So far, 2012 has not been a significant improvement over 2011. Yeah, I know it’s only January 3, but to be honest, I’m not looking for a lot of improvement over the days ahead.
In looking back over 2011, I must say, it was not a great year. Lynn started the year barely functional after having gotten out of the hospital after a month’s stay. Then he returned to the hospital in March, nearly went on a respirator, which wasn’t good, but came home after only a little over a week. Then he went back to the hospital again in June for three weeks for plasmapheresis. The last admission had some good results as far as increased function was concerned but ever since that time, he’s been struggling with anemia.
Christmas was much better this year. He was able to actually participate in all the family gatherings which was a significant improvement over the past two years which he doesn’t even remember. However, the low ferritin level has him so wiped out that he’s barely able to do anything for himself.
Every year we have a New Year’s Eve celebration. His family comes and a few of our friends. We (currently me) usually cook the traditional black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, cabbage, and neck bones, and we usually add lamb and some desserts. For the past several weeks, he’s been wiped out by nightfall. I tried to talk him out of the gathering this year, but he really wanted to do it so we did (I have trouble saying “no”, can you tell?), but we did compromise and decide to do it in the afternoon rather than at night. I cooked most of the afternoon and up till about midnight the day before New Year’s Eve and we had the party from 2 until around 5. It was nice to have every come but it was also a lot of work getting it ready. Several of the guests helped with the cleaning up so that was a tremendous help, but it was still very tiring.
Ever since then, Lynn has been exhausted as usual. He stays cold so he drinks hot tea and then he gets hot so he drinks cold water. I’m cathing him from 12-19 times a day, every day. I can hardly get anything started before he’s calling me back. Plus since he’s miserable, he can’t get comfortable. Honestly, I hear him calling me every half hour for something, and often it is to repeat what I did in the previous 30 minutes.
When I had young children, I was constantly being interrupted but I could get them involved in something or take them with me and still manage to get things done. Lynn can’t be settled. He’s so uncomfortable that he needs me constantly. I can’t even get away to go to the grocery store to do all my shopping. I have to make several short trips because he needs to empty his bladder every little bit. I admit I’m getting really tired of doing it so often. I now literally pack a bag if we are going even a short trip because I’m sure to have to cath him at least once if not twice.
The constant attention has also impacted my ability to take down my Christmas decorations. I managed to bring in the outside items on Sunday and it took ALL day to put them away because I could do such a small amount at any one time. It may be July before I finish putting away the things inside. I love the decorations and had help putting them out so I have them everywhere this year. Needless to say, it’s going to be a while before my house gets back to normal.
The other way I’m impacted is by trying to work from home. He constantly interrupts so it takes forever for me to finish anything. I’m rather concerned too because my boss wants me to come on Friday to talk about my team. She is concerned about them so I’m not sure what this is going to mean for me. Lynn has become very concerned that I might have to go back to work. I told him we would just have to face that if it happened because we both know I have to work now. Hopefully, I won’t have to make that transition but if I do, it’s going to take a major adjustment around here, and quite frankly, I just don’t know how I would be able to manage it. But I’m not going to dwell on that until there is no other choice.
I need to go give Lynn a bath now. It’s the only thing that seems to bring him comfort but it’s such a long process that it eats up all my spare time. I hate to begrudge him a bath because I know how good it can make you feel but for me, it’s just one more chore. Oh well, better get to it.
So, maybe the ball dropped at midnight on January 1 and 2012 rolled in but I didn’t see it drop (although I was up) and I haven’t seen anything different…just more of the same challenges. Wonder what will be ahead???
I hope that for you and yours, 2012 will be filled with many blessings and that the Lord will provide you with whatever strength you need, whenever you need it, and a heaping measure of peace and comfort to help you make it through each day.
Happy New Year!
4 thoughts on “Will 2012 be any different?”
Blessed New Year to you and Lynn.
My prayers are with you every day.
Teressa & Donnie Pearson
Just to let you know you are not alone. I have to say that I am happy to see the holidays end. Mike is so tired & me too! Mike is still wearing disposable briefs so I don’t have to deal with cath yet..however I do change briefs several times daily. It is quite a chore since he is confined to his recliner. I do his bath right there too & it is a back breaking job but, like you I know it makes him feel good. I wish 2012 was gong to bring something different but, I think it will be more of the same. I guess I will just be glad if it is not worse. I know that there are those who do have it much worse & i try to be thankful for what we do have. God is good & always give the needed strength. Bless you both!
You really have your hands full!! My husband is on a medication so he can’t go to the bathroom without being cathed. He maybe goes 6 times a day and gets iritated and gets bladder infections when he has to cath so often. He hated to cath and I told him about your husband and said it was unbelieveable that he had to do it so many times. I think it made him think how lucky he was. We went to the Dr. for his memory loss. They put him on a med for alzheimers. We are also meeting with a therapist to help us with tools that we can use to help his memory. Things have slowed down a bit around here so that is good. Take care of yourself!!!
“it’s going to be a while before my house gets back to normal” is soooo true! If anything over the decades New Year has been more about welcome to the New Normal! 🙂
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick