Big Changes for Us.
I wanted to give a quick update since it has been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.
Earlier this month my grandfather was released from the hospital after two weeks of battling complications from the flu. He had to be intubated and was in the ICU for several days. By God’s grace his condition improved, and although he developed pneumonia he was able to go home to finish his recovery.
My grandfather is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and has been living alone for about a year now since my grandmother’s passing. His mental and physical health have put him in a position that will require 24 hour care for the foreseeable future.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to be his in-home caregiver… at least for as long as I can manage the task. My children and I are living with my grandfather throughout the week, and going home for a break on the weekends. My husband comes and eats dinner with us every night, but he has to go back home afterward in order to take care of the animals. Fortunately, it’s only about a 15 minute drive between homes.
This has been a big change for us, obviously. My grandpa has a huge house in a nice suburban development. It’s very different from our humble country homestead. The kids were fascinated by all of the electronic gadgets, especially in the kitchen. A dishwasher, a garbage disposal, a trash compactor, a microwave, a toaster, an electric can-opener, an ice maker… they wanted to know what everything does! I must admit, it has been nice with everything I’m doing during the day to have those modern conveniences once again. Especially a dishwasher, clothes dryer, and super hot water with amazing water pressure. Although, I’ve found that my taste buds have been spoiled by our old fashioned coffee percolator. An electric coffee pot just doesn’t do coffee justice. One thing I’ve had to get used to is a television being on pretty much 24-7. The kids have already been exposed to stuff I’d much rather they not see, so it has been an adjustment trying to keep them away from the screen.
During the day I homeschool the kids, cook our meals, clean, help my grandpa get to and from the bathroom, make sure he takes his meds, give him breathing exercises and breathing treatments, keep his oxygen cannula in, monitor his vitals, keep him comfy and happy, and let the coming and going nurses in and out.
The kids love having a paved driveway to ride their bikes and skateboards on, and a large finished basement to play in. But they’re still learning the dangers of living in a neighborhood. They can’t just run outside to play in the yard anymore. There are cars zooming by and people walking around all the time. There are so many doors in this house leading to the outside, it was tricky the first few days keeping the younger kiddos in sight. I think they’ve finally adjusted to the rules here though.
My family was concerned that it might be too much for me to take care of four kids and my grandpa. I realize that at some point it will be too much. But I really want to do as much as I can for him for as long as I am able. How long will that be? I have no idea. Maybe weeks. Maybe months. Maybe years. As long as I can be of assistance, I will be here.
I’ll still be doing what I can around the homestead on the weekends. We have many projects in the works. I will post here on the blog every now and then as I’m able, but right now my focus has shifted away from the online community and more toward home. Where it should be.
Say a prayer for me as I embrace my role as caregiver to this precious man. It has already been a blessing to watch the compassion my children are learning from taking care of somebody else. However long we are able to be here, I think this experience will always stick with them.