Yeah, I’m still among the living and finally getting the opportunity to get back to my creative life. Not yet full time, but I’ll now have a little more time to spend on it.
The past month and a half has been rough. A couple of elderly family members have been declining health-wise and my partner and I are the only ones around to take care of them. That turned out to basically be a full-time job for both of us. We took a couple of weeks off from work in order to have the time and energy to do all the things that needed to be done. And we’re still mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.
But I think we’ve gotten past the worst of it. In the beginning we didn’t know what to do, what decisions to make, where to find answers. We were running in circles, barely getting any sleep, and incredibly frustrated and anxious. In situations like this, there’s no way to prepare and it’s not easy to find answers when you don’t know where to look.
We got lucky, however, when Big Bend Hospice entered the picture. One of the family members was deemed ready for hospice care, and so they’ve come into the home to help us with medical stuff, bathing this individual, getting us the necessary medical equipment, and most of all, allaying our fears and pointing us in the right direction so we can access the information we need to make decisions. It’s an amazing non-profit organization and I can’t thank them enough.
Additionally, we were able to find a memory-care facility for the other family member. It’s just barely affordable, but we’re working on that. Again, we’ve gotten lucky and found a place that had an available bed, wasn’t ridiculously expensive, and hasn’t had a single instance of COVID since the lockdown began. The staff has been amazing – reassuring, polite, professional, and I’ve been impressed by how well they handle the residents.
The thing is, both my partner and I still feel on-edge. I think it’s PTSD. For a couple of weeks there we are pushed to our limits. Dealing with someone with dementia isn’t easy, especially when they get themselves worked up about odd things. Like, fixated on taking care of some babies (no babies in the house – haven’t been for decades), looking everywhere for them, and panicking when they can’t find them. It was trying.
If nothing else, this chapter of our lives (my partner and mine) shows that we have a good relationship and a strong bond. Despite all we’ve gone through, we’ve stayed side-by-side, supported one another, tag-teamed responsibilities, and kept each other sane. Mostly. It goes to show that as long as we sincerely care and respect one another, we can accomplish anything. We’re a good team, she and I. I’m proud of that.
So yeah, I’m slipping back into the shallow end of the creative pool, dipping my toes in before I fully immerse myself. I have a lot of creative energy and ideas that have been shelved for far too long. Time to pull them out of storage, dust them off, and have a little bit of fun.