The Caregiving YoYo

You Can Never Plan The Future By The Past ~ Edmund Burke

YoYoHow many of you liked to play with a Yo Yo when you were a kid?  I would guess that just about everyone has taken their turn, spinning their Yo Yo up and down, controlling the string, holding steady, flipping the device backwards to impress.  As I have thought about how our Caregiving journey has begun in 2014, I see a resemblance to that of a Yo Yo:  Up and down, backwards and forwards, spinning all around.  Unlike a Yo Yo, Caregivers have little, if any control over their Caree’s, health which makes for so much uncertainty when you try to plan ahead.

 TLO finished 2013 with a bout of congestive heart failure that kept us from traveling to Florida‘s west coast to visit his family.  I could tell leading up to the day we were supposed to leave for Tampa that something different was brewing with his health which necessitated an unplanned trip to his PCP.  With a few days of additional diuretics, and a new 6 day steroid pack, TLO was feeling great as we moved into 2014.

Mindful that we have now had two trips derailed by unexpected health calamities late in 2013, we set our sights on going on a week-long cruise starting on Saturday, January 11th.  Our travel plans for January 11th ended up being derailed again by another unexpected health calamity. Unable to get out of bed the day before the cruise, and the following two days after the cruise sailed, necessitated an emergency call to his PCP, then followed by another unplanned visit to the doctor’s office.  The consensus was that it was unsafe for him to go on the cruise; disappointment does not accurately describe how we both felt when I had to make the call to cancel the cruise. (Yes, I did purchase the insurance!)

 With an uncontrollable nose bleed, only exceeded by excruciating back and leg pain  necessitated TLO to stay in bed for 3 days; there was sheer puzzlement about what was going on with his body.  The pain he was experiencing was different, the nose bleed was troubling, and the concern was mounting.  His current pain medications were not providing any relief, “What’s going on here” we both thought!  The relief started to slowly take place on Tuesday after an injection administered by his PCP and a new round of steroids which started the following day.  However, during the visit with the PCP, the concern is that the Cancer has spread to the bones in his hip and leg; we’ll know more after TLO completes another MRI.  As the week progressed, TLO admitted that he had been fearful of dying because of the intensity of his pain and discomfort.

Thankfully, just a few days after the injection and a new round of steroids in his system, we were able to get TLO out of the house for a trial run.  As the week progressed, the nose bleed disappeared and his pain is at a manageable level.  “I wish I would have felt like this on the day we were supposed to leave for the cruise,” TLO said just last night.  ‘I would have wished that, too’ I concurred.

While it may seem easy for some of us to control a Yo Yo by keeping it steady and close to the ground; Caregivers are always rewinding, trying to avoid that uncontrollable spin, looking for that gentle ‘touch’ that will keep our paths steady.   That is why I like what Edmond Burke had to say…“You can never plan the future by the past.”  If we were to look solely on what was in the past, we would lose hope.  Hope is one of those intangible items that makes those difficult Caregiving days plausible. Without hope, there is no planning, no future, no means of survival.  Hope brings anticipation, hope brings comfort, hope brings the excitement… Hope is what keeps us going!

TLO Rest

TLO Friday, Jan 17

We all know our health is unpredictable.  Sure, there are plenty people like ‘TLO’ who have similar  health concerns in front of them, but to take away one’s hope is like removing medicine.  Without hope, there is no future; without a plan, there is no hope!  Yes, we are going to plan another trip soon and when the day arrives for us to leave, we hope that we will be well enough to go.   While I’m mindful of the past, I can’t worry about it  because by worrying about the past, takes away the hope that we create. Once we lose our hope, we have let the cancer beat us.  Because, you see, we might have cancer, but cancer does not have us! 



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Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

8 responses to “The Caregiving YoYo

  1. What a perfect description of the caregiving journey. All the ups and downs – as well as tangled times – sure do provide an unpredictable day-to-day life. I’m sorry you had to cancel some travel plans; that must have been difficult for both of you. I know TLO being able to drive the grocery store motor cart doesn’t equate to a trip to Florida or a cruise, but it is something to celebrate.

    I am always impressed by the positive attitudes that come forth from both of you. I hope you have many more opportunities to celebrate all the good things that come your way. You see, nothing good is minor – it’s a cause for a party!


    • I appreciate your kind words. Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult, but we do try our best to make it happen!
      The great thing about the grocery cart is that now that he has experienced it, we can order one for him the next time we book a cruise!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing…I appreciate it!


  2. sportsattitudes

    Hope and faith can help traverse over a whole lot of bridges we need not concern ourselves until they are in front of us and have to be crossed. Glad to hear you both are staying strong and looking forward, not backward.


  3. I know first hand the disappointment that set backs bring. We, caregivers need the “get away’s” to clear the mind and reset are reserve to keep moving forward. I hope that things start looking up and you are able to get away down the road.


  4. Such a true description of the indescribable soul and caregiver’s journeys, and a reminder to be in each moment from our hearts. Sending much love, LIGHT, and prayers your way….may love and the presence of Spirit surround, enfold, comfort, protect, and watch over you both. Namaste….


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