Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween 2021

Me (guess which on) Halloween 2009 - Rehoboth Beach



 Yes, I'm still here folks! 

Now trick or treating this year for me this Halloween. 

The photo above was the last time I ventured out dressed to the gillies for Halloween. 

Oh how I used to look forward to Halloween. Not so much these days.  

Earlier our doorbell rang. Whoops! I forgot it was Halloween.  I checked my Ring video and sure enough, a young lady out there with a child. I have no idea who it was. I didn't answer the door. Bah humbug, that's me these days.

My caregiving continues. 

Bill is slowly getting weaker. He has a hard time talking and his cognitive abilities are slipping further but thank God he's not in pain and he knows who I am.

Since I last posted we've had several developments. Depressing at first but I've rationalized them and put myself in a "life goes on" mode. 

My annual labs and medical checkup at the VA revealed a "spot" on my left lung. My NP has recommended I get a CAT-SCAN. Also, my white blood cell count is down. I'm not sure what that means. I'm not HIV-Positive. 

I got my COVID booster shot last week. About eight hours after the booster shot I had some troubling after effects, feeling blah and shortness of breath. Actually very scary. I don't know how much was in my mind and how much was actual physical reaction. However, when I woke up next day all was back to normal.

In a couple of weeks I'll be eighty years old. And I ask myself "How in the hell did THAT happen?" 

Taking everything into consideration I still feel very fortunate I've reached this grand old age and the life I've had. A truly wonderful life for an "slightly" below average guy of intelligence and looks. Pretty darn good I say.

Have a happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Caregiver Update

 

Bill with his hospice nurse last week

Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular basis. 

I've been blogging since 2005, right before we moved to Delaware. 

For long stretches I've blogged almost daily, sometimes even twice a day. 

These days, since I assumed full-time caregiving for Bill in February of this year, my blogging pattern hasn't been the same, to say the least. 

I've felt guilty about it, because I feel a responsibility to keep my regular blog followers up to date with my sometimes chaotic life. 

Why should I feel guilty? 

That's the way I was brought up folks. To feel guilt for anything that veers from the expected pattern of what others expect of my life. 

Granted I've come a long way from those days (Day One to late teens) feeling guilt just for existing and taking up space on this earth. This the result of a constant barrage of verbal and metal abuse by my father who didn't want children. 

He was a very selfish man. It wasn't until I left home at age eighteen and joined the Army that I began to experience a different view of the world and myself. That I actually had value as a human being and I didn't have to feel guilt for taking up space on this earth. 

Then I met Bill and for the past fifty-seven years he has been my biggest support in life. I have been one of the lucky human beings in having this loving and lasting relationship. Big movie star sex symbols like Marilyn Monroe haven't been as lucky as I have and continue to be. 

At this time of my life my waking hours and sometimes my resting hours are consumed with caregiving for Bill, my loving relationship of the past fifty-seven years. 

I do not regret that responsibility and am thankful that I have the opportunity to take care of my love at this time of his life. However, it is exhausting and does take up my life now. I am literally on call 24/7, ready for the latest emergency.

Bill is fading. He is getting weaker every day. His cognitive abilities are worsening. He is wearing Depends full-time now. This after a very messy accident last week.  Yes, Bill is now completing the full cycle of his life, starting out with diapers and ending his life in a diaper. He has accepted that fact, after initially resisting but after several "explosions" and then cleanup by me, he has acquiesced. He has also acquiesced into letting me have a respite from caregiving.

The hospice center can take him for a week every three months (ninety days) under their caregiver respite protocol. Initially Bill was totally against anyone but me taking care of him. Now he realizes that perhaps I can use a break. And I can folks. I am exhausted. 

I don't know when I'll take advantage of this "respite care" break but it's good to know that I have that option. I may never use it but I get some relief knowing that I could.

Every morning, when I treat Bill's edema on his lower legs, Bill tells me he tired of living. I can understand how he feels. He can't see, he's weak and getting weaker. He can't read. He can't do his projects. But he says he doesn't want to leave me. 

We're caught in a quandary folks. Sure, I know I'm to the first caregiver to be in this position. And my position could be a lot worse and for that I am thankful it is not. I keep reminding myself Bill knows who I am and he's not in pain. He can move around albeit shaking and slow but he can move. 

With all this said folks, while I'm in this situation I won't be posting as much as I did before Bill's two stroke in January. 

I am Bill's full-time caregiver now. I am a nurse/companion/live in EMT support.

With what time I do have off I have to engage in activities like playing online Scrabble, talking with my friends on Zoom and Facebook and reading to balance my life. 

For those of you who have been with me on this long journey since I began my blog in 2005, my    apologies.  Yes, I do still feel guilty.

Now I have some Scrabble games to update.

Have a great day everyone!




Random Observations on a December Morning

Late yesterday afternoon sun on our cozy home (in the background).    What? Yet another selfie of yours truly in a hoodie on his property in...