It has come to my attention this past week that some of my friends are unhappy with me for not calling them as often as I used to. As I told a girlfriend just two days ago, I don’t call anybody these days. I am in charge of two people’s lives, and taking care of my sis is a daily job.
True, she doesn’t live in my house anymore. But there are trips to the doctor (three this past week), doctors to call, OTC meds to pick up, prescriptions to get filled, supplies to buy, library books to check out, visits each day, and bills to pay.
It’s not a full-time job, but it’s definitely time-consuming. Often my plans get up-ended with last minute things that must be addressed for Sis. Or sometimes I’m just plain tired of running around.
I don’t offer to chauffeur people anymore because I might have to come late or leave early. I don’t call and make plans because I have to play things by ear more often than not.
I still love you guys. But family comes first. I don’t know how long this job will last, but I will do it until it is done. I hope you won’t write me off because I’m not coming around as much as I used to.
Supplies – gloves, wipes, Depends for day, Depends for night, bed protectors, protein drinks, toiletries, and so forth.
Visits – bring books, walk around the yard, read the paper, fix problems with communication, discuss drugs with the caregivers.
I’ve learned not to buy too far ahead. I did that with clothes, and then she lost 55 pounds. I’ve learned not to make plans for her except going to the doctor and getting a Frosty at Wendy’s on the way home.
Yes, I said I’d have a party to celebrate my new kitchen, but planning ahead (I’ve been told two weeks is the time I need to give people) isn’t doable right now. I live my life in those spontaneous moments when I have an hour of free time before something else that I have to do. If I don’t invite you to join me, it’s because I didn’t know I was going to do it until just now.
I don’t want to have long chats on the phone. If I have some time, I want to work in my yard or read a book.
If I don’t want to drive a carload of people somewhere, it’s because I am already taking care of someone and that is enough. I don’t want to be in charge of of you. One at a time, if at all.
No, I am not doing trips right now, unless I get a window of two free days to run down to Monterey, during the week, while you are working. Or I am meeting my worker woman there, and we are working, not sight-seeing.
My spare bedroom (my Sis’s room) has been filled with stuff for over a year. I finally cleaned it out, halfway. Now a person can get to the bed and can find a pillow and shut the door. In case an out-of-towner stops by. It’s not perfect, but then neither is anything else in my house right now.
We are all given the same amount of time. I am choosing to give a daily chunk of my time to my sister.
I hope you understand.