Caregivers don’t get many chances to reward themselves. But they should.
My husband is in the hospital. He had a real good day, a victory of sorts.
I left him in good hands with a good nursing staff.
Tonight, I drove home with the windows down and the radio turned up.
I felt the breeze and relished the freedom.  I even stopped for ice cream.
A chance for a moment of celebration.
A Caregivers Touchdown on the gridiron of life…..Spike the Football!!!!

Daily Prompt:  Spike

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Serve Me

Of course, we all want to avoid our loved ones being hospitalized. But if the loved one is stable condition and the opportunity presents itself, a caregiver just might possibly confuse the hospital for a resort hotel.

It’s certainly a change of scenery from our daily mundane view. It’s a chance to engage with other people and explore new surroundings. It may not be a fancy restaurant, but most hospitals offer some kind of cafeteria. Caregivers who serve others meals on a daily basis will always jump at the chance to have their food served by someone else.

Today as I opened the door to the hospital cafeteria, it occurred to me that I was blindly walking into a place where I had absolutely no idea what would be on the menu. What a welcome dilemma for someone who always knows what’s in the refrigerator. An exciting culinary mystery to be solved and savored.

As I walked into the hospital cafeteria, a heavenly spotlight was shining on the buffet counter. There was glorious looking food inside it, and nice people behind the counter to serve me. I’m pretty sure I heard an angelic chorus singing and happy people everywhere.

I returned to my husband’s room after a change of scenery and carrying a styrofoam container of nourishing food. It was extremely tasty and satisfying. The best part was that I didn’t have to make it, I didn’t have to serve it, and someone else actually served it to me. The trip to the cafeteria was a delightful experience. Ask a caregiver. They will understand.

Daily Prompt:  Blindly

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Today, I must be at the hospital wth my husband who has pneumonia.

Today, I am arranging the care of my father-in-law who is home alone because I must be with my husband.

Today, I am arranging the care of my dog and cats who must be boarded because I must be with my husband.

Today, I am creating necessary plans to ensure the safety of my loved ones because my first priority is to be with my husband.  Even though I’m feeling tired and there is much to be done, I will make the plans fit together somehow.  I will not surrender and I will not be deterred.

Today, I am a tenacious spousal caregiver.

Daily Prompt:  Tenacious

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Love Won

I cannot sink the putt on the 18th hole to win the Masters.
I cannot get a base hit to score the winning run in Game 7 of the World Series.
I cannot make the half-court buzzer-beater shot to win the NCAA Basketball Championship.
I cannot jump several feet into the air while surrounded by defenders and come down with the Hail Mary pass to win the Super Bowl.

I can, however, steady my husband as he transitions from the lift chair to his power chair. I can also bathe and dress him. I can also prepare and serve every meal for him. I can also enjoy laughing wth him. And of course, I can love and support him.

I don’t have a huge trophy to hoist over my head. I don’t have sponsors to thank for their financial support.  But I can certainly thank my “team” of doctors, nurses, therapists, friends, and family.  My husband is the reason I have trained so hard to compete.  He has kept me motivated with his love and appreciation.  It doesn’t bother me that I will never win any athletic championships because I’ve already won his love.  I am his champion caregiver!  🙂

Daily Prompt:  Champion

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A life is interrupted. The universe has pushed the “PAUSE” button. In a monumental moment, the caregiving role will continue for a few months, a few years, or even much longer. The job skills, interests, and hobbies of that caregiver are frozen in time. Can you even be the person you once were?

Once my caregiving role is over, I know the house will be quiet, and I will likely be very quiet, too. There will be a sense of loss that I cannot even anticipate at this moment.

When the universe pushes the “RESUME” button, I will have to decide about priorities. What activities will I enjoy? Will the solitary life of a caregiver make the cultivation of new friendships difficult? I will also re-evaluate my employment skills. Will any previous career paths even be relevant?

As I re-evaluate my life, I will take stock of who I am post-caregiver and not who I once was pre-caregiver. Life has changed me forever and in some respects, caregiving has made me a better person. I will need answers, but until that moment, I may not even know the questions.

When I emerge from caregiving, I hope there will be a new life out there for me to live that brings purpose. Self-examination and discovery will give me that purpose. When that day comes, I will listen to my heart and resume my life.

Daily Prompt:  Pause

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Port Thoughts

I have not yet arranged for the Transport
Maybe I will leave from an Airport or Heliport?
One thing is certain: I definitely will not Abort
For it was judicially decided that I am a Quart Short

Caregiving is a hard and long endurance kind of Sport
A marathon of ups and downs in providing love and Comfort
It is essential the caregiver finds an alternate means of Support

And when necessary a caregiver should be sentenced by the Supreme Court
To a time away for rest and relaxation as prescribed in the Report
A fabulous sentence that has been decreed by the High Court

The time has come to stamp the Passport
The time has come to find the nearest Seaport
The time has come to reserve that all-inclusive beach Resort

It is an overdue trip that the caregiver must not Thwart
It is a wonderful sentence from a very wise Court
Come away with me and let us quickly Deport!

Daily Prompt: Passport

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Cold Elixir

As a woman of a certain age, I seem to be enduring days of “personal summers”. The air conditioner is my very dearest friend, but sadly, my husband and father-in-law are not happy unless the house is warm. The warmer the better and I’m a tolerant caregiver.  🙂

The most magical thing was delivered this afternoon by a small wizard in a UPS uniform. I ordered it to help me endure the endless summer inside my house.

I pulled it out of the box and removed the plastic wrap. I added the batteries to the remote and plugged in the new gift. I placed it on the floor in front of me and nestled in my favorite spot on the sofa. As I pushed the power button on the remote, there was a magnificent and cool breeze that flowed towards me. I sat there absorbing the glorious wave of coldness.

I’m not searching this world for the fountain of youth. That ship has already sailed. I’m not interested in drinking a mystical concoction to make me beautiful. That ship never left the dock.  I just need things to make my life easier and bring me little bursts of happiness.  And for this old lady fighting an inner battle with hormones, the elixir of life can be as simple as a fan ordered from the internet that blows cold air.

Daily Prompt:  Elixir 

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Hidden Inside

Some things are quite obvious and obviously, some things are not. Objective things are quite evident to everyone. Things that are subjective and noticed only by you are symptoms.

People looking at your caregiving situation from the outside have an objective understanding of the things you do every day for a loved one. They can clearly see how much you do for others. But what are you feeling inside that others cannot see. What symptom are you hiding and what can you do to treat it?

One of my hidden symptoms is joint pain. Some movements and muscle flexes are somewhat uncomfortable for me. I can’t associate these symptoms with any obvious diagnosis other than what I refer to as “Caregiver Stress”. I can fit several general aches and pains under that caregiving umbrella, and no one really understands them but me.

What symptoms are you hiding? We can’t do everything for everyone, but we can do one thing for ourselves. Think about one thing you can do today to make yourself feel better in a small way. Today, I’m feeling tired. I’m going to listen to a hidden symptom. I’m going to take a nap.
What will you do?

Via Daily Prompt: Symptom

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Petite Warrior

The suit of armor that I wear protects me.  It keeps me safe from a dangerous world of hurt and pain.  Every night, I inspect it for any dings or cracks.  If necessary, I will repair it because it is so very valuable.

When I touch my husband and look in his eyes, the suit that I wear gets stronger. His laugh gives me energy. His love empowers me to protect us both.

Don’t be fooled by what you see. The petite woman standing in front of you is very strong and not easily intimidated.  She can whip out her sword at a moment’s notice.

I am a warrior caregiver fighting a battle with a disease that has already wounded my husband. I may not win this battle, but this petite warrior will NOT be conquered.

Via Daily Prompt:  Conquer

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