Notes from a Covid-19 Caregiver’s journey…

On our walk today. my father-in-law and I agreed that the sky looked like God’s pen in his ink well, ready for Him to sign off on the glorious sunny day He has given us.

Earlier as I drove my wife over to her temporary office at Stonebridge Haven, she said to me: “When you are writing your blog, remember to talk about the good things, the happy experiences and not just the difficult patches.” Good point!

In fact, today is a better day for a number of reasons. First, I finally got my father-in-law to take action on calling his friends (I have only been dropping hints for a couple of weeks now). I had to have a comprehensive discussion with him during which I reminded him that his friends were as isolated as he was, possibly even more so. But in his mind, he is the isolated one because he is not in the Kingston he remembers with his friends. I had to point out that they are house bound, many of them single older women, whereas he has me and his daughter and Claire for regular company. In the end he agreed to call a friend.

After he left a message a mutual friend of ours called. It had been a while since they had spoken and as these two guys really like each other they had a great time! He is a high energy guy and humorous to boot, so my father-in-law was in quite a good mood after the call. Then he got a call back from the Kingston friend he had left a message for and they chatted. So he is happily reading right now and has not had a nap all morning! As I say it is a good day, especially as he usually sleeps away a chunk of his morning.

Another significant component of this good day is that I had my best day yet in finding interesting newspaper and magazine articles for him on-line and then printing them up for him to read. I stopped picking up newspapers, in part because of the risk of contamination as well as the stay at home orders. So I have added on-line subscriptions to the Globe and Mail and the Whig Standard to my pre-existing Economist and Guardian subscriptions.

It has taken a lot of fiddling to sort out printing from each of these different websites but today I got great articles from all four of them! That was a real first as usually I only manage to come up with three articles in total – mostly from the Globe and Mail. As much of the hardcopy news duplicates what he watches all day long on TV, I have to work harder at finding articles that might interest him. So today he is happily plowing through the 10 articles I printed for him.

All the other “usual” bumps in the road are still there and it is still a major adjustment for me being home 90% of the time, trying to do everything he needs myself. Nonetheless today is a good day. And we are so blessed!

We have been for his walk now, I have given him baked beans with a fried egg for lunch (his choice) and now l have a few hours for myself before it is time to get supper ready.


Originally written May 6, 2020

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