Success in Caregiving – How do you measure it?

On my Dad’s deathbed, I made a promise to him – I would look after Mom for him.   True to my word, I have been doing that since he died.  I looked after her while she was in the retirement home and then I have looked after her in my own home the last 4 years. ( our 4th anniversary of being together is Nov. 30)

I came to the realization the other day that I see this journey as a sort of race, perhaps more of a marathon!  I am determined to look after Mom till the day of her death and hopefully not have to put her in a nursing home.  I also realized that my determination to see this journey through to the end was not just for Mom’s sake but also to in a sense prove to myself I could do it.  I could win the race set out before me.  That would be my success.  Anything less was unacceptable.  In fact, if for some reason Mom went into a nursing home I would see it as a huge failure on my part.  I would be a failure.  Everything would be in vain.  I would have broken the promise to my Dad.  This would be almost unforgivable.

There are days when this journey is too much.  I want to quit.  I want out.  But my stubborness pushes me on despite my protests.  Thank goodness these days don’t last and for the most part I am in the race with every ounce of energy I have.  On both the good days and the bad days I struggle with severe exhaustion and I turn to my faith – to Jesus Christ who said His grace is sufficient for me, His power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9).  I struggle along even if I am on my knees crawling.

The other day my friend was over and I was talking about how this journey had to be a success.  I could not fail.  She very gently pointed out that this journey has had many many successes along the way and the end success was only one of many.  This was a new concept for me.  I had not thought of the success of this journey in this way.  As I mulled over this for several days I have come up with some “other” successes that have happened over the last years especially since Mom has come to live with me.  Here are a few of them:

  1.  I think one of the most important successes that has happened has been the enormous amount of healing that has happened with my relationship with Mom.  She is not even aware of these healings as they have just gently come about from me looking after her.  We have not had deep discussions about our relationship and how it has changed.  I just know without a doubt that the burning anger and hurt that was there for most of my life is now basically gone.  Instead there is a new understanding of who she is and perhaps some of her shortfalls that were her problems not a reflection of who I was as a person.  Knowing she is probably on the autism spectrum has greatly helped me to accept her jabs and comments knowing that she is probably unaware of how they may affect me.  I also now understand some of her idiosyncrasies and don’t take them personally like I used to do.  It is very freeing to be able to shed the hurt and anger and instead just love her for who she is.  It is really a miracle that has happened not just a success.
  2. Those of us with autism can get very self- involved and it is hard to see beyond the end of our noses.  It’s not that we are selfish or self-centred.  We almost need to focus on ourselves to manage the difficulties of life with autism.  One thing I have noticed through taking care of Mom these 4 years is that I am much more outward thinking.  I am able to do better at that “Theory of Mind’ stuff that is so difficult.  I take great pride in providing Mom with little treats that she might like such as her favourite cookie or a pot of flowers or a new outfit to wear.  It brings me great joy to bring joy to mom.  And this spills out into other areas of my life with my other friends and people in my life.  My sensitivity to others and desire to help others has grown.  I don’t think this would have happened if I had not had the job of taking care of Mom.
  3. A very practical success is that by living with me Mom’s financial resources have lasted much longer than they would have otherwise. Being with me has given Mom the financial freedom to do some things she has wanted to do that had she stayed in the retirement home she would probably have run out  of money.
  4. Mom being with me these last 4 years has also given me a financial stability that I might not otherwise have had since I always had to rely on students or other roomates to make ends meet.  It was always a worry if they decided to leave or left in May or June and I was left over the summer with no extra income.  It was always hard not knowing if you would get along with the roomate or not but having Mom with me has given me an emotional stability in regards to who is living with me.
  5. A huge success is just having the company of my Mom with me every day.  To just be able to talk with her and share our lives together is such a blessing.  I’ve learned a lot about my childhood and other details of our family’s past that I might not otherwise have known.  I have recorded some of our conversations so I will always have them.
  6. Being together has also brought us closer to some of our family members who were distant before. I think of my cousin Donna who I cherish and who has brought such joy to Mom through her daughters’ children, her grandchildren.  Her one daughter had twins and we are enjoying seeing them grow and flourish and also enjoy little Drew, her other daughter’s son.  I enjoy running off pictures from Facebook to show Mom of the wee ones.
  7. Another success of having my elderly Mom with me is that as she gets frailer and I try to deal with the anticipatory grief and other issues around Mom one day passing I have had the profound pleasure of meeting some wonderful people along this journey who have become very special to me and have helped me to keep running the race and not to give up.  I think especially of my grief counsellor who I meet with each week.  I told her today that she was worth more to me than the most precious jewels.  I heard on the news today that a DaVinci painting was sold for over 400 million dollars – the most ever gotten for a work of art.  I told my grief counselor she was worth more to me than 400 million! And that’s no lie.  Without her and others at Hospice Kingston I most likely would have failed long ago in my quest to keep Mom at home with me.
  8. Another success is that to be a caregiver you have to be organized.  You’ve got pills to give, to renew and pick up at the pharmacy.  You’ve got laundry to do, food to buy, different supplies to get for Mom, doctor’s appointments to organize, foot care, and the list goes on forever!!  I have had to learn to be organized and learn to coordinate Mom’s PSW’s coming and going and be flexible when things change.  All hard things to do on the autism spectrum.
  9. I’m sure I could  think of a number of other successes but my brain is shutting down.  It needs sleep.  But as I look back on what I have written,  I have to conclude that indeed there have been many successes in this journey already.  It all comes down to how we define success in our life.  I know the ultimate success for me will always be to look after Mom till the end at home if possible.  But I realize that if things take a different turn than what I think they should be I can remind myself of what has been gained over the past 4 years.  So much good has happened.  So much good that will last long after Mom is gone.  And so I head off to bed a little lighter in my spirit because I have found a new way to measure the success of this caregiving journey I am on with my Mom.

What – Another Dreaded S-word??

Yep,  that’s right.  And this dreaded S-word is the word SICK!

Everyone dreads being sick but noone more than a caregiver especially if you are the sole caregiver of your loved one.  This is one of my big fears.  That I will get sick and be unable to look after my Mom.

I have been very blessed with good health over the last 4 years that my Mom has lived with me.  I have had my share of colds, odd sick feeling days but no major flu or other bug that has totally forced me to come to a screeching halt.  I came close a couple of weeks ago when I was confined to the couch for several days but I was still able to get up and get Mom her supper, and look after her other needs.  It was touch and go but I did it.  BUT… it scared me.

It really made me think about all the caregivers who are relied upon daily and who often like myself do it mostly alone.  It’s a serious issue.  Someone else’s life is in our hands – their welfare, their well-being hinges on our staying well enough to do what has to be done.

Right now is the time when people are getting their flu shots.  I’m going to get mine in the next couple of days.  I hear the strain of the flu this year is very nasty.  And I ‘ll make sure my Mom get’s hers too.  Not great consolation that I won’t get sick but I will take every precaution I can.

For me it’s not only getting physically sick I worry about.  Being autistic, I deal with anxiety and depression and huge mood swings where my emotions become so intense I don’t know what to do with them.  Then there’s the feelings of being so totally overwhelmed that I just want to run far away.  What if I got too sick emotionally??  I worry about this as the time of being a caregiver stretches on into the future with no end in site and that other dreaded S-word, the word STRESS gets more and more intense.  It’s being in a crazy headspace where you want it to end but then the end means you lose the one you love.  And you can’t escape the craziness of this dilemma. It goes round and round in your head every day, every moment of every day.  I want it to end.  NO, I DON’T!   I want it to end.  NO, I DON’T!  It’s like being in a personal hell.  And you walk around with a smile on your face as you work, shop, meet with friends and noone knows the hell in your head.

I don’t know what I would do if I did get sick.  Well, I do have a plan of care made up of all the details of my Mom’s care.  I do have good friends who would probably come to my aid.  I have PSWs and nurses who could intervene.  The flip side of this is if I get sick will I give it to Mom??  That ‘s my other worry.  She may not be out in public to pick up a bug but I am out nearly every day – in stores, on the bus etc etc.  It only takes one handshake or a hand placed on a germ infested hand rail on the bus to do it’s dastardly business.  I use a lot of hand sanitizer.  Kills 99% of the germs.  I still wonder about the other 1%.

I guess I just keep praying that I won’t get so sick as to not be able to look after Mom.  I have always maintained that God gave me this job to do so He will give me what I need or protect me from what I don’t need to do the job He has given me.  That is my hope tonight and tomorrow and the next day….

A Dreaded S-word!

OK, so I know what some of you might be thinking after listening to the weather report tonight but the dreaded S word is NOT SNOW!!!   Wish it was though, it would be a lot easier to handle than my S word.  STRESS!!  It’s actually got 3 S’s in it just to get the point across loud and clear!

STRESS – my main bugbear when it comes to being a caretaker of my elderly mom.  Every part of my being is stressed.  My body, my mind, my very soul.

My joints have started aching again after several years of very little pain.  I feel sick most of the time.  I have headaches nearly every day.  I clench my teeth, grind my teeth and tap my teeth together making a clicking sound.  I pace.  My restless leg syndrome is in high gear making life miserable.  I get every bug around it seems and they settle into my system for the long term just rearing their ugly head every couple of weeks or so after I think I am free of it.  Perhaps the most persistent and deep symptom is the exhaustion that permeates every part of me and never leaves.  It just gets worse or worser ( I know that is not a word but I’m going to take writer’s liberty here)- never better.  It just seeps into me like a tea bag left in a mug of hot water for ages.  It gets stronger and stronger.  I sit down to read a book or drink my tea and wake up 2 hours later.  For the life of me, I don’t even remember feeling sleepy.  Noise bothers me more,  going to the mall is too much sensory overload now. ( that’s a good thing – less spending I hope)  Smells of all kinds are overpowering and too much light overwhelms me.  People overwhelm me.  The stress of having PSW’s coming and going and the nurse coming and constant assessments being redone on Mom  just makes my head spin.

Emotionally,  the stress of looking after mom is debilitating.  It is eating away at me everyday and more and more of me is consumed by everything from remembering to give mom her pills to doing the laundry to changing appointments to even changing lightbulbs.  Tonight I came home from work to find that the light in the bathroom was out – the one that Mom uses only.  We leave the light on at night for Mom to see cause the hall light is too bright.  I panicked and immediately wanted to crumple to the floor and cry and cry.  Too much.  Too much.  After a couple of hours of thinking about it and knowing I had to do something about it before us going to bed, I went and looked in my stash of light bulbs, praying that the right kind would be there.  IT WAS!!  The bathroom light is now on and a major meltdown has been averted.

Sounds silly but that’s the effects of all the stress on me.  I guess perhaps the most costly stress is the fear of losing Mom in the future sometime.  I think I get used to the idea of losing her and am resigned to it and then some little thing like Mom having a bad day will put me into panic mode again.  One of the things that all this stress has created is a compulsion for me to buy things – anything.  I just want to buy, buy, buy.  It’s like LOSS is an actual entity creeping towards me over a hill and I see it coming and I grab every THING I can buy, find, and gather them around me to protect me from the LOSS.  Unfortunately,  this has put me in a very precarious financial situation.  But what do I do??  I can’t seem to stop.  We as those with autism love our things and for me that is what I go to instead of people.  I am stumped as to what to do and this causes just as much stress as the stress of losing Mom.

So there are layers and layers of stress all piling up on one another, weighing me down more and more till I feel I will be crushed under the weight.

And then….and then….  I noticed my cat today looking a lot thinner.  I believe he has lost quite a bit of weight.  And he is always licking himself and he goes and hides to sleep.  And he cries when I go out and even if I go upstairs and he is still downstairs.  MY CATS ARE STRESSED!  Both of my cats are showing signs of being very stressed.  What do I do about THAT?  If something happens to one of my cats that will be the last straw.  I can’t bear to lose one of them right now.

What am I doing to help with the stress??  Well, a number of things but they just seem to take the edge off for a short while just enough so I can still function each day.  I take medication, I spend lots of time rocking in my easy chair or swinging in my hammock chair in my bedroom.  I drink tea,  I go out with my friends ( one at a time).  I see my wonderful grief counselor, I talk to my psychiatrist, I sleep, I go for walks and do some photography, I cry, I scream, and most of all I rest in my great God who I know will see me through this despite all this stress.  God has an S word too.  His word is SUFFICIENT.  In the bible it says,  “My grace is SUFFICIENT for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I read this every day.  It is my secret source of strength (SSS) and the ONLY way I get through each day.  God is my ENOUGH when everything else is lacking.  When my bank account is empty God is sufficient,  when my energy tank is empty God is sufficient,  and when my ability to handle the stress in my life is at empty God is sufficient.  God didn’t say life would be easy but he said he would be there for us.  God has given me the job of looking after my Mom so I have to believe he will give me what I need to do the job.  He promises he will and I trust in that.

Mom’s Theme “I’ll Do It My Way!”

Image result for frank sinatra quotes my way

Mom’s name could very well be Francine Sinatra, the female equivalent to Frank Sinatra.  I’m sure her new outlook on life at this time in her life is “I’ll do it MY way!”.  She is exasperating sometimes.  I never realized that Mom was so stubborn.  Now I know where I get it from because I am about as stubborn as they come.  I guess as I was growing up Mom was kinda the boss of the family so she got to do what she wanted but now as she is a frail elderly woman at a time in her life when most decisions are taken out of her hands and she has little control over her deteriorating body she has resorted to resisting anything and everything that is asked of her even if it is for her own good.

Mom is like a rebellious kid and all I can do is look on with exasperation and let her do her thing.  It’s the last bit of dignity she has.

So what do I mean by her being rebellious?   Well,  she’s supposed to drink water for her diabetes.   She won’t.  She’s supposed to keep her feet up to help with the swelling.  She won’t.  She’s supposed to do her exercises.  She won’t most of the time.  She’s supposed to have a shower twice a week.  She laments, complains and you just about have to take her kicking and screaming to her shower ( not literally),  She’s supposed to use her aid to help her breathing.  She won’t.  She ‘s supposed to work at coughing up the accumulating phlegm she has.  She won’t.   She has let me know loud and clear that she WON’T wear compression stockings if she needs them.  She’s supposed to go to the bathroom more often than she does.  She won’t.  I’m surprised she hasn’t told me that she WON’T go to her own funeral! ( sorry, just had to put that in)

So what does one do with a rebellious 89 year old child??  Well,  I used to harp at her to no avail.  So my next step is to write out a list of things she is supposed to do and tape it close by her then leave her to her own devices.  No more harping, no reminders.  She’s got the list.

I understand her need to do this but unfortunately the only person she is hurting is herself.  She asked me last night why she was getting swelling in her legs!!  I have to bite my tongue and sweetly answer her.  She gets lectures from her doctor, the nurses that come, the PSW’s that come.  She doesn’t need to have lectures from her own daughter.  I need to be on her side not against her.

It’s so hard watching her deteriorate from her own stubborness  but I need to give her some control in her life.  With her probably being on the spectrum as I am, I know the need to have control over our circumstances.  It makes life more secure, more safe.  If this is how Mom needs to be to get through this very difficult thing called dying then I need to step back and let her be despite the fact that every ounce of me wants to have her keep going on as long as possible.  I don’t want to lose her.  It’s a terrible predicament to be in.  It brings anguish to my soul and tears to my eyes.  Sometimes I have to leave her, go to the basement and just cry and cry some more.

The journey continues and I have to let her do it “HER WAY!”

I’m in Hyper-Alert Once Again!

Hyper – alert – my default setting when anything changes with Mom and the last week or so things have been declining once again.  She had to have a chest x-ray because of more coughing and bringing up lots of phlegm.  They want to rule out pneumonia.  Yesterday she went to the bathroom and was short of breath significantly for at least an hour afterwards.  Not good.   Then the last two days her feet and ankles and up her legs have swollen significantly – much more than they ever have before.  Not good.   Tonight, since she sleeps in her easy chair a lot of the night, we moved the chair out from the wall so she could use the foot rest to have her feet up.  She did not understand she could not lean forward or else the chair would tip which is exactly what it did when she tried to turn  the light out.  So she was on the floor unable to get up.  I sat there calm as a cucumber on the outside trying to figure out what to do so we would not have to phone the paramedics to  come and get her up – on the inside I am screaming out to God to help us through this.  She was finally able to get up but I cannot be sure she will remember she can’t lean forward without first putting down the foot rest.  I will be up for another few hours unable to settle in case she falls again.  A long night ahead.  I will probably be on hyper – alert setting for a few days until hopefully things settle into a more regular routine again.  For how long I don’t know.  Things seem to be changing more quickly lately.  Dealing with the constant changes is one of the hardest aspects of looking after Mom.  Change and me just don’t get along at all.  Living with uncertainty all the time exhausts me to no end.  I used to tease my Dad when he would nod off to sleep while reading the paper.  Now I know what it is like to be awake one minute and then find out you’ve been asleep an hour.  It discombobulates me – I feel I am losing control.  When I am too tired to shop you know I am beyond tired.  That’s where i am now.  But it’s funny – this tired business.  If I tried to lay down and have a nap I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep – that hyper-alert setting would override my ability to go to sleep.  It’s like sleep has to catch me by surprise – with out me knowing.  Well, might as well go do something useful.  I’ll be up for awhile.  Maybe a cup of tea – decaffinated of course.

Thankful in the Centre of Everything!

Thanksgiving has come and gone but being thankful never ever should disappear for a year like a holiday does.  Being thankful is essential to getting through the tough times.  It aids good mental health.  It’s hard to be miserable when you are being thankful.  Most of us are thankful for the usual things like family, a roof over our heads,  food on our table etc etc.  I am especially thankful for all these things but I have devised a list of a portion of things that I am thankful as a caregiver of my Mom.  It might be a little unusual but these items are lifesavers.

  1.  I am thankful for grab bars.  They help Mom stay upright and out of hospital.  I like to kid that I would easily get in the Guinness World Record book for the most grab bars and railings in my house!
  2. I am thankful for lysol and febreeze sprays.  Oh, they work wonders on nasty bathroom odours!
  3. I am thankful for Spray and Wash.  It gets most of the stains out of Mom’s clothes when she misses the mouth or has an accident.
  4. I am thankful for Connie.  She is the most amazing PSW who gives Mom her much dreaded showers twice a week.
  5. I am thankful for Sandra who helps keep my house clean and gives me respite.  She does exercises with Mom and is also wonderful to talk to when I am at my witts end.
  6. I am thankful for my cats who bring Mom and I lots of home entertainment.
  7. I am thankful for Bread and Butter Bakery which right now supplies Mom with her breakfast muffins and her favourite cookies.  Next week she may be on to some other foods but right now these make her day!
  8. I am thankful for a townhouse condo neighbour who is never home.  She lives somewhere else with a boyfriend most of the time allowing Mom to crank up her TV to ear splitting decibles and I don’t get any complaints!
  9. I am thankful for the internet that allows me to look up and solve obscure problems with Microsoft Word because Mom can’t control the mouse and clicks all over the place causing the strangest things to happen. And you better believe that it’s not Mom’s fault – the computer just does crazy things all on it’s own.
  10. I am thankful for doctors who will listen to what you say and try your suggestions  for medication adjustments, etc etc.  I would be even more thankful if I got a doctor’s salary for doing all this!
  11. I am thankful for Lysol wipes that can instantly clean up any bathroom mess and you can just throw them out!
  12. I am so thankful for Hospice Kingston – for Sharon and Anne who help me through this difficult time with such knowledge, insight and a gentle, caring way.  I would be lost without them.
  13. I am thankful for Facebook and my email that keeps me in touch with the world when I am not able to leave my home for taking care of Mom.
  14. I am thankful for my haven in the basement – my easy chair, my cozy blanket and enough sound proofing that I can cry and scream when things are way too much for me and noone can hear except God.
  15. I am thankful for frozen blueberries and milk,  my go to food when I just can’t eat anything else cause I am too overwhelmed with everything and the anxiety takes away all appetite.
  16. I am thankful for my cell phone – not so I can talk to others but so I have a lifeline to my Mom should she need me or anything happens.  It goes with me everywhere.  Works best when it is charged though which is one more thing on my long list of things to remember.
  17. I am thankful for parametics who will come and pick my Mom up when she falls but is not hurt and get her back in her chair or in bed.  I just can’t do it anymore as Mom is a lot weaker and can’t help herself get up.
  18. I am thankful for my dear friends who lift me up when I am down in the dumps or am overwhelmed.  They whisk me off to Tim Horton’s for a steaming cup of tea, some good conversation and a bit of escape from my real world.
  19. I am thankful for my Pastor who always answers my frantic emails when I am at the end of my rope no matter how busy he is with the promise to pray.
  20. I am thankful  for a God who does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Not like my life which is constantly changing and discombobulating me to no end.
  21. I am thankful for a sense of humor which can turn the darkest times into peals of laughter.
  22. I am thankful for tea.  Lots and lots of tea.  My main sustenance, my energy booster and my wonderful relaxing time.
  23. I am thankful for Lawrence Welk.  Yes, you heard me right!  Mom and I watch Lawrence Welk every Saturday night together.  It is one of our special times together as it is her favourite show.  I just like looking at the crazy hairdos and fashions!  Well, I must admit I like the music too.  Must also admit I’m glad when it’s over!
  24. I am thankful for Mom.  For this lady who frustrates me sometime to no end but who I love with a fierce love.
  25. And finally ( although there are many many more things and people I am thankful for) I am most thankful for God, the one who gives me the strength to keep going and the one who provides all that I need to do this incredibly difficult job of looking after my Mom and who lavishes His love on me as his precious child.

Recalculating!

Lately, on TV, there is a car commercial that keeps repeating the word “recalculating”.  As I heard it being repeated I sudddenly realized that this word sums up my life these days.

When you are dealing with someone in palliative care there is no constant state, it is forever changing and usually not for the better.  At least not in the long run.  The thing is – my Mom may seem like she is on the way out one day and then she wakes up all cheery and fine the next morning.  Meanwhile I have spent an agonizing night thinking I am going to lose her at any moment.

It’s like being on a yo-yo.  Someone is whipping you back and forth sometimes at top speed that makes you dizzy and sick to your stomach and then once in a while a yo-yo trick is thrown in just to complicate things.

This past week I had an electrician come to the house to do some very minor changes on two outlets.  In the course of turning the power off and on a couple of times it just happened to knock out Mom’s chair lift – the one that goes up and down our stairs and cost 10,000.00 to install.  A fluke.   I call the company I bought it through and was told you could not get parts for it any more and they would not send out a technician to my house.  It is less than 4 years old.  So I RECALCULATE…..   what do I do now??  I am in a new reality of crisis proportions since now my elderly mother is trapped on the top floor of my house.  Fortunately after a day of extreme anxiety the electrician and another company were able to get a replacement part and it is now working again.  RECALCULATE….

I go with Mom to the doctor hoping to arrange for a palliative doctor to be assigned to Mom’s case.  RECACULATE… no such luck.  She’s apparently not imminently palliative so I am just supposed to keep calling and leave messages to the doctor when I have a problem.  And wait….

Mom was taken off one medication for her diabetes.  She was put on another one and reacted terribly to it.  I thought I was losing her.  RECACULATE….  Acting as doctor for my mother I call and tell her other doctor that I think she is reacting to the medication and she should come off it.  Doctor agrees.  Now her blood sugar levels are screwed up and I must every night RECACULATE to hopefully get the dosage right so her levels don’t spike.

Mom is getting weaker.  She needs more physical supports to get around.  I buy a new tension floor to ceiling pole to put in her bedroom so she doesn’t fall like she did one night.  She loves it and it is helping her.  I need to RECALCULATE…. I’m not used to her having a pole almost in the centre of her room and I bang into it every time I’m in her room.  I’m clumsy at the best of times.  This will take some extra RECALCULATION…..

I now have 4 hours respite every Sunday morning so I can go to church and not worry about Mom.  This is all fine and dandy until I realize that every sunday morning now I have to make sure the kitchen and living room is tidy, instructions are given, food is left ready, etc etc    RECALCULATE…..

Are you getting the picture here??  Everyday there is something that happens that I have to physically or emotionally or both RECALCULATE to care for Mom.  RECALCULATE = CHANGE.  I don’t do well with change especially when it is happening constantly and often at top speed.

And change is most difficult when it concerns what is directly happening to Mom.  I am in constant limbo about her condition.  Is she getting worse?  Will she bounce back or is this the new normal?  When she feels horrible at night will she be alive in the morning?  When the fullness comes in her chest and down her arm is she likely to suffer a heart attack?  When? So I RECALCULATE… thinking I am going to lose her.   No, false alarm.  Maybe something she ate.  RECALCULATE….

That word RECALCULATE is my new norm.  My new reality.  Except RECALCULATING means my new reality changes every time.  My head spins sometime.  My heart sinks lower and lower.  RECALCULATING is exhausting and highly anxiety producing.

I’m not exactly sure what the car commercial is all about concerning the word recalculating but one thing I do know.  Recalculating a car is very different than recalculating life with your elderly mother day in and day out.  There is no manual.  There is no guide.  This is uncharted territory and I am terrified.  The road has so many twists and turns and potholes and bumps that you just hang on for dear life.  You just grip the steering wheel till your knuckles are white and you RECALCULATE…. Again…. and again……and again……