Monday, August 27, 2012

Caregiving Part 2 - Who Cares For The Caregiver?

This is the second post in a caregiving series. Last week's post was called No Job Decription-Caregiving Part1:Search and Rescue

Just a few weeks ago I searched Google for  tips for caregivers. I was looking for advice about ending my caregiving role. As a caregiver suddenly out of a job (thanks to my husband's good health)  I wanted to find a way back to something for myself. When I found a list of tips, I began to chuckle

I laughed for two reasons.

1. It had never occurred to me to google tips for caregivers when I was one. (I didn't have the time or inclination to do that research.)


2. I had failed to follow nearly all the tips that were suggested!

 Some of the  suggestions were very good. They ranged from keeping your job (I gave that up)  to getting regular health checkups yourself. From  making time to read and paint(!) to having respite care so you could take extended breaks. I found myself laughing at how many of the suggestions I had failed to heed. They also made me think about what I had done that had helped me and therefore my family, and what if anything I would do differently if G-d forbid I found myself in this situation again.

Monday, August 20, 2012

No Job Description- Caregiving Part 1: Search and Rescue

Harry Potter World, August 2011
Almost one year ago exactly, Jonny began a new battle with Trigeminal Neuralgia*(TN). One year on and 2 surgeries later, Jonny's pain is very much  under control.  From this positive vantage point I have now begun to reflect back on how we coped during  those frightening unpredictable first days and weeks. In particular I have been ruminating on how I learned the ropes of my new  job as caregiver, a job that like Jonny’s illness was thrust unceremoniously and without notice on     me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Mile In My Shoes - update

About 5 weeks ago I wrote a post called How Do You Cope? This was part of a Coping Carnival initiated by a blogger Rebecca at her site Here Come The Girls. A few days ago she published a link to my post along with 5 other bloggers' links about how different people cope with the challenges in their lives.

These stories are stories of struggle, survival and joyful living in the face of great challenges.They are truly inspiring.

Monday, August 13, 2012

10 Books I Have Loved

I grew up in a house full of books. My parents each had a pile by the bed. My father had five he was reading simultaneously, alongside the Times crossword puzzle and Wisden (the cricketer's bible). My Mother always read broadly and still does, bringing me armfuls of books most recently including The Language of Flowers(see below), whenever she comes to visit from London. 

I thought that every home was the same. I had a rude awakening in my first year at university. For a "Teaching literature to children course" we spent a morning in a local primary school asking 9 year olds about their reading habits. We had to ask them questions such as......

Monday, August 6, 2012

Memories Not For Sale

My friend’s father died 6 months ago. Sara* and her husband came back from Paris where they were living and working, to spend his last few months with him and have lived in his large rambling house ever since. It was a hard decision to sell the property and all its eclectic belongings and now she is in the midst of a huge estate sale with the house itself having sold in just a few days.

I went to visit Sara yesterday and her emotions were palpable. She stood alone, surrounded by strangers who were poking and shuffling through her father’s shoes and shirts, opening up his closets and sitting on his peach leather couch.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 Things I Have Learned From A Rookie Firefighter

Aerial view of the boarding school
Seventeen years ago this week, when we lived in a house in a boarding school by the River Thames in rural Oxfordshire, England, we had a fire in our bedroom.

We had just returned from London late on a July Saturday night. It was an unusually hot weekend by British standards. No houses had air conditioning and ours was no exception. The air was still and humid.