Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Recent Excerpt From My Personal Journal

As his carer, I am someone I never dreamed I could be. This is to do with his specific combination of physical and mental impairment, and the point they have reached by now. It was gradual. Bit by bit I have assumed more and more responsibilities. And I've let go of some, such as reminding him how to use his computer. He's pretty much past that now, and it's easier to take dictation and do it for him — easier, but more time-consuming.

Getting him out of the house is like getting a toddler ready for an outing. I have to allow extra time, and sometimes drop or rearrange some plans. If we both manage to arrive places looking vaguely respectable, that'll do. Clean clothes, combed hair....

It surprises me, because in the past I'd have had no faith in my practical abilities to cope.

My desire to look after him, and have his quality of life be as good as possible, has given me the faith that somehow I'd find the ways. And I have.

Now I'm tired, and not as patient as I'd like. I need to be more adaptable, I realised this morning — and instantly understood one reason for my neck pains. I had been thinking 'pain in the neck,' but I suddenly remembered 'stiff-necked', meaning rigid, inflexible, unable to adapt. Aha!

The adaptability needs to be moment by moment. I'm learning! Seeing myself clearly is important too.

He asks me, watching a young Mum dealing with her two lively littlies (we are in doctor's waiting room), 'How would you like to be at that stage again?' At first I say, to this third interruption, 'I just want to write without interruption!' then notice my lack of adaptability in that, and answer his question: 'Not at my time of life; I haven't the energy.' I realise that I have just said something about what is the case, caring for him, but I don't share that with him.

What I have absolute faith in is the depth and strength and certainty of our love for each other no matter what, and despite occasional grumpiness both sides. I know it to my depths; so does he.

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