and so it begins…

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I’m not exaggerating when I say that my life is undergoing a transformation.  You could say the first phase lasted 28-1/2 years.  I hope the next phase lasts at least that long. So I’ll cut to the chase.  

I’m hesitant to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it, but it looks like I’m going to have some help with Blaine’s personal care starting next week.  It’s been a long strange trip.  Please may it have a happy ending. 

I wonder if my friends have been noticing that over the past couple of years I have been slipping into something like a, well, perhaps an abyss.  Maybe when I’m not there, they say to one another: have you noticed how tired marie has been looking? or do you think marie is okay? she doesn’t seem like herself lately… or wow, it seems like marie has really been packing the pounds on, wtf is going on with her? 

These are things I might have said to myself had I had more courage.  Or strength. Or been less, uh, well, depleted is the best word I can come up with.  I mean it’s not like I didn’t notice none of my clothes fit anymore.  It’s just that without feeling it was something I could deal with, maybe it was just too much to actually confess it to anyone.  Maybe I have been afraid to admit this level of caregiving is taking a such toll on me that I am not strong enough to keep on keeping on.  But what is the alternative?  They have all looked either too scary or just plain unattainable. 

And there’s this:  the plain truth is that it takes so much stamina, so much energy, so many assault-survival skills to go about making changes that it’s usually more than someone in the midst of caregiving can imagine taking on as an additional chore (or rather, full time jobs). But once again, my dear friend Jane came to my rescue.  When I didn’t have enough leftover strength or courage to initiate accessing the bureaucracy that might provide us some assistance, Jane did.  She made the call.  The one that finally resulted in a case manager being assigned, her visiting our home and interviewing Blaine, and determining that Blaine is eligible for 25 hours of caregiving a month.  That determination was made last December.  Now it is March.  Finally we have hope this will actually begin to happen. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First, you need more of the backstory…

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