I'm Scott and among other roles i'm also the primary caregiver to my partner Wes, who suffered a MCA ischemic stroke in July of 2010.
In the years prior to his stroke Wes often took Amtrak out to his hometown of Los Angeles to help care for his mother, who had a string of serious physical ailments. In May of 2009, those trips culminated in his mother moving to New Mexico to live with us because her progressive dementia rendered her incapable of living on her own.
Once she was living with us, we quickly realized that our home was too small for all of us. It was also unsafe for her - it was a very old house that wasn't user friendly for someone with unsteady mobility. So we embarked upon a remodeling project, moving into a nearby rental house for the duration. About this time the company I'd worked for for twelve years went out of business & I was out of work for six months.
I continued to care for his mother while he was in hospital and then a rehab nursing facility. About two weeks after his first hospital discharge he was rushed back by ambulance and it was discovered that he'd developed multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms. More time in another ICU, more time in a sub-acute unit, and more time at the nursing facility.
At that point I was called back to my hometown in Pennsylvania to sit in vigil at my father's deathbed. He'd had Parkinson's for many years, eventually developed dementia, and was unconscious during the final week of his life. Once he'd passed, surrounded by family, I returned to New Mexico, where Wes was discharged home two days after I arrived back.
I continued to care for both Wes & his mom with the assistance of a couple of paid caregivers, moving back into our (finally) finished house for Christmas 2010. Wes' mom stayed with us until May of last year, when burnout and problems with one of the paid caregivers led the entire family to decide that everyone would be better served if she moved into a nearby dementia facility. She enjoyed her last months there, passing away peacefully in her sleep this past February at the ripe age of 90.
So for a little over a year it's been just Wes & i at home. The state of his recovery thus far: his intellect is mostly intact with some cognitive issues, especially when he's tired. He continues to have left side weakness, mostly using a wheelchair to get around though he walks some every day with the use of an arm crutch. He can't use his left arm/hand though that seems to slowly be changing. He can be safely left on his own for a few hours at a time, though he's grown very dependent upon me and would much I were always around.
Throughout most of the foregoing, I've also worked full time for a very understanding group of co-workers, supervisors & managers at the new job I got in February of 2010.
So that's my care-giving reality in a very wordy nutshell. In the past month+ I've found SparkPeople to be a tremendous help both in taking care of myself (something at which I've not always been proficient) and in giving me an infusion of strength and energy that helps with all I'm called upon to do daily.
"Hope will never be silent." ~ Harvey Milk
| current weight: 220.4