A Good Week, and the List
This week has been delightful – apparently, there IS a sweet spot or balance point with activities and rest which can result in a cheerful, relaxed period of time for both of us. I think we both suffer when there is too little scheduled, and also if there is too much. I’m not sure how to characterize the pace of things this week, except that we saw family and friends, in visits of a few hours to a few days, on many of the days. J went to Respite Group all three afternoons, Mon.-Wed.-Fri. I took some of the respite time to shop leisurely for yard and garden stuff, which I found very restful. J is not much of a shopper, but I can find it very relaxing to amble about, imagining how to do a project, looking at what’s available, and so forth.
On another point, maybe it’s time to review where J is now, with respect to what she can do and changes that have or haven’t happened since I last listed things, back in July.
– What day it is, and what we are doing that day are impossible for J to retain. It is becoming hard for her to carry a thought while walking from her study to the kitchen where the master calendar is. It bothers her in bursts, but the angst seems to pass fairly quickly.
– J sleeps more, in that she heads to bed somewhat earlier and still sleeps til 7 most days, and also naps during the day without seeming to interfere with nighttime sleep.
– TV is becoming more of a challenge. There are fewer shows of any kind that J expresses any enthusiasm about, (even with all the streaming options of Netflix, Amazon, Acorn and so on). This gets hard when evening comes and we would “normally” watch an episode or two of a tv series. I think any kind of plot is becoming difficult to follow. Any new cast of characters is impossible.
– We do watch the 6 o’clock news now, with dinner. I’ve never done this as an adult, since I grew up with morning and evening news in the background every day and decided I didn’t care for it. But it is so hard to generate any kind of conversation, that this has come as a welcome solution for us both, as far as I can tell. And it has brought me up to date with current affairs in such a way that I have more to say when I’m in casual conversation with others.
– It’s harder socially, if we are together with other people, and casual questions come up like “So, what’ve you been up to?” We are not up to too much, actually, but I do save tidbits of our activities to have ready when asked – got the patio re-sanded, put in some pansies, lost the whole crocus crop to the squirrels, etc.
– And it’s harder socially, if it’s just me, not to take up the whole conversation with remarks about the caregiving aspects of my life. But the plain truth is that caregiving is basically what my life is about right now.
– J can still get the mail, and can take walks out to the main road and back without becoming disoriented. I am watching for this possibility, but so far, so good.
– The first obvious self-care issue came up recently, when she noticed she hadn’t trimmed her nails and “probably should do it”, but then didn’t remember to get to it, and I ended up prompting her gently several days later. This area is tricky – personal hygiene and grooming – so I need to develop some easy-going, friendly ways to help guide things along when she is forgetting to attend to something. Helpful suggestions are welcome from those who’ve been there!
All in all, though, we are doing pretty well. I’m grateful for J’s good nature, and that this condition has progressed slowly, allowing us a good deal of pleasure in each other’s company even now.