Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Am I Doing?

Hi Everyone,

Since I have been in California since January, 2013 taking care of my mom since my dad passed, everyone wants to know how I'm doing.

It depends on the moment, the day, or the week. Leaving your business and personal life behind to relocate to the hometown I grew up in is a shock in itself. I only have a few friends here from high school. I know the neighbors but they are busy with their lives. I'm a full time caretaker. That is what I do.

I don't have a car and it is not a problem. Everything in town is close so I walk every where. It provides me fresh air and exercise. That's the good news about a small town.

I let go of the home phone and cable TV, due to the unnecessary expense. Without either, I'm able to get 4 extra hours a month of a care taker to relieve me. I love TV but my priorities have changed. Now a relief care taker is all I care about.

I'm now reading every book ever written by Michael Connelly. He is a NY Times best selling author and the best writer I've ever had the pleasure to read. He writes crime thrillers, and his characters reappear in each of his novels. He writes about a book a year, and being an author myself, that is not easy to do, since he has so much detail and fact checking to do in each novel.

I've hired a care taker to come in to relieve me about 25-28 hours a week. She is just wonderful. She cleans the house, takes care of mom, and visits with her. That is when I go to work-out with a trainer 3 times a week, and get all of my errands done, such as grocery shopping, banking, and bill paying.

That leaves me with 500 hours a month where I am the full-time care taker. It's a lot and it fries your nerves. My mom is difficult because she has Alzheimer's and it's not the pretty kind. She is aggressive and likes to punch your lights out every time you approach her. She is constantly throwing insults at me, and I have just learned to not take them personally. This disease is so hard to deal with. My mom hasn't been the mom that I know for about 10 years. She still knows who I am, but she doesn't like anybody, including me.

I know there is a lesson, a message, and surely this is a test that comes with this experience. I already know that what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger. I know that I can endure. I know that I'm a good care taker and I will use these skills in the future for one of my friends, should they need my help.

So how am I doing? OK today. I read 3 more Michael Connelly books over the weekend and they keep me mentally engaged.

And this too shall pass.

Thank you all to my friends for their help and support.


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