Seniors Lifestyle Magazine I Can do It

The 3rd article in the Dad’s Had a Stroke Series under our stories section.

Okay, they are moving Dad to the rehab hospital. That’s good, right? I think so. After over a month of him being in the hospital and my sister and I commuting back and forth, he is a step closer to getting home with this move. It’s going to be okay!

Caregiver Journey – Impacts of a Stroke

He is paralyzed on one side. His behavior has drastically changed, he has difficulty swallowing and remembering certain things. But his feeding tube is out now (that was an horrendous experience in itself). Now we can move on to thicken liquids and some food. He is anxious to get back to work, his wife and his home…he seems happy and so am I! It’s going to be okay!

What am I thinking?

But I have watched other patients come and go home, but Dad needs more. Why Dad? He has always been so strong, he still works, he manages, he does charity and church stuff and is the strength of our family.

We are moving a step closer to getting back to normal. Schools is still in for a bit so I can only come out to the west end a couple of days during the week and then on weekends. But I can get updates via the phone and the nurse practitioner and my step mom. It’s going to be okay!

They say rehab is the best place to be so they can focus on getting Dad better. Then we can all go back to our normal lives and finish up the caregiver journey. I hope.

At home

I talk about the good news. Then am reminded that our 13-year-old is feeling my absence. I tell myself, I will talk to her. Summer break from school is almost here for her  and then she can come with me to the rehab hospital to hang out with Granddad. I can keep an eye on both of them, give my stepmom some much deserved breaks with her own caregiver journey and at the same time work with Wi-Fi etc. It’s going to be okay!

Driving home, I feel an overwhelming pull….my Dad or my kids or my work? My Dad has always given to me my whole life so how can I not find time for him when he needs me? He has never needed me but he does now, I feel like now I have to be the pillar of strength he has always been. Thankfully I have my sister to lean on. We can figure out a schedule.  It’s going to be okay! 

Who would have thought I would have to choose? I can’t choose? And what about work? I am coming home from a long commute, doing what needs to be done at home and then sitting in front of my computer to get caught up on work. Yes, I can respond to emails etc. while at the hospital and have conference calls via skype but there are so many things that need my direct attention thinking and energy. I don’t feel the focus and energy everyday but I am doing my best. It’s going to be okay!

So this is a caregiver journey…and this is what the sandwich generation looks like? I am not sure if I like it. Work demands, kids demands, home demand, parent demands….ahhh…it’s okay. I can do this!

The caregiver journey continues and I am really feeling the sandwich generation I have heard about.

Let’s hope this rehab hospital can do what they need to do for Dad…and for the rest of us…. I lay down in bed that night after an exhausting commute and handling home issues, my mind spinning between kids, my work and my Dad. I tell myself, it’s going to be okay, you can do this! I sure hope so.

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