and problems with my thyroid I’m still able to function from day to day)
My marriage (sure, we all have our ups and downs but I can’t imagine life without him and right now he is my rock)
My cat (being childless lets me be that crazy cat lady that lives down the street…and you know what? I’m fine with that )
My job (in these economic hard times I feel fortunate that I am able to do something that I love and not have to worry about the day to day)
My family (although my parents are 1100 miles away, I know that they support me. I talk to them often and can feel their love radiating even from a distance. Also my siblings which I know would back me up in an intergalactic war if need be.)
Technology (it keeps me close to people that otherwise would be gone from my life…yes..this means you)
Hmm..I’m sure there are tons of things that I could list but they just don’t seem to be popping into my head. I’m really trying to simplify my thoughts and life to help control those emotions that I’m having a hard time controlling. (or not controlling) Anyway…if I can get back to the simple things I’m sure that will help clear the cobwebs that seems to be weighing me down. Drama free is the way to be!
Ok..Now I’m sounding like some self help book and that is freaking me out….
I’m having a hard time keeping it together. MIL is back in the hospital. More blood transfusions and trying to get the fluids off her without damaging her kidneys. Congestive heart failure sucks!! I’m having a hard time dealing with it all. I know it’s depression but I refuse to handle it with medicine. I know what the cause of it is and there isn’t much I can control. That’s the part that is bothering me. I can’t control it! Not that I want to control the world…wait..hmm..nah…
So, I guess I need to find ways to relieve the stress so I can clean my house, take care of my health and be generally happy like I once was. I thank God everyday that I have Jerry in my life as he is my rock. I know that he is as miserable as I am and I guess that’s what keeps us clinging to each other. Misery loves company right?
I hate to dump all this on my blog as it’s rather personal but I need to type it out, not for everyone to throw me a pity party but for me to use this medium as a cathartic method of “letting go”.
Thought I would try to use Word Press. I haven’t been happy with Blogger in a while. Actually, that isn’t true but I am feeling restricted because I have my own domain. Blogger doesn’t seem to have many choices for layouts/themes if you own your own domain…or maybe I just don’t know what the heck I’m doing. 🙂
So this is my attempt at using Word Press. We’ll see how I like it. I may go back to Blogger *shrug*