As I leave 2017 and enter a New Year, I'm reflecting.
What kind of year did you have?
Twelve months hurried by.
Were they a mixture of happy and sad?
A conglomeration of peace and anger?
Twelve months, one day at a time, we experienced a collection of emotions.
As I glance back at my calendar, I see doctor's appointment. Boy! Do they take the time and money!
We need them and I thank God for them. For meds too.
Hubby and I were blessed. The docs we saw were mostly routine, but we also take care of our daughter who has dementia.
She had many visits with those guys too.
Her physician visits require us to take her to Austin, TX. That's a 2.5 hour trip one way.
Yep, lots of time went to doctors.
We found a new caregiver for her in early summer and that allowed us to take a 2 week vacation to California. I blogged about it. The trip is a happy memory.
Then on August 25, Hurricane Harvey hit us. We had no water in our home, but we were surrounded and stranded for days. I blogged about that too.
My book, Mattie's Choice hit the shelves on September 15. I'd worked for years on Mattie. It was a joy to see her in print.
Joy about the book turns to stress.
The caregiver up and left in October, giving us a 24 hour notice.
We quickly found an assisted living facility and began moving our daughter into it.
Talk about hard? Those were tough times. Still are. She hates her days and blames us. We had to do it...put her in a facility. The caregiver who lived with her in Austin suddenly left and we could find no one to take the caregiver's place. We brought her to our home and then moved her to a wonderful place. It's so much better than with the person in Austin, or even us. We know she's fed properly and gets her meds on time. She also has activities and residents to visit with, but she doesn't like it and wants to be at her home in Austin.
Our daughter comes and stays with us for days and weeks at a time, but she's miserable while she's here, and so are we. We must work and can't entertain her 24/7. I work from home. I write for Texas Hill Country, my books, and work six times a year for Access Intelligence, also from home. Hubby's job as a pastor/teacher takes him away.
We care, and we try, but we aren't caregivers. There is a colossal difference between caring and caregiving.
I admire the caregivers who work with dementia and Alzheimer patients. The work requires gifts and training. As the disease progresses, most patients with this disease require these special, skilled angels. Our daughter is in that stage.
Here we are this past Christmas. Our ill daughter stands beside me in the colorful, printed shirt. She loves color and bling. She's beautiful and way too young for advanced dementia.
Since November, we've been clearing out her house and last week, it went on the market. Her hubby passed away in 2015, so we take care of his and her business affairs. That took a chunk of time in 2017 too.
In December, I had to re-enroll her in ObamaCare.
Oh my! Talk about hours on the phone! The dot gov people put her with a new insurance company just starting out in Texas. Ambetter Insurance. They've been a headache. If you have them, I hope you have better luck with them than I'm having.
They told me she would have doctors in her area. There are none, and now we are stuck driving miles and miles of Texas in other cities to see them, or we pay as if we have no insurance. More work to do on this thing. Why did dot gov do that to us? Like we needed another time-consuming headache.
We've had our good, happy days, and a few sad or angry ones, but as the year closes, I'm thankful. As the old hymn goes,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
If I could read about your year, I'm sure you'd tell me about your mixed bag too. We all have them.
That assorted bag will come our way in 2018 too. That's okay. Let's look forward to the year. We know, based on the past, that God has got it in His hands.