Celebrating the road trip (again)…

 In May, I am celebrating two road trips and, surprisingly, in June I’ll make a third trip! All this is completely amazing for me because (as those of you who are primary caregivers know) it can be pretty impossible to orchestrate a trip either with your loved one, or even harder, without your loved one!  These are business trips, so I need to make them on my own.

I have the privilege of supporting the agency-wide wellness program for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. They have eight nursing care facilities across the state and three of them are new this year, so I’m going to visit each of those three locations.

This leaves me me with the challenge of finding others who will look after my husband while I engage with clients in three distant Minnesota locations.  I’m excited to make these trips but the logistical planning can be daunting!

The first two of the trips are day-trips, I’ll depart around 6 AM and return around 6 PM – and, if possible, I’ll plan those trips for hubby’s daycare days so I don’t need to consume anyone’s full day – just the morning chores and the afternoon responsibilities.

The final trip, in June, is a longer journey and I need to spend a night on the road, if only to be sufficiently rested for the work I’ll engage in the following day. Finding a helper for that event means figuring out how to get my hubby through the night without me.  That’s a unique challenge because of his sundowning pattern.

Sundowning is a syndrome that people with dementia can experience which may include mood swings, anxiety, sadness, restlessness. energy surge, increased confusion, hallucinations and delusions. For my husband, it generally starts at 6:30 in the evening and includes all but the energy surge and hallucinations – everything else on that list is to be expected; intensity is the fluctuating variable.  Sundowning is triggered by a circadian rhythm that responds to the change of daylight as evening arrives.

So, for this third road trip, I’ll need someone who can go with the flow of whatever hubby’s condition presents on the evening I’ll be away.  That takes a particular kind of helper!

I made a round of business visits in 2022 and, if you’ve been reading my Monday mailings since then, you may remember my blog from September 12th of that year.  I will quote myself and remind you what I wrote at that time: “I trusted the Universe to have my back and simply committed to the assumption that everything would work out in the end. And, so far, it has worked out amazingly well!  …I am truly grateful!

And, so again, I am able to report that these three trips are on my calendar and will be completed through the generosity of friends who have stepped in to look after my husband’s needs just so that I can travel for business – genuinely astonishing!!

I’ve asked my helpers to get him up in the morning (since I’m departing so early), get him dressed and morning-medicated, and finally, out the door to daycare.  I’ve asked them to pick him up again in the afternoon (dodging the Metro-Mobility busses that clog the pick-up zone) and entertain him until I’m back from my travels.

For the over-night trip, I’ve asked for help getting him home from daycare, keeping him entertained until supper, making him a meal and getting him off to bed (usually around 8 pm with medication for sleep).  I know full well that around 6:30 that evening he’ll start to get anxious. He may have questions that make no sense at all, and of course he’ll have anxiety that I’m not around. The following day, assuming that anyone in the house gets any rest, I’m hoping he’ll sleep in so that there is less effort required to keep him occupied until I get home. It is an incredibly BIG ask!

What astonishes me most when I make these trips is not the deeply satisfying opportunity to visit with my clients in distant parts of the state (which is in itself very fulfilling), but the stunning generosity of friends who make space in their lives to look after my needs and his by caring for my husband for extended periods of time.

What do you need the Universe to provide for you this season? What’s the “biggest ask” you can think of or the request you’re afraid to make? That’s the thing the Universe is longing to give you.  Let’s explore how you can manifest exactly what you need!

Self-care is every conscious action you take that feeds your soul, nourishes your body, nurtures your spirit, or replenishes your relationship with yourself!

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About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

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How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.