Reminding Myself

Reminding myself is something I must do every day, frequently. Reminding myself that even though husband often behaves like a two-year-old (in my eyes, at least) he is an adult and must be treated as such. Forgetting that gets us into a vicious circle, getting nowhere. He is the king of stubborn, I know this.

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The oldest of my girls

Reminding myself that it is his disease that makes him unable to see beyond himself much of the time. Reminding myself of that after I’ve told him I must vacuum, or dust, or attend to other chores and duties and still he calls out “where are you?”. Reminding myself when I ask what he wants to eat and tell him I’d like to take a nap, so I’d like to fix his lunch before I settle down. Reminding myself when he does not answer but instead goes outside to sit on the deck, coming in after I’ve started dozing and calls to me. Then saying, as if he is surprised, “oh, did I wake you?” Perhaps he is surprised, as his memory does not function well.

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The second oldest of my girls, preparing for the launch

Reminding myself that for now, tired is just a way of life. Reminding myself that I will survive, life will go on, and we must simply do what we must, chin held high, maintaining patience and tolerance. Reminding myself that it is not his fault that he is no longer the man I married, and that it is not my fault that I am not perfect, but a flawed human being with shortcomings.

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The second-youngest of my girls, the youngest having missed the photo op

Reminding myself that I have the greatest friends, without whose love and support this part of life would be much much more difficult. Reminding myself that although my kids are far away, they are close in heart. Reminding myself that in many ways I am very lucky.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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27 Responses to Reminding Myself

  1. sjbchamp85 says:

    If you are able to keep remembering that he isn’t doing these things on purpose and if you can remember that you are entitled your moments of despair, you will be ok. Hugs are being sent your way.
    Is Hospice helping?

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    • Carol says:

      Sheri, I think just knowing Hospice is there to contact if I need them helps. It definitely helps to have the aide come to help bathe him (although he does not like having a “woman” do that), and it’s very nice to have the medications taken care of by someone other than me, at least the providing part.

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  2. Oh my. I could have written that post. My honey is not sick. Just recently retired, lost and needy. Diagnosed as a two-year old by me just this week. He thought I meant that he was cute, following me around all day. Where are you, what are you doing, why do you have to vacuum? The house is clean enough. Let’s go play. I thought you would stop writing when I retired. I KNOW you told me that you write all day before I retired, but I didn’t know that you meant it. What is left to write? Haven’t you run out of ideas yet?
    Tired and frustrated, but I will try to remember your loving words. I will try to remind myself that I love this man.

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  3. Carol, you are so brave to keep sharing your heart and soul on your blog; I really admire that. Life is not always fun, is it? I’m going through struggles myself right now, and I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. The reminding yourself of all these things is good. Hugs and love to you. xxx

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  4. Carol, what a heartfelt plea for understanding! My heart goes out to you. You have the patience of an angel. I am glad you have your blog to vent to for support since I know what it is like to go through what you are doing (thankfully I have not been the primary caregiver, so far). Bless you for your willingness to step back and see this as a regression to an earlier form of development rather than a deliberate attempt to torture you. Best wishes as you cope with this day to day and know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  5. jay53 says:

    Aaah, Carol. Your wonderful post reminds me of that riddle: what goes on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening? The answer is, of course, a man, and it reminds us that we can and do become childlike again in the end phases of our lives. Everyone knows it, but until you actually experience it for yourself, it remains a distant ‘happening to someone else’ thing, doesn’t it? I’m very lucky not to have had to struggle with this personally, just observed other people having to do so – the most trying being a couple, the most beloved family friends, where he was twenty years older than she, and developed a very gentle (but infinitely annoying) forum of dementia where he wanted her close by him, ALL the time, and kept repeating the same questions (‘have I had my tea yet?’) and wetting himself, bless his heart. He would not let her go out without him and could not get out himself, so It nearly drove her insane, but she managed to hang on to the shreds of her sense of humour. I think that’s what saved her sanity.

    Everyone manages as best they can. You, my dear, are philosophical and understanding to the point where, if your sense of humour deserts you (as it must, often) then you are strong enough to survive – and you are stronger than you think. Thank heavens for Hospice.

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  6. Dawn says:

    Hang in there Carol. I’m pretty sure he does not remember what you just told him. He has gone inside himself. This must be so hard. I have not had to do it yet. My husband did it with both parents but I suppose that is not quite the same. We who are looking in wish we could shoulder some of it for you. I’m glad you have some friends close by and so very glad you have hospice. I would sacrifice the vacuuming for a nap for sure. I think you have to grab those naps whenever he’s napping, no matter what else needs to be done. But I’m sure you don’t need advice, you need HUGS!!!

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  7. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing what it’s like, Carol. Thank you for being able to remind yourself and not just break down from the stress and exhaustion of it all. So glad you have friends and hospice now. And this blog, which can be *just for you*.

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  8. Heather says:

    When I’m reminding myself, I tend to hold it all in, and do it all inside…holding myself accountable. I’m glad you have this safe venting place where you don’t have to hold it all in – even it you are trying to remind yourself. Take it one day at a time, and as always, take it easy on yourself.

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    • Carol says:

      Heather, this is a great venting place but I also hope that if someone that reads my blog is going through, or might go through, something similar they might recognize some of these feelings and, maybe, take some solace in knowing they’re not alone. Or they might never suffer these frustrations, in which case they can feel righteously superior.

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      • Heather says:

        I doubt anyone’s feeling righteously superior 😉
        I am sure you’ve realized your hopes with sharing your tougher moments. I’m nowhere near your shoes, but even I relate and find myself tucking away nuggets of your wisdom for future just-in-cases. Thanks for always keeping it real!

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  9. My heart goes out to YOU and my hat goes off to YOU for remembering. I believe that if it were me, I’d forget rather quickly…

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  10. lisa says:

    You have a most wonderful attitude in the face of these challenges. Of course you’re tired. How can you be anything else? I wish your kids were closer, but having them close at heart can be a sustaining life force during this difficult time. I’m happy you’re surrounded by friends and, of course, the marvelous furry girls to offer their unending love. You are one of the strongest women I know.

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  11. LG says:

    May you have the strength and grit to bear with this adversity. It will pass, but until then, hang in there.
    Sending you strength from continents away.

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  12. Dear Carol,
    Your post is an important reminder to us all. Caregiving wears you down day by day. Fatigue makes us so vulnerable. You are only human, but I’m glad you can remind yourself (and I would like to reinforce the fact) that you are also patient and strong and wise. Sending love and hugs.

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