Monday, November 23, 2015

Learning to Change

Change is relentless.

Change requires even MORE lists to make. Constantly. Quickly.
Things TO DO.
Things MUST DO.
     Things NOT DONE.

Lists for
Next week.

I could write a book – IF I had more time. Which I don't and that is just as well: my readers who are also givers of care, would not have time to read the book. IF I found time to write the book.

Cut to the chase.

Fortunately, my foray into caregiving began uniquely: I RECEIVED the care.
Let me tell you, in case you don’t know: when a major health challenge strikes and you are tagged IT, life changes. When, suddenly, you are the one who cannot so much as get to the bathroom alone, your entire belief system changes. About everything. Drastically. Totally.

I did get well. Even at 76 years old, my health improved. WOW. A new chance to live life again.

By the summer of 2013, however, quiet warnings screamed that my husband’s health was going into big changes. Impaired vision. Stiff fingers. Weak legs. Hearing gone. My experience as the receiver of care had gifted me with new eyes so I embarked on a secret campaign to prepare.
I stepped back from myself and observed my days, routines, tasks, actions, and chores. I carefully considered how we used our time and I calculated our activities, schedules, and appointments. I paid attention to my husband’s actions, habits, movements, activities, and interests. I studied the layout of our home. I observed the flow of people and activities as we went about the act of daily living and as family and friends visited. I had the freedom to see, in advance, that the peaceful, easy, “normal” life we had enjoyed for twelve years on the hill would not stay the same.
My goals were simple:
Enable my husband to maintain his dignity.
Find joy in our adjusted daily living.
Create a safe environment.
Keep him at home.
Please note: I did not claim that my goals were EASY. Only basic.

Over the next year, the changes began in earnest. I studied my notes, cleaned out closets, assessed space. My husband began, voluntarily, to turn over to me first one household task and then another. Last winter, I began an immediate frontal attack on all my TO DO things. I had to find - - - 
Easier ways
How to work smart
Step / Energy / Time savers

Yes, I admit it. At 78 years of age, I did time studies. Even I was surprised at how much can be done while the microwave heats one cup of coffee. Thirty whole seconds. I tamed bed making, kitchen chores, and laundry by learning what can be done in a matter of minutes. 

It is my firm belief that all of us can and should benefit from sharing life lessons learned the hard ways. Caregiving will never be easy. Even for the strong ones. The physical, emotional, and spiritual drains are beyond understanding until you walk in that particular, difficult, and unique moccasin.  

There are little things, daily things, surprising things that do make the journey easier. I will share some of my experiments on this page. We who provide care are a sisterhood--sometimes inhabited by brothers--and we can benefit from sharing our lessons. 

I will not jump into the raging waters of financial, agency, government, insurance help. There are sites for those things and the trip through the mess can be vicious.  

I will, however, share shortcuts and encouragement, and prayers.

FIRST: Three LITTLE things that HELPED. In BIG ways.

1.     Laundry baskets on wheels

Inexpensive. Air Vents. Lightweight. Handle. Wheels. Available at most box stores.
No lifting required. Just wheel them into the bedroom, pitch laundry baskets around, sit on a stool that doesn't hurt old knees,  and sort laundry. Saves amazing time and my strength.

2. Drying Frames

Lightweight. Easily folded to store in closet.
For all those delicates that will shrink or pile or fuzz in the dryer.
Wish I had done this years ago.
Inexpensive. Found mind at Amazon  

3. Atomic Clock

Gradually replacing all our clocks with this fabulous, new-fangled, atomic clock.
Works PERFECT. Changes itself when there is a time change.
Knows WHEN  to change.
Now I don't have to climb on a chair and struggle and do contortions to keep us on schedule.
 Ahhhh, sweet. Twenty bucks at Walmart !!!

Thank you for stopping by.

Please share with those you know who provide care to loved ones. My ideas, hints, words, prayers are small but posted with faith, encouragement, hugs, and love.

I have absolutely no understanding of how God's goodness and mercy work or why God heard my cry just as he heard King David's.  I do know, for sure, that His Word is true.


“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple
he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. . . . .

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.” 
Psalm 18.  6 & 16. NLT

L i z

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