Aug 29, 2015

Feeling Our Feelings

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"It is as easy to feel joy as it is to feel sadness." Ernest Holmes

Let's remember this when we are feeling sadness.  There will be much sadness in our lives as caregivers -- but we can look for and orient ourselves toward joy.  It rained last night, and everything is so fresh and green this morning.  The air smells wonderful.  All is well in my little home right now.  I have family and friends I love and who love me.  What is right in your world?

Aug 28, 2015

Asking for and Accepting Help

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"Crying out for help -- from others and from God -- may be the strongest moment of our lives." Randy Kilgore
I have always leaned too far toward being independent and not asking for or counting on others' help.  Some people lean too far in dependency.  Which are you?  I was prepared to go to the funeral home alone, but it was lovely and comforting to have my daughter there.  We do not have to do all of this caregiving alone.  There are people who are willing to and desire to support us.  Let's let them.  It is good for them.  And it is good for us.
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Aug 27, 2015


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"Chewing gum can reduce stress hormones." Julia Calderone

Chewing gum is probably not enough to counteract the stress of caregiving.  Yesterday I met with the funeral home and the nursing home.  Sobering  -- even a bit harrowing!!!  Even though we know we are dealing with a terminal and progressive illness, I found meeting with the funeral home very, very sobering.  I am so grateful that my daughter and granddaughter were there to help it not be so daunting.  The meeting at the nursing home showed everyone in consensus:  my loved one has declined dramatically in recent weeks.  Both meetings created some good plans and were necessary,   I recommend that when you choose to make funeral plans that you have someone with you to love and support you.

Aug 26, 2015

Being Fully Ourselves

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"The displeasure of others is no reason to muffle your love.  You do not have to do anything to be loved, and being who you are does not let others down." Mark Nepo

I, like many other humans, have long considered what I needed to do to be loved.  Having some rejections, as we all do, in life helped reinforce for me that a person must need to do or be something in order to count on the love of others.  But that thinking is completely wrong.  Of most importance is to be ourselves.  If we are truly ourselves, we will be loving, creative and kind humans.  That is also, paradoxically, when we are the most attractive to other people, but that is not the point.  The point is to stop trying to figure out what others might want, and - instead - to find out what we want and to honor that and express it as who we truly are.  

Aug 25, 2015

Seeing Things Newly

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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

This is true in all situations in life, to include caregiving.  Someone said to me recently how sad it was that I had to return to work to help cover costs of nursing care, but my position is - how lucky I am to be trained in a profession in which I can dip back in and work.  It is all one's perspective.  

Currently I have a problem with a pack rat having gotten into an area of the house via a heat duct.  At first I was upset to have to deal with this, but, then it occurred to me, how lucky to have discovered it before winter.  I called service people this morning, and they will be here this afternoon.  And, this morning, I have noticed a large hawk situated near our house.  I am going to consider this hawk is after the pack rat that is problematic to me.  Perhaps it is true!

Do we see problems or possibilities?  As humans, we will see both, but we are better served to focus on the possibilities within the problems.

Aug 24, 2015

Natural Health Agents

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"Among an array of natural plant extracts, only cinnamon inactivated the virus Phi X 174."
Touro College research

Within minutes, a tablespoon of cinnamon kills 99.9-100% of this virus, which is similar to viruses found in the common cold and flu.  It is so important for us, who are caregivers, to manage our own health -- partly for our own benefit, and also to protect our loved ones who may have compromised immune systems.  The researchers in this study suggest taking one tablespoon a day of cinnamon to protect ourselves in the upcoming flu season.  

Music also supports our health.  Research out of Finland suggests that listening to music quiets the genes involved in Alzheimer's disease.  It seems that not only classical, but also hip-hop and jazz can quiet those genes.  Music any one?

Aug 23, 2015

Trusting The Process

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"I'm only lost if I am going somewhere in particular." Megan Schribner

Yesterday I arranged for our priest to come and do the anointing of the sick - what used to be called last rites.  I want to cover a large range of ecumenical practices to support his dying.  The harpist was arranged because she is trained to play music to help one in the process of dying.  The prayers I say are from my own spiritual path, and - because his relationship with God is important to him and he is most comfortable for that to be delivered within the structure of religion, I asked the priest to come.  This is honoring his religious tradition and choice.  

I know death is not imminent, but I also know it is on the horizon; and it is my practice and preference to prepare in advance for life events.  Next week my daughter and I will meet with the funeral home.  I want him remembered for who he is/was and his life celebrated, and that is best done for me by thoughtful preparation.