Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Year of Blogs

I posted my very first blog entry one year ago: Alzheimers care for me Part I.

That was in the midst of my most difficult year of caregiving. I didn't know it then but things were going to get much more difficult in the ensuing weeks. I didn't know it was my last year of caregiving.

I thought I was prepared for about anything that could happen but I wasn't. Looking back I know it is not something you really can anticipate. I was prepared in the sense that I knew how to adapt to new situations and solve new problems and even take care of myself a bit while taking care of someone else. That's the only thing you can prepare for in caregiving. Maybe that's what you can prepare for in life.

I was worried that I might not live long enough to take care of dad. He was already 90 and I was just a few days from 59 then so that seems odd to some. But his care was taking a toll on me physically and emotionally. I knew it, too. I've seen people of all ages die and it is not always very predictable. I worried about who would take care of dad if I couldn't. I wore my Safe-Return bracelet in case I had an accident and couldn't get home. Funny the things you think about when you're caregiving.

And I was worried about my wife and my kids and their kids and a bunch of other people. Because I knew I was not being much of a husband or a father or a grandfather or handling business issues or much of anything else for that matter. If I tried to be better at one role then it seemed I had to neglect something else.

The financial part was worrisome, too. There was a time that year when I felt like I was between the jaws of a vice.

My Lord was with me all throughout and even until the end. How can I explain the emotion of knowing His presence? I can say it just like that in a few words and people that know it can and will understand it and appreciate it. But I can write libraries of books and never get it across to those who do not know His presence themselves.

I suppose in a secular sense someone will think about me that his religion or his faith or his superstition or whatever they think it is helped him get through a difficult time. It is so much more than that I am continually awed and amazed by it.

Even so I asked for help and received it from any number of people. Caregiving for me was both a solitary endeavor as well as a team project. Always there was that need for balance between the one and the other.

But that was the context of that time when I started blogging.

That first post was written because I had read a question on one of the Alzheimer's forums: "If you were the one with AD, how would you like to be cared for?" So I was wondering about my own arrangements for Alzheimer's care. Finally I decided it was going to be a 2 part essay. But I never have written the 2nd part.

So I answered in a circle really and finally realized it and just stopped. I said I wanted to live independently as long as possible. Duh. But the question is what do you want to have happen when you can't live independently?

I still don't know the answer. I don't want to be dependent. I'm procrastinating again, too, because I don't have a clue how to answer it yet.

I've done some future planning though but I never have Alzheimer's in any of my scenarios nor am I dependent. I have to think about this more. It is strange that it is easier to think about sudden death or physical disability than about being intellectually dependent.

I'm kind of surprised I'm still blogging after a year and nearly 9 1/2 months after dad's death. I'm certain in no small part it is because of those dear and gracious souls who befriended me by commenting on my blogs and allowed me the same privilege. I don't know how to measure all the different kinds of help I received but I know my blog friends were and are an important part of my support.

Reading back over the blogs of the last year is interesting and sad and happy and just about every other emotion I can conceive. My posts certainly covered a wide range of subjects.

One year of blogging at an end.


Lori1955 said...

Well you know I had to go check to see when I started my blog. It was June 30th of last year. It's kind of strange that we started our blogs days apart and lost our loved ones days apart.

I am grateful to you and all the others who have blogged during those rough days and continue to do so. You have all been a blessing to me. Please keep it up. I will tell you when you can stop. :)

nancy said...

it's funny terry in that i just started thinking about that as well myself. next week it will be one year for me as well. i'm glad we all started and found each other. somehow, living through what we did would have been much harder without each other's support. i'm glad you are continuing. happy 1st anniversary. here's hoping for many more!