Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Caregiving and isolation

This Alzheimer's crap is just damn isolating for both the patient and the caregiver.  It can be real lonely.  I miss my best friend, the guy who I used to have some great discussions and some greater arguments and at times I feel I just have a roommate, one who is kind, not attentive and pretty needy.  I doubt that he would agree with the description.
True, I have some marvelous, wonderful friends who give a lot of support but they are mostly in Clear Lake, an hour's drive away.  And it doesn't help that major construction is going on all around us which has created chaos with the traffic to the point that we have to sneak around the back of a restaurant to get home and an ordeal for anyone coming here.
       But I always have to figure out  what is needed here before I make a commitment and that is not always predictable.  Before the move and after, my concern and focus was on what was going to work best to care for He-Who with very little thought as to what to do if I became ill.  And darn, if that isn't where the weak spot was in my thinking.  Sure enough, I'm the one who ended up on the ER with vertigo from a serious sinus infection.  Thank Goddess for an angel of a sister-in-law who took me and I find I'm leaning on her more than I want as she already has some folk she is looking after.  But now we are a long way from our daughter and 3 and a half hours from our son.  And I'm the one who is having some minor surgery in a couple of weeks with a month of recovery with no driving.  This time daughter is coming to stay with He-Who and me for a couple of nights until we get a routine going.  Thank goodness, we made the move here so there is no worry about meals and housekeeping but He-Who has yet to get to the dining hall by himself.  Food is a non-issue for him.  He forgets to eat unless the plate is right in front of him and even then if there is a lot conversation at the table, he forgets it.
     Physically he is in great shape.  We both should get more exercise and have missed opportunities here to do so.  He won't go without me to the classes and I will be laid up for a while.  Ah well.....
And I've noticed that because I have a husband, I'm sorta excluded from the table of widows and there are a lot of them....a lot more of them than couples.  Maybe I exclude myself in some ways because I'm concerned with what He-Who is up to.  And maybe that will change as time goes on.
     I'm taking a poetry class from Sarah Cortez which is a life line from this Island to the Mainland for me.  She is a great teacher and the class is really challenging with some homework assignments that make me sit up straight and dig.  I didn't get very far at trying to organize a Wendy Davis support gathering here but our T-shirts should arrive soon.  I'm checking to make sure everyone who wants a mail ballot has sent off their requests.
     And I feel incredibly grateful I'm not facing bigger challenges.  I checked with other friends today who are facing much more serious challenges with health and loss and feel damn lucky.  One thing I hate about getting old is that my friends are aging, too and facing the losses that come with it.  I hate seeing them suffer but it does make me so appreciate my own health with only minor problems and I will answer He-Who's questions repeated for the 5th time with a smile, maybe a grin, as I answer him.


  1. Kay, I know how stressful it is to start over in a new environment and I do not have your burdens. I'm glad that you have a creative outlet in your poetry class and I cheered out loud at your optimism with the Wendy Davis Support group. Hang in there. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  2. I'm surprised that you feel isolated. I was so impressed with the fact that you have a studio in the house and all those people to talk to at meal time. Send me a private message and let me know what the surgery is.......hopefully it will be over quickly. If you can't drive for a month it must be knee or hip replacement. Yikes. I often have wondered why you chose to be right in the middle of the city instead of some place in the Clear Lake area.....the traffic when I was up there was unbelievable, except out there. I now know I would never move back into Houston proper but would head for CLC or Galveston where the pace is slower. Hang in there kiddo. Thankfully you have your daughter and so many friends. HUGS

  3. Sometimes being in a group setting exacerbates a sense of loneliness. I'm here (although far but not as far as...) and would love to talk to you. Love you, Kay!