I've been invited to participate in a meme called "What She Said" created by Kimberly Montgomery at Fifty Jewels. I'm told not to be politically correct, to tell it like it is, and so forth.
She says "This is not your grandmother's midlife." Well, that's true. One of my grandmothers never made it to age 50.
So, Kimberly, thank you for the invite, and I am going to tell you about my life right now. Yes, I have an empty nest. Yes, life is good. But, in this season, much of my life is not my own.
You asked me for a quote. So here goes.
"I am a long distance caregiver to a mother in law in her upper 80's. If there is a "Mid Life Boulevard", caregivers live on the side streets, mainly forgotten by all those liberated from their nests, and enjoying substances and acts I can not mention in a family type blog (although those acts create families). Yet, we are essential. Like our grandmothers, we care for those of the generation above ours. And, when it is our turn, we hope our children (or friends, if we are childless) take care of us."
Sometimes it can be a real drag.
It's 9:30 pm, and the load of laundry I started earlier is still drying. I worked at a full time job today (my spouse worked, too), exercised, participated in some phone calls with in -law family members (and a visit from another inlaw) and packed so I could travel with my spouse to my mother in law, some three hours away. She had a procedure today and the person who cared for her has to leave tomorrow afternoon. We're down there to help out, and, at the same time, to help my mother in law downsize and eventually move to be near us.
There is so much to do, so many moving pieces, I have a spreadsheet (started by a co worker, thank you!) devoted to keeping it all together.
Tomorrow, my spouse and I both work, and then, we are on the road. While we are, I hope the swelling in my spouse's knee (injured during other helping out) stays down.
Now (bear with me) I am going to change the subject slightly.
In the past three weeks, three
people in my life fell.
One fall came from a by product of radiation
treatment. My good friend of 52 years, in her third year of battling cancer.
One was a friend, also in her 60s. In a rush, she tripped over an obstacle in
a parking lot. She is a caregiver for her sick sister.
But the third fall happened to my mother in law. It is fortunate my spouse and I were in the house when she became disoriented in a dark living room and fell.
I've been taking a fall prevention class the past six weeks. I've learned about falling, how to help after a fall, factors that influence falls, and so much more. So I'm an expert, right?
Some help I was at first. For the first
few seconds after hearing her calls for help, I went totally blank, before some of my teachings started
coming back to me. But I did recover enough to remember some of what I
needed to know.
And you know what? It didn't work the way I thought it would.
Not because the teaching was flawed. It wasn't. But the person who fell, due to physical limitations, couldn't do what the teachings asked for.
That's OK. I am in the process of learning more in case this
ever happens again. Besides what I've learned, there is an online resource called Caregiver College I am finding of help.
was so grateful to the two lovely ladies who run my falls prevention
class, and the two physical therapists who have attended several
Also, there is a free download online of a brochure from Australia.
(see page 24-26 if you download it.) I don't know if this brochure is related to the
falling program I am taking, but I do know this falling program
originated in Australia.
Again, I am not a health care
professional but a layperson trying to prevent myself from falling
again, and learning what I can since I am a caregiver for an elderly
So that is my current journey through midlife. You're welcome. I hope I'm coherent, because it's been a long day, and tomorrow I won't have time to write this post.
If you came here to find out how much fun it is to be a liberated 62 year old, you are in the wrong place. But if you came here for a slice of my life with its joys and flaws- welcome.