Monday, April 23, 2012

And the Last Word?

I'm not sure I've ever understood the concept of "getting the last word."  Is it some primal act that has pursued humans through the millenia, this need to get the last word?  In one instance I've encountered  it with someone I worked with.  As we would leave at quitting time and exchanged pleasantries wishing each other a good evening, I found that my coworker would always speak after I spoke.  Somehow it irked me to experience this.  Inevitably I allowed the coworker to get the last word.  And you might ask, who was in control here?  I have never figured it out, but feel a certain anxiety and queasiness about this coworker still.

Now I experience the feeling again as I have entered the world of chat on the Internet.  I'm clumsy enough as it is when it comes to chat.  I don't know all the abbreviations and when I figured out what LMFAO means, I still cringe a little bit.  Not that I don't ever use the word in cursing when the cat knocks something down at 3 am and I step on my car keys by accident and set off the the panic button to my vehicle and it starts honking until Bill has located the keys so I can turn off the horn.  And that was the comment on Facebook when I reported this event as my morning status.  You're right----LMFAO.

On the topic again....I find myself experiencing the last wordedness phenomenon when I do chat on Facebook or on other social networks.  To be honest, the only other social network I've joined is The Experience Project.  So while I am chatting with you and you "LOL" or lower case "lol" along with me, I tend to get very wordy and descriptive and want to really carry on a conversation with you in depth.  Will you really mind if I do that?  And when it comes time for one us to sign off or maybe you or I go offline or have to answer the telephone, get Bill his strawberries, or the cat keeps jumping on my laptop, I feel awkward.

I would love to be there and give you a hug or see if you are truly "feeling fine" like you told me or if you are stressed and needed some human contact.  Or if you have friended me on the social network without having a clue who I am and are taking bets with your cronies on some plan to totally embarrass me and have a good LMFAO at my you still want to have the last word?  The good person that I want to be will let you have it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dance of the Caregiver

Caregiving is something that one hears about quite often in the course of the day to day.  Someone may have the care of an older relative, a parent, a child with a severe disability, and the possibilities are many and varied.  I am finding in the care of my companion as he slowly recovers from 3 stays in the hospital in the last 2 months, that there is kind of a delicate dance of meeting his needs and taking care of my own needs.

I think there has been many things written about care giving.  The one that comes to mind is "Caregiver Therapy" one of the Abbey Press Elf Help booklets that address human concerns in a way that gives a light touch to serious topics.  These books are all illustrated by R.W. Alley.  The caregiver book is written by Julie Kuebelbeck and Victoria O'Connor.  I need to buy a copy to help me cope with some of the stress I've been experiencing.  I am finding it is taking a lot of my inner strength and resources to manage the household and give Bill the care he needs.  Some things I'm letting slide.  They will be finished in some eventuality, I tell myself.

He is gradually growing stronger and able to do more for himself.  I get cranky, though, when I get tired and my energy is waning.  We are having healthier meals and using more fresh vegetables. I'm planning meals more carefully.  But I have to tell you I have a lot of dirty dishes that I'm having difficulty getting washed.  Writing it here and being open about my struggles will help me, I know.    The trips to the laundromat are tiring, also.  A little voice in the back of my mind tells me I SHOULD have been better prepared for this happening----the time involved in hospital visits and driving to Syracuse for 2 hours and home again.

He is being a prince when I get cranky and tells me he loves me.  I tell myself I've been ill many years past and had help while I was recovering.  This time with Bill's illness there have been many who have helped us and stepped up with support and kindness.  Our neighbor built a step to the bedroom so that it was easier to step up into where there had been only one high 10 inch step.   Someone loaned us a walker when Bill was very weak and needed the extra help.  He was very concerned about a credit card payment, and a friend went to the store and paid it for him.  Several have visited him in the hospital, even in Syracuse.  There have been gifts of many kinds given to us during this difficult time. 

So one dances a dance at times of illness, giving and taking and accepting and asking.  There is the interweaving of help and helplessness.  There is the music of friend's and family's concern and caring voices that accompanies me in the care giving journey I'm on these last few months.  I'm thankful for all I've received and learned in this dance.   My steps are clumsy once in awhile, but I stumble on and pick myself again for the next round.