Lessons from caregiving paying dividends during the pandemic

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Apr 30, 2020

Hello to all our caregivers! I hope you are all safe, healthy, and doing as well as can be expected during these unique and challenging times.

I had an interesting conversation the other day and it made me want to come here and ask if anything similar has happened to any of you.

A couple of friends I was on a Zoom call with were complaining about how they couldn't stand the monotony and the unknown of being in their 'stay-at-home' situations. Interestingly I realized it has not been all that challenging for me. As they asked me why I said it was because I feel as though I've been through it all before — in a lot tougher way while I was caregiving. The combination of being bound to the house for my caregiving duties, the unknown path my wife would be taking, the intense isolation caused by caregiving, and the exhaustion of the day-in-day-out demands while being 'cooped up' readied me for this bout of isolation.

Not that there aren't bad days, but in my case I think I did find a previously unnoted silver lining to caregiving.

Anyone else thinking about this?

Strength, courage, and peace

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Caregivers group.

I am doing things I never thought I would do: posting videos on Facebook (2 are about caregiving), having a new logo designed, planning/writing an electronic newsletter. and getting a new business card. One caregiving video is about giving yourself a "nothing day" and the other is about getting enough sleep. This morning I made a food safety video.

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I saw on Facebook a post saying that You know you’re isolated when the quarantine doesn’t change much for you. Luckily, we live on 20 acres and are able to be outside with lots of room to roam.

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@IndianaScott
Yes, I am caregiving for a friend who just had the Whipple procedure. I have been putting to use all I have learned from Mayo to prepare for my upcoming liver transplant and the time afterward. Guess I've been in semi isolation for 3 ys now!
I'm not finding the real time isolation that hard…
Glad when it is over though. Likely never will be totally over for me.

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@jeanne5009

@IndianaScott
Yes, I am caregiving for a friend who just had the Whipple procedure. I have been putting to use all I have learned from Mayo to prepare for my upcoming liver transplant and the time afterward. Guess I've been in semi isolation for 3 ys now!
I'm not finding the real time isolation that hard…
Glad when it is over though. Likely never will be totally over for me.

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Hi @jeanne5009 I hope all goes well for your friend's recovery and for you with your upcoming transplant.

You raise an interesting thought with your comment 'Likely never will be totally over for me.'

I have tried to explain to many folks, after the loss of my wife and with the pandemic, that I view the future without using the word 'normal' or 'new normal'. To me using that phraseology leads one to be always looking back and measuring the future based on the past. Our lives, once we have a major change, are never the same — we can't go back, I prefer to not to look back wishing for something that will never occur, but rather admit life is now simply different!

I am glad your caregiving — for someone else and for yourself is providing a beneficial foundation for you!

Cheers to you!

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@IndianaScott

Hi @jeanne5009 I hope all goes well for your friend's recovery and for you with your upcoming transplant.

You raise an interesting thought with your comment 'Likely never will be totally over for me.'

I have tried to explain to many folks, after the loss of my wife and with the pandemic, that I view the future without using the word 'normal' or 'new normal'. To me using that phraseology leads one to be always looking back and measuring the future based on the past. Our lives, once we have a major change, are never the same — we can't go back, I prefer to not to look back wishing for something that will never occur, but rather admit life is now simply different!

I am glad your caregiving — for someone else and for yourself is providing a beneficial foundation for you!

Cheers to you!

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Indeed…never more apparent…
Every day is part of my new life….

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@IndianaScott

Hi @jeanne5009 I hope all goes well for your friend's recovery and for you with your upcoming transplant.

You raise an interesting thought with your comment 'Likely never will be totally over for me.'

I have tried to explain to many folks, after the loss of my wife and with the pandemic, that I view the future without using the word 'normal' or 'new normal'. To me using that phraseology leads one to be always looking back and measuring the future based on the past. Our lives, once we have a major change, are never the same — we can't go back, I prefer to not to look back wishing for something that will never occur, but rather admit life is now simply different!

I am glad your caregiving — for someone else and for yourself is providing a beneficial foundation for you!

Cheers to you!

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I really like your outlook you have about your life and seeing your life as different. I am like you, not looking back and wishing my life was the same, because I accepted that years ago. I was a secretary and a homebody so I am not an outdoor person and I like being by myself. I realize I need my quiet time to relax to help get me through difficult times. Then my husband had heart surgery several years ago and just had a pacemaker put in this week. He is barely able to do anything and he used to be a Workaholic and it is hard for him to accept his loss. So now we have more in common and share our time with each other running errands or taking a nice drive together. I still have my Sweet Place I go to after he retires for the night and I enjoy that time for myself. I have to admit COVID slowed me down but my husband needs me now more than ever, and he is my priority.

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@janet7

I really like your outlook you have about your life and seeing your life as different. I am like you, not looking back and wishing my life was the same, because I accepted that years ago. I was a secretary and a homebody so I am not an outdoor person and I like being by myself. I realize I need my quiet time to relax to help get me through difficult times. Then my husband had heart surgery several years ago and just had a pacemaker put in this week. He is barely able to do anything and he used to be a Workaholic and it is hard for him to accept his loss. So now we have more in common and share our time with each other running errands or taking a nice drive together. I still have my Sweet Place I go to after he retires for the night and I enjoy that time for myself. I have to admit COVID slowed me down but my husband needs me now more than ever, and he is my priority.

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Thank you, @janet7 I appreciate your kind words. I hope your husband's recovery from having his pacemaker will go smoothly for him … his caregiver 🙂

Funny, I still have my personal "Sweet Place" that discovered during caregiving that I still find solace in. I even made a sign for it as you can see. Some places certainly can endure in our lives!

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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@IndianaScott

Thank you, @janet7 I appreciate your kind words. I hope your husband's recovery from having his pacemaker will go smoothly for him … his caregiver 🙂

Funny, I still have my personal "Sweet Place" that discovered during caregiving that I still find solace in. I even made a sign for it as you can see. Some places certainly can endure in our lives!

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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Cute sign! Glad you have a sweet place to go to. It is essential for me to have a place to relax, think about other things instead of my present situation, enjoy my hobbies and find funny and cute pictures or articles on FB or wherever I find them. I especially like pictures or videos of babies, puppies, kittens, and scenery from other countries. Need to catch up on reading a good book that I can’t put down.
I enjoy playing Solitaire on a daily basis on my phone. All of these activities help me to thoroughly enjoy my sweet place.

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