Monday, October 12, 2009

Alone Time

Having two Type-A personalities share the same living space 24-7 is not really the best scenario.  Add a little stressor like, oh I don’t know, say Cancer, and things can get pretty dicey.   Jeff is home and sick, and I should be overflowing with compassion and understanding.  I find myself sorely lacking.  My patience is thin.    At a time when I should be bending over backwards to make him comfortable, I am more prone to bicker over silly things.

Any couple that enjoys a successful marriage will tell you that time spent apart is healthy.  The trouble is that when I decide to go ahead and take some time to get out, I feel guilty that Jeff is sitting at home with virtually nothing to do.

It doesn’t seem right.

Over the past month or so, a couple of Jeff’s friends have come to pick him up and take him to lunch.  One of the things Jeff has missed about working is the daily social interaction, so going out for lunch and good conversation really makes his day.  That has been a help to me, too.

But I wish I could figure out something else that he would enjoy to pass the time.  So far, the books on CD haven’t been a hit.  He says listening just makes him sleepy.    (Except for the Bible. He has listened half-way through that in just two months.)

So if you are praying for us, you can be asking for God to give me patience and inspiration.  I’m all out of ideas.


patty said...

Adrienne how about some southern gospel concert videos? They can be enjoyed by just listening. I have several you can borrow if you want to try that for a change Patty Yoder

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrienne,
I can understand where you are coming from. It is good to have time apart. Don't feel guilty when you get out sometimes!
I don't know what kind of TV you enjoy, but we have Leave It To Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, etc, etc on DVD. We could sit and watch episode after episode all day long.
If you like nature, there are a lot of nice documentaries.
We have windows with shepherds hooks with bird feeders right outside of the window so that we can just sit there and watch the birds and squirrels.
I guess this is not for men, but when I have free time, I like to write in journals.
I don't have too many suggestions, but the main thing that helped me when I was going through my recovery (and my worries) were the old time TV show dvd sets.
I wish you the best!

Anonymous said...

About 4 years ago my brother had an accident and severely damaged one of his eyes (bungee cords are dangerous). He had eye surgery and had to spend about 10 days with his head down. He was out of commission for a few months after that, too. He watched a lot of movies& MASH on dvd (with his 1 workin eye)(can Jeff do that or is he still having trouble with his eyes?) He also listened to some books on cd - what is Jeff listening too? Maybe it's just boring books. :) Try some John Grisham - those are usually interesting. I don't know what bible version he has on cd, but there's one that came out a year or 2 ago that has Jim Cavezial and other Christian actors/actresses. It has music, too. It's just the new testament. It's really good. I'll find the exact name and e-mail it to you. Does he like to journal? If he can't write right now (b/c of his eyes), maybe you can get him a little dictaphone/handheld recorder and he could do it on tape. I'll also let you know if I think of something else. ~Amy

Dorothy said...

Blessings and prayers from Western New York, feeling edgy is normal and will help you through this tough time and it is tough. Therefore don't be so hard on yourself your both going through a lot of stress.

Wishing you a good week.

Dorothy from grammology

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. He is still unable to read or see the TV. (He can see shapes and forms, but no details.)

Amy, he is occasionally using his dictaphone to record work stories. He has had some really interesting patients over the last 12 years.

heidiannie said...

Hi Adrienne,
I missed a whole week of blogging-traveling-
but I just wanted to encourage you to take time for yourself. And Try not to feel Guilty!! The more rested and engaged with life you are the more you can give and share with Jeff and your children.
Could some of the guys from church have a small Bible study at your home, or start up a prayer group for their manly concerns- not JUST about Jeff- but a time when they could share and pray together? When I was my sister's caregiver, these times were so soothing for me, because I could get out and do some stuff I needed (wanted) to do and yet she was involved with others in a way that she could participate and not be the patient or subject of attention.
And ... just my opinion... but sometimes a little sparking between type A's is not a bad thing. It can be a catalyst for conversation that otherwise you may avoid and shouldn't. Don't allow them to become bickering- guide those moments into meaningful moments of awareness where and when you speak truth. Speaking truth is so important even when it hurts, even when it goes into scary places.

I'm praying that the Lord will give you wisdom and patience and inspiration and many moments to share your love and fears- together.


jescandlon said...

I love the idea of small groups. It would be great to have a couple different ones. It would provide the interaction with men that he probably craves. It also may allow him to express himself more openly-his worries, concerns without feeling like he is burdening you. Can he dictate stories about his childhood, the children, his personal philosophies, etc. I heard a series on Focus on the Family about fathers doing this for their families-all fathers not just because he is ill, that it is a legacy not just for their children but grandchildren and beyond. Are there any resources (because of his blurry vision) for the blind that he could use such as games like Family Feud, Jeopardy or something where he would be challenged but it was done auditorily and didn't require him to see it? Are there any devices for the t.v. that will enlarge it so he can see or is it more of a distortion problem? I will keep thinking. . .