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January 11, 2011

I am ... A Caregiver or Family Member

I was a caregiver to my husband who survived several strokes. He modeled calmness in the face of pain, and showed us what is important love, relationship. Following are excerpts from my diary. Jim's been in a care facility since his stroke on Father's Day. Yesterday we explored outside. Our cat and I sure miss him at home. 10/07 Jim's thinking is clearer. His favorite show is Wheel of Fortune, good therapy. 10/07 Jim loves visitors and becomes clearer with visits. He has friends in the facility, too. 2/08 Jim fell last week. Broke 6 ribs. He was in the hospital but is now getting therapy and eating like a horse. Still sweet as can be. 3/08 I've NEVER seen anyone as strong as Jim. Our only communication is telling him I love him and his telling me he loves me. Everything else makes no sense. 4/08 Over these months Jim's abilities have improved, declined. I was ill and said that if he ever doubted that he can still support me, then have no doubts now. Lately he's not understanding, no matter how slow or simple the words. 6/09 Jim doesn't want to eat. But he's kind even though the only words he says are yes, no. He said I love you to me yesterday. 4/10 Jim fought to keep recovering from the strokes. His fight ended July 25, 2010, just us in the quiet vigil. He even "came back" to say goodbye before he died. It's what mattered. 8/10

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