Pre-Christmas Travel Writing

I jump from one app to another. Jigsaw puzzle to reading to writing. Back and forth, writing and jigsaw. Uneasy. Jittery.
Uneasy. Not at ease. Tense. Guilty. Dramatic, yes, but so fucking what. That’s who I am. I have no desire to change that about myself. Besides, honestly, I keep most of my drama inside.

Back Home Organizing My Thoughts

Haven’t been writing much over this past holiday season. Left my time and energy for family and myself. Since my post-Thanksgiving chest cold, I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles and not engaging in as many verbal activities.
Kind of like my mother. She nods yes, shakes her head no, or stares blankly not seeming to understand. She no longer reads the newspaper. Just turns the pages, pulls out the ads, and organizes the paper by section. Reassuring daily routine, even if she can no longer read.
Although I visited both my parents before both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I felt guilty leaving them behind when I visited my sister and in-laws. Broke my heart. So much guilt, even though I know after trial and error that we are giving our parents the best of care. Just can’t be in two places at once.
Last year around Christmas time, my Mom was psychiatrically hospitalized. More to the point, I had her psychiatrically hospitalized. Heart breaking decision, but I tried to do the right thing every step of the way.
We had hoped to have them living together back then. Our mother went from stroke rehab to the psychiatric hospital, then to another stroke rehab before moving into a board and care with my father. They did not do well in the board and care, so we ended up moving them into a high-quality memory care community.
Since that time, we’ve found that they do better apart in separate communities. I feel terrible that I’ve had her in so many places, but she’s stable now and my father’s health has improved. They both seem to be happy, even though they miss each other. Their memory communities arrange a weekly Skype session so they can “see” each other.

Visited My Parents This Week

The new year begins. I visited my parents before and after the holidays. When visiting my mother on Sunday, I took her out shopping. We terrorized fellow shoppers as we tried to navigate using an automated cart.
Once I got back home I debated whether I could bring her home to live with me. Our house, though, is not well suited for a stroke survivor. Bedrooms are upstairs. Our flooring is tile and hardwood. Our stairs steep and without a landing.
Just thinking about moving my mother in, I started to ramp up, to get mildly hypomanic. I found myself unable to sleep. Instead of sleeping, I researched stair treads, hand rails, stair elevators, and purchasing a single-level home.
The fact remains that my own mental health is stable because I avoid stressors that trigger symptoms and cycling. I give myself time to recover. If I was a full-time caregiver of my mother, I would not be well.
Yesterday I visited my father and brought my teen son along. My son continues to miss far too much school due to illness and migraines, which frustrates me. I try. I really do. But, I can’t carry a sixteen-year-old adolescent to school when he has a fever, is vomiting, or is coughing. I’m at my wit’s end.
My sister and I decided to give our parents’ living situation a year. They are both doing well. The quality care they receive is why.


31 responses to “Time to Write Again?”

  1. Wow. We have such similar stories. This is such a trying time in our lives, isn’t it? Hang in there. Thank you for reading and following my blog. I look forward to hearing more from you in my reader. And by the way, yes. Yes it is time to start writing again. It is cathartic.

  2. Thank you, Robert. I agree.

  3. We ‘highly functional’ people with serious and chronic mental illnesses get into a weird cycle. I’ve experienced it and heard other people describe it. We forget that we are fragile and take on more than we can handle…then we bump into our limitations and blame ourselves for not being good enough, when in reality it’s just a fact of having our kind of illness.
    Being there for your parents means respecting your limits.
    This is beautifully written Kitt. It’s good to see you writing again.

  4. You are my heart??

  5. Thank you, e! Love you! XOXOXO God bless you and your loved ones.

  6. I needed to read this….missed your voice! SO glad Mom and Dad are well. Thoughts and prayers with your son too….

  7. Thank you. Busy, for sure.

  8. In times like these writing benefits when there is a release rather than the pressure to write for writings sake. You have so much going on. I hope you find reprieve and comfort.

  9. Thank you. Looking forward to what you have to say. Leave a comment and a link once you’ve posted your thoughts.

  10. It’s been a while since I have wrote an article. I have a lot to say. When you feel it’s time to write again, I’ll be waiting to read about your thoughts.

  11. Happy New Year Kitt; thank you for sharing this. It sounds like you are doing the best you can for yourself and your parents. That you are all healthy and happy is all anyone can ask for x

  12. Good to hear from you again. It seems a sensible option to give it a year before you consider any further changes because you say they are receiving ‘quality care’. I can’t see how you could do anything else apart from looking after yourself!

  13. Thank you and God bless.

  14. Paladin Avatar

    Think you are doing quite well with your family situation, Kitt. Glad to see you “Pause” for several weeks to let your situation try to “auto correct”. Probably difficult to say in some other manner.
    Not many of us will ever become a centenarian, but you seem more resilient this past year. Have not kept tab on the number of Dalai Lamas we have had or the curve balls you been thrown, but your odds seem to be increasing at living a relatively bountiful long life. Wishing you & your family the best in 2017.
    God Bless + Namaste.

  15. Thank you, Susan. God bless.

  16. Kitt, you are in a tough situation. Ultimately, you’ve got to care for yourself first. You know better than I, if you’re not filled, it’s impossible to care for others, and you will be continually emptied.
    Praying for you in this brand new year.

  17. Thank you, Linda!

  18. You are truly a caring, giving person. I hope this new year gives you great health and time to care for yourself as well as everyone else. Welcome back to blogland.

  19. Thank you. Thank you for reaching out, too. Meant a great deal to me.

  20. I’m doing pretty well, actually.

  21. p.s. Sorry for the dang typos!!!!

  22. I write this from a dark cabin room – the power has gone out in this region of Tahoe! I’m glad my cell works and that Craig brought a couple flashlights, as there were none here! It’s also the eve of day my father died. As a read your post about caring for your parents, and the enormous (in my opinion) challenges the situation has presented, I am so f*cling amazed by your strength. I have written that before in this blog, but I can’t help but write it again. Had my father lived longer in his declining state, I don’t know what I would have done. It’s futile to compare the two family situations, I know. It’s a moot point. But I am truly amazed by you as you continue to show up as best as you can for your parents, for.your son. And I would like you to treat yourself to another spa experience if that sounds appealing! I remember how you enjoyed the last one. Sending you my love and thanks, as always, for being real and vulnerable in your blog. Love you, Special K!!!!!!

  23. It’s so good to see you posting again. I’ve missed you! I know you’ve been sick and had holiday obligations, and I hope you’ll post more often when life settles down. ?

  24. Kitt, could you please seperate yourself from all the “other” bullshit and whiny stupid fucking rants. Fuck them all! How are YOU doing? That’s what really matters, right? Certainly for me.

  25. Where are you?

  26. Thank you, Vic! Hope you and your family are enjoying the new year and had a wonderful holiday season.

  27. Kitt it is good hearing from you and glad to hear that, despite all your family obligations, you are spending time for yourself. I hope you had a great holiday and best wishes for 2017.

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