Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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Good morning, all,

It’s the first Wednesday in the month and IWSG Time has come around again.

I thank Alex Cavanaugh for creating the group and my friend, Patricia Garcia, for inviting me to join.

Currently, I’ve been overwhelmed as I have just completed April’s A to Z Blogger’s Challenge. This year is the first time that I disclosed a theme, Caregiving, as I am in the midst of caring for my sick husband.  To add to the fun, I’m also literally in the process of moving.  I’m a split personality as I’m here, my books are there, and I have no idea of where I’m going to put the rest of my belongings.  There is some light at the end of the tunnel as we will complete our move May 14th.  Wish me luck at finding anything!

In the process, our cable company turned off our cable as we could not get it through their heads that we needed cable at both residents.  Fortunately, I was without the use of my computer after the April Challenge.

Writing for the Challenge helped me process my thinking.  I started out by whining or expressing my emotions as I was going nuts.  I guess I needed the outlet. Eventually, I realized what I was doing, and worked at providing more information about the caregiving process, as it is not as simplistic as some people might imagine.  Being open and real is highly important to me, in my writing.  With a husband and wife, part of the caregiving process is dealing with our emotions… what are they and why are they suddenly appearing.  There is also the process… running up and down stairs for meds and foods.  I also had to deal with my husband’s passing out and taking him to Urgent Care because of the damage he did to his body in his falls.

Now, as my husband becomes healthier, the dynamics change somewhat.  I have relief from some of my work as my husband can help care for himself now.  It has been four long months and I’m very tired, but relief is in sight.

I still need to analyze my caregiving process more thoroughly so that I can clearly show people what I experienced.  But the Challenge was a great start for me as it made me think.

Amazingly, I survived the Challenge.  My writing is beginning to take form.  My husband survived my caregiving, and like the Little Engine that Could, I’m still chugging up that hill moving boxes to our new home.

This has been quite a process for me to be a caregiver, write, and move all at the same time. I so dearly appreciate all the support I received.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 

 

 

 

Posted in IWSG | 15 Comments

Z = Zip, Zero, Zilch, Zombie, and Zany

Z

 

Zany2

Today is the last day of the 2016 A to Z Blogger’s Challenge and I can’t believe I survived!  This month, besides the Challenge, I have been caring for my sick husband, preparing to move, changing addresses, and moving bit by bit.  My life, my books, and my world are upside down.

Zany6

There is nearly Zip, Zero, and Zilch for me here in the house.  I’m stressed so I must look like a Zombie with non-focused, bug-eyes, yet I still attempt at some form of being Zany.  But, I’m dead to the world… so I give up!

zany1

I’m probably so tired that my brain has Zipped off for a vacation, but in the process of driving home from running errands today, I looked in my rear-view mirror and what did I see, but a Zombie in the car behind me.  It appeared to be a Changling as I could not determine if the figure was a man or a woman or even what color skin the zombie had.  The size of the head changed, the face changed, the style of the hair cut changed every time the figure moved.  The head ballooned into a gigantic black figure with a box-cut hair style and black glasses one minute.  I turned my head to look again and the head shrunk to a pea-size.  I never was able to determine what the figure actually looked like.  I SWEAR I’m not on any meds or Pot!

Zany4

Zany3

Evidently, I have lost my marbles in the process of writing the A to Z Challenge along with my other activities and duties. The Challenge evidently taxed my brain!

Thank you for stopping by my blog to read and comment.  I was not able to be as social this year in following others’ blogs because of all my various duties, so please forgive me.  However, this year I did focus on one subject… my caregiving.  It honestly has been a tough ride for me, so I DO appreciate your support!!   I SURVIVED!!!  Gwynn

ZanyZany5

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 16 Comments

Y = Yearning and Yelling

Y

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”  Author Unknown

“A happy life is spent in yearning, earning, and learning.”   Lillian Gish 

“Fear of the future and longing for the past are major factors which impede appropriate action.”  Brenda Shoshanna

 

I am yearning for our move to be complete and for us to get settled in our new home so I can enjoy my LONG winter’s nap!  I yearn for my life to ease up as I feel like the world is riding on my shoulders.  I yearn for a break!

Then my husband yearns for his health to return.  He has learned a very hard lesson about living life in a healthy manner.  Due to his unhealthy life style he now pays for his mistakes via low blood pressure.  He yells in the middle of the night after he passes out as he voices his frustration and scare with his predicament.  He does a great job of startling me too.  I also yearn for his health to return.  I hope it is possible.

Yearning

My husband has hurt himself in numerous ways, both physically and emotionally so he yearns to have a normal and happy life again.  BUT he must change his ways.  Change is hard to come by.

 

What is fascinating to me is that today when my husband visited his doctor for his last check up from the hiatal hernia surgery, the doctor said that usually more women than men experience hiatal hernias… it is part of growing old… so yearn for healthy ways so you don’t grow ill like my husband.

Yearning1

When you are frustrated do you sometimes yell to express disappointment or anger or depression?  Sometimes after one of my husband’s events, he yells and yells like a little kid, as he wants his former life back.  His expression indicates his lack of patience in his attempt to grow and change.  Sadly, progressing to a healthy life style takes time as we need to define what needs to change, create a plan, and then actively work at morphing.  Sometimes it seems impossible to bring about the necessary transformation.

Yelling

What our heart desires is sometimes difficult to come by.  Yearning by itself will not solve the problem.  Of course screaming doesn’t solve the problem either… but sometimes it sure feels good!

Yelling1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 12 Comments

X = Xenial

X

 

“ He makes people please with him by making them first pleased with themselves.”  Lord Chesterfield 

“Don’t consider how many you can please, but whom.”        Publius Syrus

 

Xenial defined: Of or concern of hospitality toward guests.  Hospitable, especially to visiting strangers or foreigners. Of the relation between a host and guest; friendly.

 Xenial4

Hospitable must be my middle name as I love having friends and acquaintances over to entertain them.  I enjoy preparing and presenting meals and drinks, making people comfortable, in the comfort of my normally organized home.

Xenial

But soon, I have a challenge for me, as our neighbors will be moving us to our new home, a small apartment.  After their hard work and help, I want to reward them with something special to show my appreciation for their muchly needed help.

Boxes will be everywhere.  I’ll be clueless as to where to find everything in the new apartment.  The men will be exhausted, hungry, and thirsty.

If you were in my shoes… tired too, what would you do to THANK these wonderful people for the back breaking work that they volunteered to do for you?

Xenial1

Do you go order pizzas or Subway sandwiches or hamburgers and drinks?  What would you do to show appreciation and hospitality for the fantastic things these people did?

Xenial2 I NEVER in a million years can thank my friends and neighbors enough for the fantastic service they have done for me and my husband.

xenial3

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 16 Comments

W = Watch and Wait

W

“Sitting here in limbo waiting for the tide to flow.” Jimmy Cliff

“A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit.  Let him attempt to force the ripening of the fruit, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!”           Abraham Lincoln

 Waiting4

 

This week is the beginning of watching and waiting.  I take my husband to the doctor to see what improvement he has made.  We will have to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn to wait for an early ferry which will get us to Seattle early enough that we will then have to wait for the doctor.  In the meantime, in these four horrific months I have been watching and waiting to see if my husband’s health improves.  This is a LONG wait!

Waiting2

We are also in the process of moving so we are attempting to connect with Comcast to arrange to have our computers set up.  This means we have to wait in line for our appointment date to arrive, and then sit in the apartment for a couple of hours watching and waiting for the utility man to show up.

waiting3

Since we are downsizing from a house to an apartment, we will need to have most of our furniture and various mementos auctioned off, so we are waiting and watching for the day when the auctioneer shows up. Wednesday, the big day is finally here!!

Waiting1

Then BLESS OUR NEIGHBORS as they volunteered to move us. They are watching and waiting for us to get rid of all our excess stuff so they can pick a date that works with their work schedules.  So we wait with bated breath on a move date.  In the meantime, I still have to work at moving the things I can move to make our process more efficient. I would rather sit and whittle my thumbs as my energy is WHACKED.

Waiting

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 20 Comments

V = Vision / Victory / Vacant / Vacation!

V

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Saying from the Bible

“The idea is to seek a vision that gives you purpose in life and then to implement that vision.  The vision by itself is one half, one part, of a process.  It implies the necessity of living that vision, otherwise the vision will sink back into itself.” Lewis P. Johnson

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same…”

Rudyard Kipling

“Defeat teaches better than victory.”  Saying  (Arab)

 

How do we find “vision” and “victory” when life tosses tsunamis our way?  About 2:30 in the morning the horrendous crash tossed me out of bed and had me running for my husband’s bathroom.  There he was passed out on the floor.  My husband’s screams of “I wish I was dead!” resounded throughout the house.  Due to his extremely low blood pressure he sometimes passes out when he simply stands up from a chair, the toilet, or the bed and when this happens my Type A Personality husband feels worthless and like an invalid.  His depression skyrockets.

 victory

But in order to become well, my husband needs to create a vision and work toward it until he is victorious.  One problem… this is NOT going to happen overnight!  Somehow we have to come up with a plan to help prevent more of his falls.  I especially worry that when we move into the apartment, that if my husband passes out in the tiny bathroom that he will do more injury to himself or kill himself as when he falls he could hit his head or neck on the bathtub or the corner of the bathroom counter.  Of course, maybe the small size of the room will force him to simply slide down the bathroom wall.

How do I place things strategically in the bathroom so my husband doesn’t hurt himself?  We will have some planning to do!

 Vision

Tomorrow we head to the apartment so that my husband and I can put our heads together to create a strategic plan to prevent him from hurting himself.  My vision is that we work so that my husband does not pass out again.  Fortunately, he doesn’t pass out frequently, less than he used to, but his falls are increasing a tad bit again.  So we need to create tiny steps so that my husband can move forward in his goal to become healthy again.  His Victory!

 Vision1

However, I’m learning that with all my visions for success and victory for my husband that my brain is fried to the point of vacancy.  Plus, with the move, I’m praying that the house magically becomes vacant and that I can stop running items to the apartment.  My Vision for Victory is a Vacation!!

 Vacation

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 12 Comments

U = Unhappiness / Understanding / Unity

U

“I envy those unhappy from their birth, 

“For to be bred and seasoned in misfortune

Is to be iron to it,

But there is something in the pang of change

More than the heart can bear,

Unhappiness remembering happiness.”

Euripides

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  Harper Lee

“United we stand, divided we fall.”   Aesop

 Unhappy

 

Yes, being married to a Type A personality has been a serious challenge for me.  Quite a bit of the time I have been so frustrated that I wanted to WHAP him with my marble rolling pin.  I totally understood the goals my husband wanted to accomplish and supported them, yet something was really wrong with our relationship.  Maybe the reason was the fact that I’m wife #4.  A lot of emotion can be lost between #1 and #4.

I work very hard at making and keeping myself happy.  It seems I have a lonely relationship.  And then the excitement happened… as at Christmas I had to call 911 and watch the ambulance take my husband away.  Questions and worries whirled through my mind.  Is this going to be the end of my unhappy marriage?  What happens next?

Fortunately, the doctors at the hospital discovered that my husband had a serious hiatal hernia looped around in his stomach and pushing into his lung making it difficult for him to breath.  The surgery was successful, but the doctors discovered that my husband has extremely low blood pressure causing him to pass out when he stands up.

This added a new dimension to our relationship as then I needed to understand what he was experiencing and work with him to help him get well.

Unhappy1

So from unhappiness I had to understand about my husband’s health and what caused his illness.  As I understood more and more about his system I could work with him to help him become well.  It is incredibly frightening watching my husband pass out; and it is equally frightening and painful for him.  He has damaged various parts of his body due to his falls.

I learned that he was afraid to try more ways to get well as my husband had never had surgery before.  But I have!  I know how long it takes to get well.  I understand the pain and weakness, and the fear. Therefore, I had to convince my husband that he would not get well if he didn’t make an effort to change… drive forward.

 understanding

 The more I talked to my husband about getting well, he began to understand his need for working at getting better.  He now actively walks laps up and down our tiny cul-de-sac in the morning and the evening.  Little by little his strength is returning.  I also forgot to add that since he is walking a mile in new shoes, his personality is changing.  He is working with me instead of against me.

understanding1We are building a foundation by working together… helping one another out… communicating.  Plus, he is learning to change his habits and become more healthy in the process.  Heck, he is even acknowledging his mistakes.

 Unity

The more we communicate the better we work together.  Unity gives us strength.  Working together reminds me of years ago I crewed on a Hawaiian Outrigger Team.  As long as our crew worked together we became strong and fast.  Or if there were days when one of the crew was out of sync we worked against one another and the outrigger slowed down.  This is a perfect example of what happens when a couple communicates and “pulls together” as then you accomplish great things.

 Unity1

 

We still have lots to learn.  Our vision is to get my husband well and make his business productive… PROVIDED we work together.  This coming week we return to the surgeon to learn if my husband’s surgery is completely healed, or what we need to do still to accomplish his full health.  However, he won’t achieve health if we don’t work together.  So we are working at communicating and sharing more and more so that our minds nearly act as one.  We have progressed from unhappy to understanding to unity.  It is a long journey, but you know what… NOW, We are One!!!

 unity2

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 12 Comments

T = Transformation

T

“Transformation means replacing old values with new ones in the evolution of conscious life.”  Kazimierz Dabrowski 

“You don’t go through a deep personal transformation without some kind of dark night of the soul.”  Sam Keen

“Growth and self-transformation cannot be delegated.”   Lewis Mumford

 Transformation defined means a “change in form, appearance, nature, or character.”  When one develops a serious illness, sometimes transformation is necessary in order to get well.  The question is will the patient, in this case, my husband, take the steps to change his life style in order to become healthy.  My fear was that my husband would not transform himself.

 transformation

Initially I needed to be very blunt with him. My first step was to point out what he had been doing wrong: not eating healthy food, not getting adequate exercise, and not developing a balanced life.  The delightful news is that the doctor reiterated my words.  My husband could stay the same or he could die.  This was a “wake-up call” of great magnitude as my husband had never paid attention to what anyone suggested about his life.  Heck, what do we know, RIGHT?

 Transformation1

Since my husband passes out so easily, we have started him on a high protein diet.  Plus, he is on medication to raise his blood pressure.  Each step brought a teeny bit of improvement in my husband’s health.  Thanks to the help of a friend and physical therapist, I convinced my husband to get his butt out the door and start walking every day.  The exercise exhausts him, but he is actually walking.  Heck, he even walks further and further little by little.  He is learning to eat a healthier diet.  He grumbles a bit, but he is eating healthy.  Yes, he still needs to lose weight and develop some friendships, but he is learning to be politer to people he interacts with periodically.  My husband is still weak.  He can’t heal overnight but he is improving… a baby step at a time.

 transformation2

As traumatic as this situation has been to my husband and me, my gut tells me it is a good situation… a wake-up call so that his life will improve.  He is not used to working with people.  He is used to giving everyone orders… this too has to change.  Slowly but surely, teeny step, by teeny step his life is transforming.  He may actually learn how to live a healthy life and my life will improve in the process… Keep on, Keeping on!!

 Transformation 3

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 14 Comments

S = Sleep

S

“I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”       Ernest Hemingway

“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that.  That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years.  Or just not exist.  Or just not be aware that you do exist.  Or something like that.  I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this.  That’s why I’m trying not to think.  I just want it all to stop spinning.”   Stephen Chbosky

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”   Anthony Burgess

 Rest

 

Evidently my Christmas and New Year’s resolution was to give up sleep!  Normally, I do a terrible job with my resolutions, but for some weird reason this year I’m doing fantastic.  Evidently, becoming a 24 hour a day, seven day a week caregiver qualified me for the lack of sleep award.

I have gone from jumping out of bed several times at night when my husband crashes from passing out to a periodic crash. Heck, I even played the ambulance in taking him to the hospital.   I’m still getting up early to make sure my husband gets his food with his medicine.

Sleep

The biggest change is that now we are in the midst of downsizing and moving.  My husband can’t help or lift so I am doing a great deal of the packing and moving of light things myself.  Now, I have noticed that some muscles seem to be returning.  My work-out without the gym!

 

Sometimes I feel so tired at night that I nearly do a face-plant in bed.

Sleep1

I feel like the Energizer Bunny, but without her battery!  I have been keeping up this pace for four months.  We should be moved by the end of next month and hopefully settled in before too long.  I’m praying my husband’s health will continue to improve slowly but surely so that I can sleep easier at night.  But when all is done, I will celebrate by planting myself in my easy chair for a LONG, deserved nap!!  Ahhhh, SLEEP!!

Sleep2

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 10 Comments

R = Relationship

R

 

“ When she cry’s, dry her eyes.

When she laughs, laugh with her not at her.

She smiles, smile back.

She’s in pain or upset, comfort her.

Most of all love your girl,

Or someone who deserves her will.”

Author Unknown

 

“Remember the day we first

Started talking to each other?

Cause that’s what started you and I.”

Author Unknown

 

How do you have a relationship AND be a caregiver to your husband?  Suddenly the dynamics between two people seemingly change.  I have gone from shared roles to me doing virtually everything as my husband no longer has the strength or the capability to do his usual duties.  I feel like I have fallen into the role of mother and guide dog, making sure that he doesn’t hurt himself.

Relationship1

 

Even though my husband cannot help as in the past, I am hoping that with continued work on his part he will become healthier and stronger.  Teamwork is critical here as neither one of us can do everything without the support of the other.  I work at encouraging my husband to stay strong, to keep moving, and to keep his attitude up.  He needs to believe that he can become healthy again.

Relationship2

Sometimes I feel like the car ran out of gas and I’m pushing it up a steep hill.  Heck, it even picks up some speed as we reach level ground.  I look forward to when we find the gas station and his motor kicks into full gear again.  Yes, this has been back breaking work.  I’m exhausted!  I’m at a point where I’m ready for the downhill ride.  But, somehow we will get through this trauma together.

 relationship3

What do you do to encourage your loved one to make it through his illness or trauma?  What do you do for your health too!

 

Posted in 2016 A - Z Bloggers' Challenge | 13 Comments