Caregiving Vignette: “Second Breakfast”

What is the change to my blog, you may wonder right away if you have been here before and were thinking you might view my art.

First I should let my readers know that I have posted my art to this blog in the past so I could share my paintings and clay creations so if you scroll down through my past blogs you will see my art.  I will still be posting my finished and unfinished works here.

But, I will also now be sharing “Vignettes” of my life as caregiver, mother, and homeschool mother as well as my paintings.

This is the first in my series of what I am titling Caregiving Vignettes which I think shows what caregiving is like on a “day in the life” basis. I plan to also do other vignettes for other topics I will cover but I best stick to one thing at a time!

Maybe I should preface this first vignette with the setting.  We are in our sixth year of caregiving for my husband who suffers from early behavioral frontotemporal dementia as well as Alzheimer’s.  He is now 70 years old and was once a licensed attorney. Our daughter who helps me care for him is now 16 and is homeschooling her Junior year of high school starting this Monday.

… so here it is… my first Caregiving Vignette!

Caregiving Vignettes:  “Second Breakfast”

The kitchen table… breakfast time.

I am distracted from an interesting local newspaper story about the history of our town by Mike, my husband,  walking in and sitting down ready for breakfast though he ate only fifteen minutes earlier. For me it’s kinda like a scene from Groundhog Day where Bill Murray has to get up every day and live the same day until he gets it right.

I get him a second cup of coffee which he swigs down like a sailor with a beer.  How does that NOT burn his throat?  Then he reads the  headlines of the paper he previously read as if he had never seen it before. He wears a T-shirt under his shirt and a flannel shirt over that. It’s 92 degrees out already in South Texas but we aren’t going anywhere so I don’t tell him he’s overdressed. His hair is combed, slicked over with water nearly the same as he has always done. “Are you ready to go home” he asks.   I tell him no. (We are home). 

I’ve learned not to get into a conversation about things he is confused about.  Those conversations that go nowhere. I have also learned to just smile and say that he doesn’t have to worry about it and I’ve got it all figured out.  He really likes that.  He gets up and pushes in his chair and says something about leaving these scoops which I think refers to the empty coffee cups on the table and says as he is returning to his room: “as they say, leave my lones” he says out of context.  It’s a family quote baby speak  from our daughter who is the baby of the family. 

Alone at last, I push the leisure newspaper reading aside and decide I’d better get a shower so I lock his door. I have figured out how to shower and dress in 15 minutes because with full time caregiving I’m always on call. Why the lock on his door? Because he needs constant supervision. 

I enjoy learning how to do things efficiently and the 15 minutes I give myself this morning is a rush of a personal care regimen that I can take over an hour to do if I have that long. Although, at the end I don’t look all that much different. And, these days I am not near as picky about how I look.  

I hope you enjoyed my first Caregiving Vignette. I will be back for more, so come see.

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Me with my tea

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