You'll be pleased to know ..........

............ yesterday improved.  Ash was still struggling when I left the house and I really did consider staying at home but, working on the principle that he's much better off if I'm relaxed and happy, I continued out of the door.  Six miles and 2.5 hours later (my walking mate has an app on her phone which tells us this stuff) we'd walked yet another part of our local area which was new to us, put the world to rights on several subjects and managed to get me to the point where my smile was back in place and I was ready to face everything again.  Two more friends came round yesterday afternoon so yet another set of subjects covered and once more all was right in my world.  We hear an awful lot about taking time for ourselves, making sure we have respite from our ever narrowing world and not getting bogged down with the day to day stuff and yesterday showed just how true this is however I know that I'm lucky that I can still get out, that I can still leave Ash for a few hours and know he'll be ok.  That world though is shrinking.  Not so long ago I could manage a trip to London leaving at 6.30 am and not returning home until 9.30 pm (a necessity if you live in the Lincolnshire Wolds and want to experience the bustle of the Capital) now that's out of the question; once upon a time I could write the bare bones of my week in his diary and that would be enough, now he needs a detailed note next to the kettle with no margin for error in the planning and I'm fairly sure that, given the chance, our world will close in on me completely at some point.   I've obviously been thinking about this and decided the trick is to get ahead.  Today I read about how respite often means being able to do the shopping alone, managing to make a doctors appointment, catching a few minutes of peace and quiet but I wan't more than that and I know if I want more I have to plan ahead.  When we get to the point where I'm struggling to get out I have great faith that my friends won't desert me but there's no reason why they can't come here rather than meeting up elsewhere for coffee or lunch and that then is a whole new world opening up rather closing me down.  Board games spring to mind as do card games (although in the past I've been fairly rubbish at both), film afternoons etc.  I'll offer food to entice them, Ash won't be left on his own but my brain won't begin to shrivel.  The only thing left to work out is how to still get my exercise in the fresh air but I have time to get my head around that and all suggestions will be gratefully received.

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dasntn said…
Hi again!

It's a good idea to plan! When we got to the point where I couldn't leave my wife alone at home (that came when she tried to make herself hot chocolate by heating milk up in the kettle - I can assure you, that is not a good idea!), I came to rely on friends. Friends who were familiar to her (probably more my friends than hers due to other circumstances, but joint friends really) would come over and take her out for lunch once in a while.
When that became too difficult one would come over and spend a few hours with her so I could get out. I now pay for a carer to spend a morning with her once a week so that I can have some time to myself and my family still give me an evening once or twice a week, so there are a number of potential options.

What works at one point won't necessarily work in the future, but sometimes things that didn't work in the past now seem OK for my wife.

I also take her out with me to do the mundane shopping, or less mundane going for an afternoon cake. It gets us both out and about, which I think is a good thing. We shop far more frequently than before, and more than is necessary, but it helps me.

The longer walks we used to do are now measured more by the number of aisles covered in Morrisons, but that is just when we are together.

I appreciate that not all of these might work for Ash, but basically it comes down to relying on other people. The guilt then becomes that you feel that you are over-using your friends, but there's always something to feel guilty about as a carer!
Jane said…
That's all brilliant thank you. We still go shopping once a week even though I think it would be easier to do it on-line but it's almost the only time Ash gets out of the village (he prefers his routine of walking the dog several times a day with footpaths from the front door). I also get an overnight away every couple of months when our son comes over with the grandson. They have a lovely 'boys weekend' and I get time to myself which is brilliant. Am sure it could happen more frequently if i asked but as you say I don't like to be a burden.