Monday, August 14, 2017

Adjusting to a new level of normal

One of the lessons that caregiving and self-care have taught me is to expect new normals in life.

My partner had to be hospitalized for eleven days due to a bacterial infection and pneumonia. He is still recovering from this latest shift in his health. I honestly do not know where he will level off at. Every day is different response even though the routine is the same for him. 
BD having dinner at Outback: photo by dllwhite

I have had to work on making necessary adjustments in terms of time and how to help support his needs. On the day that he was released from the hospital he fell off of the front porch on the way to our front door. This resulted in a return trip to have a gash on his head treated. He also incurred a small neck bone fracture. His body is still sore from hitting the cement. I am thankful that his injuries were not more severe. 

His mobility has been limited because his legs and right hip still hurts. His psyche took a major blow after this latest fall. He has moments when Zero Fs is for real and no amount of encouragement will move him off of that point. He will argue about the smallest thing or simply refuse to cooperate with us about a task that he has to perform.  

We have had moments where our mutual frustrations have clashed. I have a tremendous amount of patience due to my professional work requirements, but there are moments when my enough limitations are struck and I have to respond from that place. I realize that he has a shortened limitation level and often it lashes out at everyone who is present. 

There are moments when things move along smoothly. We are able to communicate and interact without any traces of friction between us. I have placed a new value on those moments because I suspect that as time moves on they will be less frequent because of his diminishing cognitive skills.

The new normal is prone to change at any given moment. This is the most difficult aspect of our situation. One day, my partner is capable and moving about almost totally independent. The next day may be the complete opposite. There’s no way to plan or prepare for the switch up.  

Scheduled activities are currently running on flex time. I have to adjust sometimes on a moment's notice because it's obvious that he cannot cope with whatever we have to do. Rushing him to meet the requirements of a time frame is definitely grounds to start him resisting. 

I have had to put my writing on hold. My energy levels go up and down a lot quicker these days. Even when I have the opportunity to have personal time, I often opt for a nap instead of sitting down at my laptop to write. This is why my postings have been infrequent. I hope that in the near future, we will level off to a point where the new normal allows me time to do more writing. 

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