Each time Judene and I visit, we try to be optimistic, but too often we leave feeling discouraged, generally for one of three reasons: Will Katie be unresponsive? Will she be crying out in pain? Will she show any discernible emotion? All are difficult to understand—mysteries buried deep in Katie’s brain.
Indeed, our visit last week was really good. Katie was alert. She no longer has to wear her braces during the day. She did not cry out at all, and for the two brief moments that she did experience some pain, she said, “Ow, ow, ow,” QUIETLY.
Three steps forward for sure!
So, why did I write a book about caregiving?
First of all, I worked for the Area Agency on Aging for over four years; it was my job to visit seniors in their homes in order to administer comprehensive assessments to determine their needs and eligibility for services. I saw firsthand the challenges for seniors and their caregivers.
Secondly, I was a caregiver for seven years. During the time I worked at Aging, my mother-in-law moved from Florida to our city in Pennsylvania. She resided in a supportive independent-living retirement facility. After living there for two years, she began to have falls, which required a cycle of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and extensive rehabilitation. The “solution” to the problem was for me to quit my job so that my mother-in-law could move into our home with me as her full-time caregiver.
- Thirdly, I became active in a caregiver’s support group run by a local hospice. One of the group leaders suggested to me that I keep a journal. I also had a lot of e-mailed letters that my husband and I wrote to his siblings when we were trying to deal with the escalating needs of our caregiving situation. In addition, I was interviewed for a magazine article about support groups. After that process I thought, “I have all this stuff; what can I do with it?” I spoke to the author of the article, who was involved in her own challenging caregiving situation, and asked if she would be interested in co-authoring a book.
- And mostly, I wanted to make a positive out of something that had turned negative.
How long did it take to write the book and get it published?
- 6 months gathering information from questionnaire
- 6 months writing
- Submission and waiting
- Accepted and waiting
- Editing and waiting
- Proofing and waiting
- Published November 25, 2013
- More waiting
- Setting up social media
- Writing on social media
- And waiting
- Book events
- And waiting
What am I waiting for?
- Communication in general
ISN’T THAT WHAT BOOKS AND BLOGS ARE ALL ABOUT?
My blogging formula:
- Visit other caregiving sites
- Make comments about blog contents
- Discuss the information on my site
- Cross reference excerpts from “What to Do about Mama?
Thank you to the 20 of you who are following my blog (as of today). Since “everyone is a potential caregiver” I hope the information is useful to you.
For those whose caregiving sites I follow: Aging Parents: Making the Transition from Child to Caretaker; An Only Child’s Journey into Parent Care; Help! Aging Parents; Cape Cod Caregiver; Dog Tales; Mom & Dad Care; The Selfish Caregiver; I hope that my comments and sharing bring more activity to your sites.
Maybe at some time you will be moved to comment on mine. I would enjoy and appreciate your perspectives and suggestions.
Since caregiving is such a universal concern, I wonder, “What is holding everyone back?”
- Maybe caregiving is a topic non-caregivers avoid thinking about because “they don’t need it yet.”
- Maybe current caregivers are just too busy.
- Maybe the topic of caregiving is too gut-wrenching for former caregivers.
So in the meantime I wait
- For comments
- For something to happen
- For the time I can move on in my life