'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoweryglowery; It Is What It Is

In response to Monday's post, the MadSnapper suggested my feeling scattered was a likely reaction to being on care duty two weeks out of every four. I have hinted as much myself in a couple of posts now.

Thing is, though, it is what it is. I am totally accepting of that and a willing participant. It's not the fact that I have to do the caring... it's the fact that I am not far off needing cares myself!!! The few years I have been back in the Bonny Land, life has been really rather sedentary. There's a 'chook and egg' side to this. I have restricted mobility anyway. It has always been there (since I was 10 or 11). For much of my life, I have kept active, in as much as my bones would permit. I was determined not to be imprisoned by the Rheumatoid Arthritis.

It was when the menopolyxinaemia hit (the first symptoms were kicking in at around 45 years) that the 'old arther' started to exact its tax for having permitted continued flexibility. Things began to seize up. Not just the obvious.

Still, I pushed on. Head has always been stronger in the mind-body connection of the YAMster.

Once I got to Sadeepany Ashram, though, where stillness is valued and encouraged, I ought to have found ways to keep the body moving. I see this in retrospect. While there, I was focused on the task at hand and anyway, "I am not this body" is the whole tenet of Advaita. Which I am not. But the body is my vehicle until the end of the trip. I have kept up the maintenance on all the 'electrical and hydraulics'... but the framework has become rusty through lack of use. Much like was happening to Li'l Ren the Redster, who sat outside the Hutch for weeks on end not driven and then not wanting to move when I did try to use it.

Cars are built for a purpose - to move from A to B and maybe via C and D. Bodies are the same. Efforts at 'chair cycling' and the occasional, though unintentional, 5km walk doesn't really help that much. Apparently. In fact, going to Edinburgh for half of each month means that even the 'cycling' has dropped off because no way am I carrying those pedals around on the buses!!!

No, when it comes to the physical part of all this, I have to deal with a body that was aged before it got going and which has been forced to over-ride rather a lot throughout life. Now, at 60, I am in not much better condition than many 80-year-olds.

I just need to give myself permission to use my times back in the Hutch for total rest and restoration. Not give myself a hard time at the increased time spent in recreation. For the time being, I am in one of life's "passing places" where it is necessary to let the traffic go on by. Breathe. Take in the scenery. Do the basics of keeping body and soul together, but not fret about the unnecessary and superfluous. Of the 'would like to do', 'want to do' and 'need to do', only the third is required.

What I am saying (I think) is that it falls to me to build myself up physically and develop a mental routine to counterbalance the loss of personal time in order to adjust to the new circumstances in the family.

If I vent here, it is purely because I am one of those who needs to 'talk out loud' in order to make sense of things. Not complaining, just venting. Releasing the steam. Sitting in my passing place.

[I am back in Edinburgh now until Feb 6th.]


  1. Caring (especially for a full grown elderly man suffering from Parkinson's) would be physically as well as mentally taxing for someone with none of the health issues that you've so successfully coped with over the years. You don't need my permission for episodes of rest and 'self care' but I'm gong to give it anyway! I do wonder if any progress is being made to bring in reinforcements on the care front in Edinburgh?
    Bertie and I are anyway sending you love and hugs from balmy Aberdeen, Gail.

    1. Hari OM
      The OT visited last week, it seems, and some further recommendations have been placed (hospital bed and bars and such), but it was also pointed out that as things were fairly urgent, we ought to just be organising bathroom refurbs and personal cares ourselves... it just takes dad to agree to getting quotes for works and to having a 'bought in' personal assistant rather than running his two elder daughters down to stubbs!!! Hey ho... Yxx

  2. Gail said it perfectly....
    Mama had Lewy's Body Dementia,a form of P.D. so I understand the effort involved. And I might add sometimes Dads can be a bit hard to deal with as they must learn to accept help graciously.

    Care giving is hard and the caregiver must take her free time to rejuvenate her battery.
    Sending lots of prayers for this extended stay in Edinburgh.

  3. You certainly are entitled to your down time after your stint of helping your dad. It's never easy as our parents age and they require more help. We hope you can find a balance that helps keep you as healthy as possible too. Millie & Walter are keeping their paws crossed for all of your family.

  4. I have at least some idea of what a rough time this is for you. It is beyond critical that you allow yourself to recharge during your times off from caregiving so that you have the mental and physical outlook to be able to help when you are needed. I do hope that a personal assistant is in the future. It will ease things for every one of you. Hugs and love to you.

  5. hugs to you... sometimes we need the help of a pro when we see we can no longer walk that way alone....

  6. Hi Yam - I feel for you ... but venting here is fine - it's what we need ... just do what you need to do - you're the important one at the moment ... we'll be around: rest up and do what's good for your health ... all the best - Hilary

  7. Oh, Yam, I hear you.
    When JB had his surgery in 2014, I felt so trapped, tired, and the like. Lately, with his cough going on since Nov. 15, I am so tired. Not just tired, but irritable. My usual morning routine of quiet has been lost. I don't want him out, as it increases his cough and he keeps overdoing it.
    It is important to vent and reflect. We are here for you! xx

  8. Being a caregiver is not an easy job. You need to regroup every once in awhile too or at least try to.

  9. Oh, Bonnyland sister YAM, do my 3 sisters and I understand this. My Mom lived to be 96 + 5 months. She was a mother by 17, then at 21, 27, and 35. Three of her four daughters were old women ourselves attempting to care for her, our families and ourselves. Youngest still had her last child at home or in college till just one year before Mom died. At 87 we convinced her to move to an independent community living situation. House cleaners, meals at the cafeteria or delivered to the apartment and on call assistance if needed. Our youngest sister lived nearby and Mom kept her pretty busy with the "I need's". That sort of worked until her hip replacement at 94. At that point she 'agreed', sort of, to go to assisted living. The last month was hospital and full care nursing home. It is hard. My prayers are with you, your siblings and of course your dad. Patience and determination and honesty. namaste. janice, xx


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