I'm halfway contemplating making my blog public again. Partly because of the caregiving... I've done searches and there are very few personal blogs out there on caregiving. There are tons of sites about it (some incredibly helpful) and a few "higher profile" blogs on it, but I've had a hard time finding "everyday" blogs that include caregiving (such as mine).
There are a couple that I've come across that I like. Here is one. Here is another that I stumbled on today that includes video, which I encourage you to watch. I especially agree with the quote that the first gentleman makes: "I don't mind it. But sometimes I am overwhelmed."
It's so weird - had someone told me a few months back that I would be caring for someone with ALS I would have shaken my head and laughed. But this seriously feels like the most natural thing. That's not to say that it's not hard and that I don't have days where I just want to run a hot bath and RELAX for an hour (like yesterday), or days where I just want to cry, but I can honestly say that I feel that I am EXACTLY where God wants me to be right now. And that is a really amazing feeling. Not to mention that EVERY SINGLE TIME I have prayed for strength, He has given it. Every time I have asked for a certain provision, it has been granted. Every time I've prayed about a solution to a predicament, one has been found.
Yesterday I was kind of marveling at all the things I've learned in the past 3 or 4 weeks (including relying on God). How to do what are called dependent transfers (transferring a patient using your own body as leverage), how to use a Hoyer lift, how to run and maintain a feeding tube, the best ways to administer non-liquid meds to a patient who has trouble swallowing (fyi, we have yet to find a way that tastes good)... I've learned more about the strength of the relationship that Steve and I share. (I am so proud of that man.) I've made many new friends. I've tried new recipes. I've become stronger (physically and emotionally).
I have good days and bad days. Most days are good (although very tiring). Tuesday evenings and Saturdays are supposed to be my time off. The Saturdays have been pretty good. I get a chunk of several hours and I can get out and do what I want (or what I don't want, which right now is packing my apartment, ugh). Tuesdays haven't been so great because by the time I get home, help Dorothy to the bathroom, hook up her feeding tube, make dinner, eat dinner, disconnect her tube and clean up the kitchen, it's like 6:45. If I'm driving to Albany (which I usually am) that only gives me like 45 minutes to spend with my boys before I have to drive back so we can do the bedtime routine and get to sleep at a decent hour. I'm learning to function on 7 hours of sleep (which I realize is a normal amount) instead of 9 (like I would prefer). I love the weekends when Heather comes down because she is SO gracious and lets me go to bed at 9 and sleep in!
I have completely fallen in love with Dorothy. She is the sweetest lady. And totally hysterical. She gets the giggles SO bad. It's absolutely hilarious. There are times when she has to write down why she's laughing so hard because between her laughter and her speech, there is no understanding her. =)
And have I mentioned that I love my bedroom? It has soft yellow walls and it's BIG and I have my own picture frame hanging on the wall with 7 of my favorite photos in it... It's very homey. I love crawling into my bed at night.
I really don't think that all of this was what I got on here to say... But it's what came out! I do want to try to maintain a blog that is very ME and not all about caregiving and the likes, but right now that is what my life is consumed with so right now it IS me. And I hope that it's not totally boring for all of you or that you're not coming here and saying, "My gosh, Mikaila, you've said this all before." But if you are, sorry, this is my journal. =)
I have a few post ideas floating in my head so hopefully I'll be back soon! Dorothy's (spry) 95-year-old mother is coming to stay tomorrow so time will tell if I'm more busy or less busy in the coming weeks. =)