On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

ListMonday I posted a rather long-winded explanation of why I was posting a list about how to know if you are a caregiver. I won’t bore you with a recap; I’ll just post a link  so you can read the original. So, as they say in the theater or somewhere – without further ado, here’s the second half of the list.

You might be a caregiver if…

26. You look forward to naptime – theirs, not yours.
27. A trip to the grocery store alone is a mini-vacation, and a night away is a major one.
28. Your remote control is covered with notes showing how to turn the TV off and on and how to change channels.
29. Most of your conversations with your loved one involve things that happened several decades ago.
30. You loved one’s health has improved because of your supervision of their diet, but you’ve gained weight from stress eating.
31. Writing about your caregiving duties is therapeutic.
32. Even after you retire you continue to get up early in order to have some quiet time before your loved ones get up and chaos ensues.
33. You’ve told your adult loved one to go to the bathroom and give it a try before you leave the house – just in case.
34. You often find yourself on your knees – clipping toenails, tying shoes, mopping up spills, praying.
35. You know more about a number of medications than most pharmacists, and you spend at least part of your time sorting pills into daily organizers.
36. You’ve argued with your adult loved one about going to the doctor or dentist or physical therapist.
37. You’ve argued with your loved one about taking a shower or brushing their teeth.
38. You’ve found the ice cream in the vegetable drawer, the cereal in with the pots and pans, and dirty dishes in the cabinet.
39. Your criteria for choosing a place to eat include 1) would I rather go through the buffet line twice or 2) would I rather spend the time between placing the order and being served explaining why our food hasn’t come yet.
40. You’ve “encouraged” your loved one to change shirts simply because they’ve worn the same one every day for two weeks.
41. You’ve given up trying to figure out which clothes were clean and which were the dirty ones that had been put back in the drawer and just dumped them all in the washing machine.
42. You’ve searched for Mom’s glasses and found that Dad was wearing them.
43. You’ve searched for Dad’s jeans and found that Mom was wearing them.
44. You realize that the hearing aids you finally talked him into getting were a waste of money. If he remembers to put them in, he either forgets to turn them on or the batteries are down because he forgot to turn them off when he took them out yesterday.
45. You’re still hearing the question, “Are we there yet,” even though your kids are grown and gone.
46. Mealtime spills are part of the routine.
47. You’re once again dealing with babysitter anxiety – yours in finding one you trust and theirs at being left with someone they don’t know or at least don’t remember.
48. You realize when they talk about you in the third person even though you’re standing right in front of them that they are talking about the younger, cuter version of you.
49. You give lots of hugs and spend lots of time holding old, arthritic hands because you know that, even when the memory is gone, the love somehow survives.
50. After a day when the only good thing about it is that it’s over, a sweet childlike smile, a hug, and the sleepy words, “Good night. I love you,” make it all worth it.



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