Patrick, can you arrange with the local authority for what we call respite care? Essentially, where they would take Jennie off your hands for a few days while you had a breather, perhaps on a regular basis? That sort of thing helps quite a lot.
The other thing, which I'm sure you know already, is to ensure that you get some fresh air and exercise every single day. Look after yourself, too!
I would suggest, rather, you acknowledge to your own heart, that your posts are read and you have touched the hearts of many on the taco and some of those folks are always there for you to offer a kind word, a reassuring 'e-hand' on the shoulder. You have touched the lives of many who have never and likely will never, meet you.
Dingus is wise.
Chin up Pat. Your posts here are more than welcome. I hope you can find a way to make some time for yourself.
Jimbo Donini, don't give me hope. hah hah ;-) Gawd, I wish I could have climbed like you have. You, Guido (Joe), my brother Casey, my former editor Nick, and all of you Supertopians, what a crazy bunch that keep me sane.
Anders, yes, John the public health nurse is looking into a week respite care for Jennie. He just finished an intensive course on dementia, and is going to give me some buzzwords, of what to say and NOT to say to Jen.
John, the carers (Linda, Emma, Katherine) and Jen's doctors as well as mine see that I am burning out. As the first booklet the Carer's Association sent me... "Running on Empty: Who cares for the Caregiver".
Linda says I am running out of steam. Last Friday in the village was a nightmare, but I finally got Jen home and "settled".
And the attempted break in...
We live at the end of a close (cul-de-sac), the last house of seven. While the front doors of our neighbours - Rita, No 1, the late Doreen (2), Donal and Kathy and kids, (3) Tom (4), Robert and Ann and daughters (5), Jim and Miriam (6) are all visible from the street/close (one side are houses, the other side, trees and shrubs), our front door is hidden down a 'pathway'.
But it has both a Yale and Chubb lock. The kitchen door to the side garden and the double doors to the back garden, have these newer locks, and we always take the keys out of the doors.
I had electric gates and a CCTV put in after Jennie's initial illness, to keep her from, well it used to be called absconding, then wandering, but John, the public health nurse just finished an intensive course on dementia. It is now called 'walking', he tells me.
Last Tuesday (Jan 8) we came home around 16:30 after a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium in Bray.
Our front door has nine little window panes. The middle right was smashed in (so the burglars could access the latch) and the door jam/frame chewed up, obviously from a crowbar.
They did not get in. But the glass was all over the hallway and some shards into the kitchen and living room. They/he/she/whomever, must have really busted that window pane.
The two Garda detectives, Joanna and Frank, reckon they went over the wall to the left of the gates (I am putting barbed wire across that wall). They both said "they are like rats, they can scurry up anything".
I showed them my safe (passports, jewellery, documents - an expensive safe) in the wardrobe in the little room (office). "Is it bolted down"? "No", I said, "but it is really heavy."
Frank said he investigated a recent burglary where it would have taken four guys to carry the safe, and they did.
So I have the bolts that came with the safe and it is going to be bolted down.
I have the crime report. Joanna (I think the senior detective of the two) said not to be paranoid, that we actually live in a safe (albeit secluded) house.
But it is still very unsettling.
Jim next door, he works from home (but wealthy, he says he lost about €15 million the past four years, and I believe him as he is not a bullshitter. But they still have their holiday home in Wexford and the farmhouse they are refurbishing in Tuscany (Italy). So I am not crying for them but Miriam and Jim are really nice people.
Anyway, Jim was home that afternoon and said he did not hear anything, but his office is upstairs and away from our house.
Jennie was freaked for several hours, but the next morning, she did not realize we had been nearly broken into. But that is dementia. She can remember events from 10-20-30 years ago, but not from a day ago. She does not suffer from retrograde amnesia, but from anterograde amnesia (short-term memory loss, the frontal lobe in the brain that Korsakoff's first affects).
Anyway, added stress I do not need. At least they did not get in the house and ransack it, as is apparently often the case.
I was burgled in my flat in September 2001 (they tried my landlord's - Des - front door with a crowbar, then went down to my basement flat and kicked the door in, ransacked my flat and shimmied up the drain pipes to an slightly open bathroom window and ransacked Des). I lost my favorite Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL, single lens reflex camera, an excellent camera that mom got me when I was 14. They emptied both 4-draw filing cabinets on the floor and all the dressers/drawers in the bedroom.
I felt, well, violated. You know, a man's home is his castle.
My brother Casey says that Jen and I are fortunate to live in a country with health care and support. He adds that if I was a 56-year-old out of work in California (actually I am not out of work, I am a full-time carer, albeit not paid well and running out of money), I'd be out on the streets with no support.
And yet, Jennie thinks that California or the south of France would be better. She just does not know. Bless her.
We are okay. There are other Supertopians that need our support more than I do, though I do greatly appreciate the moral support you are all giving me.
I wish I was uber rich, and pay for the medical bills that some of my fellow Taco Standers have. And buy the rest of you new racks and gear.