Day 11: Mom, Pizza and Finding My Way

The trick for a caregiver will always be about time management and guilt management.  That is a bold statement that I hope I will be able to explain as this conversation moves along.

The thing about taking care of a loved one is that if you don’t work outside the home, you don’t feel like you get a lot done inside the home either.  Most days, I find successful if I am able to do the dishes in order to use them again for lunch and dinner.  If at the end of the night I  have a clean kitchen, I’m a happy camper.

When any of my family members spends time here, it does give me the opportunity of getting a little more done.  If my daughter is off or my sister visits, I can relax and do things I normally cannot do without taking my eyes off my mom.  Time management is a major project.  If I want to get anything done, I have to do it before she wakes up or after she goes to sleep.  Think about it for a second.  Remember when you had a baby and you did not get enough sleep?  Same thing happens now, only it is an adult and you still need to keep an eye on everything they do.

Another thing that is a process is food.  My mom loves pizza.  I’m trying to start a business I can run from home.  Guess what?  Every once in a while, I let her have a treat.  I get an extra hour for working, she gets her favorite food and everyone is happy.

So, if you live in a house where other members work, there is a level of guilt that comes from staying home.  From feeling that you don’t contribute enough, to lack of sleep or a healthy diet, everything is a good reason to worry and feel guilty.  Your job as the caretaker, is to stop feeling guilty and enjoy the moment.

This week I was able to verbalize to everyone around me that the first three days of any week are all about taking care of my mom and her appointments.  I have a business to run, books to write, other commitments.  I did send a message to everyone I knew letting them know that time with me is limited on those days.  I don’t feel guilty about this anymore.  There will come a day when I will have to put my mom in a home, and I will not have to care for her anymore.  I might as well have as much fun as humanly possible now, before that happens.

This is a short post because I am really sleepy.  What do you think?  Leave your comment below.  Don’t forget to share this message when somebody you know living through this disease.

2 thoughts on “Day 11: Mom, Pizza and Finding My Way”

  1. You know how I feel about this, my friend. I sometimes have to explain others that I am a scheduler as well. In my case, hubby is not an Alzheimer patient but he requires a lot of attention. My house is organized. But, I am always exhaust. Going to dialysis three days per week. Making sure he recieved the proper quality of care. Yesterday, I got a phone call from a nurse asking if she could come between 5-6pm today. My answer was: NO. Honestly, in our home we go to bed after 6pm. We wake up M,W,F at 6am. T,T,S at 4:30am. What I try to explain others is that we don’t live in a hospital or nursing home. We try to live a normal life. I don’t have extra help but if I have to stay all day in bed with him resting, we do it. It’s a little crazy because we are taking care of a love of one but sometimes we need someone to take care of us. The question is: Who takes care of us? We love pizza as well. We always have some in the freezer but dialysis patients can’t have a lot of sauce because it is high in potassium. But, I think we all get excited with pizza. I can actually imagine your mom’s face while eating her favorite meal. 🙂

    1. Yes I do Pamary. I think people think they know and at the same time, unless they go on the journey, they really don’t. Sometimes it amuses me when they try to explain why we could exercise more, eat better, find time for everything.
      When you take care of a loved one, you don’t always have the time, definitely not always have the energy. Ironically, if I could work out and eat better I would have more energy and I could handle it all better. It is one of those chicken or egg things, what comes first? I decided this week I was going to start taking out 15 to 30 minutes to do something workout related every day I can. I also decided to work on the food little by little. I believe stressing out about not doing it all is doing more damage to my own conditions than just easing into it.

      You are the opposite of me. Mom normally does not wake up before nine am. By nine pm she is in bed. I used to think that I should schedule her a full day and her brain taught me that life is better for her when I let her control that part of the schedule. WE have good days and bad days and that is also OK. I was stressing about keeping her alive when I should be focusing on making her as comfortable and as happy as possible. I’m not going to sugar coat it, there are many frustrating days. There are also lots of fun and laughter and she is still sociable and she loves to get visitors. It is all a balance that is not even at any time. We do the best we can.

      I know your hubby appreciates everything you do and only you two know the struggles. Even those who take care of family members don’t know the full story because every story is different. I decided to post it because people can relate and not feel as alone. You know little by little, we will all get through it. Might as well do it together.

      Thanks for sharing your point of view.

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