Continue to Question – Tue March 27, 2018

Spring training is over and the multitude of jobs are done except one coming up.  I have a few days off finally to get caught up on an ever lengthening list of stuff to do!  How can this list never go away you ask – I’m asking this too!

When you have your own home and a list of chores to complete that do not get their due diligence routinely because of the mega hours you work, the list can just get longer and longer.  But add in caring for a parent and that list can double your duties!

I have found the last couple days just wanting to couch potato myself and finish up some crochet projects that have been ordered.  *Note all the March sales Donation to Dana is ending in just about 4 days – order something Click this link to get me to donate 20% of the sale to her.  And I want to get this inventory of stuff I have down as well-that is on my to do list as well.  Alas I cannot since I have this list of chores to do.

What am I continuing to question then – well my sanity as well as how long does this caregiving go on.  Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change the fact that I have and am doing probably the most important job in my life.  We all have those moments when we get up out of bed and say man I just don’t like this job anymore.  It is no longer fulfilling a need inside of me – okay I will admit I am there.   Nevertheless I cannot quit this one job in my life.   So I question myself and out loud to my husband.  Where do I/we go from here?  At what point do I say I need me back and my life and a full time job and a career that will carry me forward to retirement age.  I think this is one of the scariest scenarios I have thought of.  Financially what do I do next?  How does one start again in their middle 50’s after being out of the work force full time for so long?  Do I begin to look at a new career or try to get back into the same career?  Do I move to a new place and begin again?

These are questions that many long term caregivers ask and many find solutions and some do not.  I want to be the one that does as well.   When a person with dementia is absolute about something and you need to divert attention to something else – well this is how I am about life right now to.  I am diverting my attention to the daily grind and the list of chores to get through.  Finding time for me and the mental attitude to get me the new job and career is tough when you have been in the ‘CAREGIVING’ mode for so long.  I will continue to question if this or that is right or wrong – but I MUST move along and be ready when and if something happens to my mom!  Caregiving must be about ME too!

Question – move along and find the answers is easier said than done so now I must get some chores done and move along!  Thanks all for listening and advice is always welcome from my readers!

Peace and Awesomeness today to you!

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

 

Baseball, Crochet and Me – Tue March 20, 2018

Last week of spring training baseball in in progress.   Once again I have enjoyed the season and being part of an incredible team!!!

As a caregiver off someone, home is where I am most of the time anymore.  Randomly get out here and there for appointments for mom.  Date night with hubby now and then as well.   There is a whole world out there happening around me.  The dilemma always becomes have care for mom and get out or just stay in and save a buck here and there.  Trying to balance this emotional rollercoaster becomes not only stressful but guilt about spending the money on care for mom.   While it is not my financials here but hers, the guilt still becomes a part of me.  I am completely engulfed by her every move, thought, financial situation and medical issue.

This is where baseball and crochet become an extension of me and my own self care.   I have multiple part time jobs over the seasons but baseball is by far the hardest month, longest month and most enjoyable month.  I have two jobs at the ball park and they stretch for 9-10 hour days but it gives me a sense of need other than mom.  I have learned about the food industry in a ball park as well as outside the ticket office being at the gates more what the employees go through with so many coming through the gates each day.  It is physically hard to stand for those long hours but the love we all have for the game and our own teams gives us the stamina to do this.  I see people from all over the country in their own team gear and engage with some as the day progresses.  After four years with the SF Giants and spring training my face is known as I walk the park throughout the day – now that is a good feeling.  These are the days I am glad I get care for mom and become me again for a few hours!

Crochet – what can I say other than, I never thought when I left my full time job over four years ago to care for mom that I would still be caring for mom.  Remember earlier I said a lesson was being taught to me somehow with mom.  Spending time relaxing at home and crocheting something ordered and knowing it will make someone happy is an awesome sensation as well.  This I got from mom.  Give back and boy does she do this.  Now she is making crocheted dishcloths for the senior group in Traverse City and she won’t stop.  I have orders for afghans and always strive and continue to find more customers (hint here ya’ll).  I have so much in inventory and still continue to try and sell but for some reason I cannot get it sold.  I have lots of hits and views but no sales…what am I doing wrong???  I have one customer that just ordered afghan number 8 and 9 and probably number 10 and 11 in the coming months.  How do I have one customer that is so incredible and others that I cannot get to order anything at all?  My brain has so many ideas on crochet projects but I found that getting so much in inventory doesn’t help me.  I can spend hours crocheting and creating stuff.  My heart gets so much joy when I see the recipient get the item!!!  I had a new mom order ten items from me – all small and many new items I had never made before.  This project was so much fun and her face lit up when she saw all the new stuff!  She gave me specific patterns to do but also gave me creative freedom as well – this is an awesome over the top customer!

My thoughts  are of course on mom as always.  I get home from the day and have to go right into helping around here with her.  The mornings are always first and foremost her.  But I get to participate in something extraordinary each spring with people that have incredible commitments to what they do as well.  I have my crochet business and always look forward to the next order and creative chance to explore something new!  As a caregiver, and I have to relearn this in my brain many times over too – time for YOU/US is just as important as time for that person you care for.  Find what you like to do and take a few days now and again to reinvigorate YOU!

Here are some pics of what has invigorated me over time… I have made so many pieces it is hard to choose and show what I have and can do – PLEASE check out My sales page.  If you see something hit that buy button or if you would like to order a made to order something let me know too!  Follow me on Instagram as well!

 

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria – The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Holiday Eating – Saturday March 17, 2018

With National Diabetes Day being November 14 but today being St. Patrick’s Day and the absolute indulgence of beer and food, my thoughts are of diabetics and how they handle these days.  Mom is going to a St. Patrick’s dinner tonight cooked by a good friend with cards to follow.  Hmm what will her blood glucose be at bedtime and how will that translate into tomorrow morning.  She is a type 1 diabetic developed by (the treatment given her for her Hep C of Interferon).  Of course her doctor denied it but she had never had any symptom’s and it developed during the treatment – so you decide.

Here we are over 20 years later and holiday eating can be rough of diabetics.  If you are one that indulges on holidays you can be up and down and up and down with your glucose.  Guess what – vascular dementia can then begin to form as it has with mom.  Extreme lows and highs mess with your vascular system.

She went from Hep C found in 1972 and still no idea how she contracted it – ok we have a suspicion that it was when I was born.  The doctors told her they think it was nine years in the making based on her liver test and guess what – I was 9 years old then.   Then in 1996 after interferon treatments having diabetes – again no fault of her own to now the dementia and all because of a possible poke 54 years ago.  Life has for sure dealt her lemons!

Back to holiday eating.  What can diabetics do on these occasions?  Denying food and a good time is definitely not the right thing to do.  MODERATION!  Indulge is those items you get only on these fantastic food opportunity days but do it in MODERATION! Plan ahead and think about a couple extra rounds on that treadmill!   I found this article and it has some good ideas.  Holiday Eating for Diabetics.

You hear a lot these days about eating to prevent cancer, prevent dementia blah blah blah.  Diets don’t really work, but eating the right thing and having a good snack now and again is not the end of the world.  I personally have found eating something that makes me chew more – nuts for example gives me more satisfaction that just a liquid protein shake or smoothie!  Love those but the physical act of chewing is something to be thought on more.

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Well thoughts on this would be awesome and I hope someone will take away a smidgeon of something I said and have an ‘AHA’ moment in their holiday eating!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – be safe and don’t drink the green beer -YUK!

Please check out my crochet inventory and don’t forget anything ordered through March from this website will have 20% donated to my friend Dana in Traverse City Michigan.  Dana’s Go Fund Me Page

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria – The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Doing Better? Sunday March 11, 2018

I asked my FB friends and family for some of their favorite quotes and or sayings.  I got a few and they were all very good, but this one from my husbands cousin was the one that hit me the most.  I am not sure who said it as she did not add that but here it is…

We do the best we can and when we know better we do better”

Ask why this one out of all I got – some were doosies for sure!  As I am in year seven of caring for my mom,  I say to myself quite often what if we did this or what if we did that,  where would she be now in terms of her health.  We tried over the years to help her with her diabetes management but mom is and always has been a very strong and independent woman!  She wanted to handle this on her own and not get into our lives over the years and depend on anyone.  Well this sort of backfired and we talk about this a lot around here.  But as this saying goes we didn’t know what might come of it then, but now we know what happens to diabetics over the years – DEMENTIA and other health issues can enter the picture. Now I know every diabetic is different but this is my case.

Here is my case to you today!  If you have a loved one with any kind of health issue – LEARN LEARN LEARN all you can about the issues and what you can do to help them along.  If I would of learned more when she was early diagnosed we might not be here now, but then again I was also in the throws of a career that sucked up my life.  So I know better now and have learned so much about diabetes and some of the irreversible complications that accompany it.

GASTROPARESIS ~ often caused by diabetes, makes food move through your stomach too slowly. Symptoms include nausea and always feeling full.  I had never heard of this but after many trips to the hospital and odd ways her sugars were moving around I threw a fit and then they doctors finally discovered this.  The Vagus nerve is the longest one in your body and hers has become damaged from the diabetes.  With this, her digestive system is also compromised and this causes the food to not digest properly.  Results:  Blood glucose levels that are out of control.  WHO FLIPPING KNEW!  Well now I do and because of this I can do better for her.

Vascular Dementia ~  general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to your brain.  Impaired blood flow to the brain – DIABETES lows for sure!

Using knowledge and the adaptability to take that knowledge and use it for good is one of the unique challenges we face.   My decision to do this has had a major impact on my life, and there are days I hate that I made the decision but overall I would not change what my decision was.  I am alone in most of the decision making other than my husband.  I am the type of person to go above and beyond to help someone even if it affects me in the long run.

How is caregiving defined?
Caregiving, Definition(s) of. “Caregiving is the act of providing unpaid assistance and support to family members or acquaintances who have physical, psychological, or developmental needs. Caring for others generally takes on three forms: instrumental, emotional, and informational caring.
Time consuming isn’t really addressed but it has been all consuming and it will continue to be.  We adapt we learn and we grow into a different kind of person because of this.  Now your faith is your faith but to me I have found and have to remember this daily that there is a lesson in my life from all this.  I still have to figure it out completely and I am trying so hard on this lesson.  For some reason that I will never understand mom is still with us after so many near death episodes, and this goes without saying there is a lesson in her life for me.
So with this all said – I challenge anyone today to learn more about a complication a loved one has and become part of the solution or at least part of the easing of the complication and help make their day better just one day at a time!
Peace and Awesomeness today!
Maria – The Caffeinated Crocheter

Cancer Sucks! Wed March 7 part 2

I am so very grateful on many levels, but one is not having to deal with cancer with my mom.  This disease touches so many and it is so horrible as we all know.

But…one of the debilitating horrors of this is our medical system and the bills that can be amassed just to stay alive.  How can this be from a country that supposedly is the greatest country of all.  Answer me this riddle I say!  So here I am to let you know of a long time friend and her family’s horror of paying bills to keep a family member alive and with them for years to come.  They posted this link today and I wanted to share it with you today.

Go fund me for Dana!

If you feel it in your heart to just do $5 or $10 that would be most awesome because one day you might need someone to kick in that for you or a loved one.  I am thankful that my mom has good insurance and she is covered for so much.  Not everyone has this luxury and this is just plain wrong!!!

I watch so many come and go at these baseball games I work and feel grateful to have a job that I enjoy.  The family of Dana doesn’t have this right now and really who can work these long hours to make any living while someone you love is going through the horror of cancer.

I also want to put out there today that any orders from this website that you purchase I will donate 20% to the fund myself.  Click on the inventory for sale page and shop away because you will get something and Dana and her family will get something.  This offer is good to the end of March 2018!  Shop away everyone and thank you from my heart that you would be willing to do this awesome support.

Peace and Awesomeness to you and yours!

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

 

Time off? Wednesday March 7 2018

Morning again and here we go with more baseball. Sixteen games and eight have been played already. The next couple weeks will thin out. In the meantime all days off have been mom dr here, appointment there! Whew I am still exhausted. Need time for me here soon! Our caregiver is awesome when we can get her here and I can shut my mind off for a bit.

Got a couple orders in so I am trying to get those done in between things too! Would love more orders as baseball ends and I have two weeks off. Really really want to sell my inventory-hit that page to check it out.

Have an appointment at the dementia clinic Monday but I wonder what good really will it do at this point. No change from a few months ago just the same “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember “. Do I take her or not? Dilemma for the day-would love feedback here.

Time to get her moving so I can get to work. Thanks for checking in and have….

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria

Another Day – Wed Feb 28 2018

Hello everyone – I am back after a long spring training game day stint.  One day off here and then we have a four game series before another day off!  LOVE BASEBALL – LOVE WORKING!

With no time to be writing lately I have had time to reflect internally about my life and my mom’s life.  We have had some tough days here emotionally between the three of us in the house.  BUT – today I got up and said we have to be positive for her and bring to the table positive thoughts and not what she has done wrong or bad!  So moving forward this is my goal – ANOTHER DAY  to say hey I need to fix things for her because she cannot.  Sat at the table with her this morning and talked slow and positive with her and she was smiling and that made me happy!   Believe me though there are days where she is stubborn, angry and just plain not a person to be around – I have to remember it is the dementia and that to make her happy I have to be happy myself – not only towards her but internally as well.  I liken it to this:  having a job you just hate to no end but you know you cannot quit the job because others depend on you for food, a roof over your head etc.  Yep caring for a parent in your own home is just like that – I cannot quit because she is dependent on me now.

Here is something positive I have for the next few days at least – the big box of scarfs and hats round two arrived safely back to Michigan.  Mom is making a very small difference in someone’s life and that makes her happy.  It goes both ways I have found.  Make me happy and make her happy.  She just gets a kick out of making this stuff for those in need.  I told her once she does not have to make every person in the world a scarf and she replied with yes I do!  She has a big heart for sure!

!Mom and Scarfs

I just want to share that this has been one of the hardest roads I have ever been on.  The curves and sharp turns have hit us hard, but we have also been on some very long straight stretches that have enabled me to learn while things are good.  I thought I had learned more that I could of with her diabetes but nope – the dementia learning curve hit us and off and running to the school of learning more again we went.  This class is harder because of not knowing how the mind cannot remember is not a tangible item like diabetes is.

So take the day – make someone happy and see how it makes you feel too!  Till next time after some more long baseball days.  Oh and today she gets to watch a Tiger spring training game – she is so excited!

Peace and awesomeness to you

Maria

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