Caregiving at Home Again

Photo of all my lists for vacationWe came back from our vacation a day early and now I’m caregiving at home again.  Transitions are hard!

Vacation was a lot of work, a lot of lists, a lot of packing and unpacking. We had our challenges that I shared in a previous post .  On balance, I’m glad we went.

Photo of us looking normal at my birthday dinnerThe best day was my birthday.  He had a wonderful and thoughtful card and gift for me.  We spent time sitting on the balcony enjoying the breeze.  I took a nap.  We even went out to dinner at a restaurant adjacent to our hotel.  It was the only meal we ate out.  He didn’t really eat much, and didn’t even drink half of his Mai Tai.  But we were clean, dressed, and out together.  Like normal people.  We even looked like normal people.  I had the waiter take our picture.

Now, back to caregiving at home, I’m back to real life.  It feels good to be in our own home, with all the accommodations to his needs we have here.  I have house stuff to attend to, things to fix and catch up with.  But I feel out of place.  Out of sinc.  Like I can’t get back in step in my own life again.

He’s had some weird symptoms – perhaps blood pressure drops – that make him seem to disappear.  His eyes open wide and fixate on something far away and he doesn’t respond when I call to him.   I tense up and then try to breathe, wondering what to do, if anything, or  if it’s significant, is he about to die?  Then he seems to return to his body and refocuses his eyes.

The scary moments on vacation along with these weird symptoms and his labored breathing and his post travel GI problems make it hard to resume life and just carry on.  Yet, what’s the choice?

I’ll take the good moments, and try not to fixate on the bad.  I can’t fix them so why worry about them?  I’ll do what I can to get my feet back under me.

Today I took the dog for a long walk down to the water and I took an early yoga class just starting up again after the summer in our community clubhouse.  (I was up at 5 AM with Larry’s problems.  He went back to sleep.)  I was grateful to see friends at yoga.  When I got back the hospice CNA came over to help Larry with his shower.  I was grateful she helped me to change the sheets on the bed and offered to help every week.

Research shows that exercise and gratitude are good for your happiness set point.

Hopefully I just increased mine so I can be happier caregiving at home!