Friday, December 30, 2011

Saga Twenty-One

We spend Christmas Eve at Sally and Jake's church (since we don't have a Christmas eve service) and then went out to Dennys' with Sally and Jake for some Red Velvet Puppies/pie and decaf. My husband didn't remember trying on the great shirt I got him several months ago, and so it was a surprise gift.

Christmas morning we went to our church's regular worship. Many of the church family had their lunch at church and stayed there all day.  We went to my husband's daughter's home at 2 PM. There was another family member with dementia there and I spent time with him as if he didn't have dementia. So important.

Emotional eating when your husband has Alzheimer's. Dolores has lost weight and I am now dieting and losing. You can get to all kinds of programs for weight loss on the Internet. I chose Weight Watchers where I am a Life-Time member, not having to pay or attend all meetings. Weight Watchers has a great new program for 2012 called Point Plus 2012 and has on online program, excellent for caregivers who can't get out to a meeting. My meeting is 7 AM Saturday mornings--a better time for my husband to have me gone than an evening. Now this has meant for me what when my husband wants ice cream, as he often does, I don't have any. I think of my doctor's words to me,

"Carol, if you don't lose some weight and exercise,
you won't be able to be your husband's caregiver.
Forget the ice cream."

All the motivation I needed.  Plus people always ask us caregivers, "What are you doing for yourselves?" I am attending a Weight Watcher's meeting, and UGH, taking classes on counseling.

When people ask us what they can do for us caregivers, increasingly we need to say,  "Can you help me by scheduling time with my husband?" so that I can do something for myself. However, this is not needed yet as I can leave him at home with our devoted dog and he can call me on his cell. There will come a time when this won't work.

Sally really needs this time away from Jake, however. Recently he kept criticizing her driving and she told him it wasn't necessary and please stop. Well, Jake said I am getting out of the car then. He did and she saw where he went. She parked the car and then caught up with him and told him we need to go into Best Buy. That worked. I gave her this idea, to keep talking while she drives with him in the car and don't let him get a word in. Say things like, I see that car and I am preparing to stop. So far she  this tactic is helping his obsession about her driving and his not being able to drive. You just gotta deal with the husband's obsessions, one and a time.

When I have the time, I read a lot of Christian blogs and take especial note of counseling blogs since I am working on a seminary degree in counseling. These blogs aren't talking to caregivers, who one day may not even be able to attend a worship service. I am starting to be more vocal when I comment on those blogs that our churches need to minister to caregivers and those who have dementia. When that happens for me, fortunately, my church has Skype and I can listen from home. The blog that comes the closest to ministering to caregivers is Practical Shepherding.  This blog has categories for ministry to widows for example. I mentioned this need on another blog and got this response:
Carol, That is a huge area of counseling caregivers for those who are aging and experiencing physical and mental difficulties. Plus, counseling the aging...retirement, adjustment, loneliness, purpose, etc. Bob
Please, bloggers, pray for Sally and Jake. Also for Dolores who is facing putting her husband in a facility--heart wretching for this lovely lady, who is usually so positive. And have a Happy New Year. We are again spending an early New Year's Eve with Sally and Jake at our house, playing games, if it will work, with our husbands. I am serving a salad with chicken, but others can also have bread and ice cream. For the Southern New Years Eve with coconut oil go to this earlier site at the right.


  1. Hoping you all have a blessed and happy new year!!!!!
    Hugs and prayers,

  2. I'm going to visit the caregiving blog you recommended. You made some very good comments that need to be taken to heart. I'm glad you still have the choice to do some things for yourself away from the house.

  3. Hi Carol, Finally I get a moment to look at your blog! Thank you for the mention of emotional eating, which is already getting curbed because I froze tons of goodies people brought over. I just go to my outside freezer, remove a lovely plate of goodies, and take them to my Mary Kay meeting (of mostly young gals)every Thursday!There is even a whole cake in there, untouched, that will never touch my lips--or hips!
    I'm glad your husband can still eat appropriately and spend a brief time alone. My time with Steve like that seems like a distant dream, even though it was only a year ago. Love, Dana