Day 36: The Walk



One of the most important aspects of my journey as a caretaker is the need to stay in shape.  I am not.  At 250 pounds, I am twice the size I should be.  It is more about not exercising than eating but the end result is the same.  I’m fat.  There is no shame in that.  Life happens and some of us deal with it by eating ice cream and not exercising it off.  So I decided to do the walk and benefit others while I get in shape.

It was my first official Five K and it benefits the St Jude Children’s Hospital.  I finished it in about an hour and twenty minutes.  I was exhausted, I was hungry and I cannot wait to do it again.

The thing is, I don’t know how many people were there that day.  I do know that we were cheering each other on and raising $100k for charity and that feels fantastic.

I sent a couple of FB Live videos during the event saying what I am about to say to you now.  On October 15th, we have the Alzheimer’s Awareness walk.  I am already registered for that one too.  The deal is this:  find an event near you that speaks to you and go ahead and do it.  It is a great way to do well while doing good.  You will feel amazing.

The walk was on Saturday and I am not going to lie.  I could not walk on Sunday and today I am back to my walking routine.  It is doable, one step at a time.

What causes are of interest to you?  Leave us your comment below.


Day 35: The Jean Jacket

This is one of my most prized possession. This jean jacket, which I owned for 25 years, has seen me fat and thin, broke and with money. It was in perfect condition and last week, I let it go.

Why, do you ask, did I let go of something that I prized so high?  Because it was time.  One of the things I’ve noticed since my parents got sick and I moved them in with me, is that they held on to things that would make no sense to anyone but them.  I don’t want my daughter to have to figure out what to do with my stuff.  Little by little, I will let all of it go.

It so happens that the store The Limited is recycling old denim for a good cause. Since my daughter works there, I killed two birds with one stone.  We took old jeans to the store and now they can use it to recycle and create other things.

I would rather send all my things to worthy causes than keep them here.  Yes, I do miss the jacket.  A part of me always will.  It is time to let go of many of my possessions.  My books, I keep, but the jeans can go and so can most of my clothes.

I don’t work outside the home anymore and I am hoping that when I go back to meeting people and involving myself in a career, it is in my own terms and I can wear whatever I want.  It is time.

What are you doing with your old clothes?  It is time to let them go and give them new life.  Let me know about your old clothes in the comments below.

Day 28: Clickbait, URGH!!!

This week we signed up for several charity events which I talked about two days ago, and today, I received my first newsletter from the Alzheimer’s association.  One of the articles was titled:  Repetitive Behavior Might Be Stressful to Caregivers.  I was so excited to see what advice they were providing for us on how to deal with our stress level.  So I open the article and it proceeds to tell me why repetition happens and how to answer it.  Nowhere does it state what coping mechanisms work on the actual caregiver.  The only thought that came to my mind was the word clickbait, URGH!

I don’t like clickbait.  I understand the idea of getting a catchy title to make people read your articles, watch your videos, etc.  One thing is to make your title interesting, a completely different thing is to just make it up as you go.  If you are making a title about my stress level, I don’t need you to tell me how to deal with the patient.  I’m already doing that.  That is why my stress level is up.  One of the advice points is to answer what the patient wants to hear.  In my case, that means lying about all these people who are dead, including her husband.  He just passed away seven months ago.  If you don’t think that is stressful to me as his daughter, then you don’t understand caretaker stress.

I understand that sometimes organizations think that the more you know, the easier things are.  That is not true for any chronic illness.  I, for one, know exactly what I have to do to avoid stomach flare ups.  Guess what?  The one thing I need to do is avoid stress.  That is kind of hard when I am the primary caretaker for an Alzheimer’s patient.  There are other things I can do and what I need from you is how to bring down the stress, not a refried of every book I’ve read in the last few months.

I don’t know why people invented clickbait.  It is disrespectful of my intelligence and my time.  At this point, I am so aware of it that if the first paragraph does not even come close to mentioning the reason why I opened your link, I just close it and move on.  In fact, in the case of YouTube and other social media, I have started the habit of unfriending whoever uses clickbait.  Fortunately, not everyone I follow does.  Usually though, I see it when I am reading a newspaper or other news source online.  Stop it.

If half of the comments you receive under your post are about how your article title was just clickbait, maybe it is time you study your titles.  Eventually, people get turned off to this stupidity.  Every time I see somebody posting a video saying something like “I’m sorry” and the first words out of their mouth are “No, I’m not”, I move on.  Be honest.  There are plenty of ways to create a catchy title without lying about your content.

Now, I will link the article on how to deal with Repetition and Alzheimer’s because it is actually a good article.  I just hope that the Alzheimer’s Association is listening and makes their titles clearer.