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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all. I've not been back here for ages; MyLovelyMan, now my husband, has a recurrence of his cancer and, at the moment, is in great pain which is proving difficult to manage.

I am not the world's most enthusiastic housekeeper but I find that my days are now totally eaten up with caring for him. Up and down stairs; fetching and carrying; assisting with medication and monitoring; filling hot-water-bottles for the back pain; making endless cups of tea and then rinsing the cups (we'd run out of clean cups by midday if I just put them, one after the other, into the dishwasher) and snack plates he's eaten from; and the laundry - the bedding and the nightwear . . . wash, dry, put away . . .

I am asking for practical suggestions to help me find my sanity, please. I don't want to spend all my time on tasks and chores.

What minimum housekeeping strategies can any of you suggest, please? Any basic routine that could be made to work, and still give me time to sit, maybe for fifteen minutes every couple of hours, and relax and just be a human being? Please?
 

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do the basic,get paper and plasticware for meals,eat off napkins. Not precisely the same at all but Dh just had ankle surgery complete w/ antibiotic infusions,nurse for blood testing 1x per week and thinner injections,medical deliveries. At the time driving DD and taking care of animals dishes were way down the line.
I wore the same clothes more if I wasnt going out and showers were much less,cat baths are quicker. Also maybe a relative,friend could help out w/ cleaning or cooking. Spend the time w/ him.
So very sorry your going thru this.
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this, Toffeekit. It's hard to be a caregiver.

Ask for help from family and friends if you need it. Is there an organization that can help you out at all? Maybe a group of volunteers from a church or other group? Even if they don't help directly care for your husband, maybe they could come in and sweep floors or do dishes, take care of yard work, or whatever else needs doing.

If you're cooking, try to cook extra and then freeze things so you have quick meals handy when needed so you don't have to cook as much. Even if you're not the type who likes to serve or eat processed foods, have some on hand that are reasonably healthy so you can take a break from meal prep and just microwave something or use frozen foods you can just put in the oven to heat while you take a little break.

Take care of yourself, too. Hard to do, I know. :hugz:
 

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I have been there, (((Hugs))). Any chance of moving the patient to a downstairs room, even if for only a few hours a day on the couch? Or get an electric kettle and tea making supplies for the upstairs.

When he is napping take some "me" time for yourself. Even if it is only a few minutes with your feet up.
 

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Disposable plates and cutlery helped me when I was ill and lived on my own. Not frugal or environment friendly, but sometimes other things are just more important. I'll also recommend an electric heating pad. It takes less work for you.

Big hugs for you. I hope he'll recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just popping in to say a huge THANK YOU to those who are already helping. No family to call on. Friends are available, and are volunteering but - I can't (yet?) plan what I need to ask them to do. Electric heating pad sounds like a great thing! I'll research it.

This is his zapped out sleep time, so I'm here. I've had late brunch with classical music gently on the kitchen radio and it helps.

Please, those of you who have prayer lists - can we be on yours? We need all the help we can muster. Thank you. (If we can, I think you'll need our names - Stuart and Pauline)

bye for now
 

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well it just so happens my Dmom runs the prayer chain at her church so I will ask and of course i will send prayers straight up. It is hard to think straight when your in the midst I remember. I used to pray that I prayed for what I needed then of course thy will be done.
I was sitting on a work stool in the empty MIL apt. bare bones and We needed to do it over because no way could he do stairs.
I was spent and broke.
I prayed ok God I've had it,I need a little help here. My mailman pulled up w/ a check for $200. from my SIL's parents who I barely knew. $200. was exactly what the men wanted to lay the tile in here. I mean directly after I uttered the words. Have faith.
 

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My step MIL is head of the prayer chain at her church too! sent her your names. Sending up prayers for you too, I'm so sorry you are going thru this,
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who have offered helpful suggestions and who are also helping with prayer.

Since my last post, we have just had sometimes-bearable days and horrendous nights: There's no promise of better times, except that the pain meds should get better balanced.

I have drawn up a list of housekeeping stuff that HAS to be done: it's quite (very)short but at the same time it gives me something to occupy myself with when Stuart is sleeping through the medication.

Laundry is a big problem. Doing it is OK, but we don't have a dryer; our choice has always been to line-dry (we live high on a hill, with winds from the four corners!) but the British weather is dumping constant, day after day, thick wet low cloud on us. I think I am going to have to find a laundromat somewhere I can get to, to get the bedding dry. Another problem.

But thanks: really, heartfelt thanks. I come here, pour it all out, and there are those of you who read and respond and I'm very grateful.

hugs from
a very tired
Toffeekit
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well it just so happens my Dmom runs the prayer chain at her church so I will ask and of course i will send prayers straight up. It is hard to think straight when your in the midst I remember. I used to pray that I prayed for what I needed then of course thy will be done.
I was sitting on a work stool in the empty MIL apt. bare bones and We needed to do it over because no way could he do stairs.
I was spent and broke.
I prayed ok God I've had it,I need a little help here. My mailman pulled up w/ a check for $200. from my SIL's parents who I barely knew. $200. was exactly what the men wanted to lay the tile in here. I mean directly after I uttered the words. Have faith.
frugalwarrior2, I wanted to respond to your post in particular; I have asked for strength and I believe I am being given it. I had a miracle yesterday when we needed some personal care aid - very urgently! - and I couldn't leave Stuart; somehow, making phone calls to pharmacies set a chain in motion which ended up with a young woman from a pharmacy MILES and MILES away finding what we needed, taking payment over the phone, rustling up one of their drivers to deliver it, for free - and while we were waiting for the delivery, she was on the phone every hour or so, checking if we'd got the item. I call that a miracle, don't you?

thanks for being there
Toffeekit
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do some of your friends or neighbors have a dryer you can use?
Tine, I'll ask around. We are part of a community of friends who are pretty frugal so dryers are probably low on everyone's lists, but I'll ask.

As for neighbours - you only have to look out of the windows to see that just about everyone in this road uses the garden line to dry laundry. Certainly, my immediate neighbours each side hang their laundry out, several times a week. But thanks for the suggestion; I will ask around.
 

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Maybe even if no one has a dryer, someone will be willing to take your stuff to a laundomat.

And here I thought clothes airers were all the rage in Europe!
 

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Let your needs be known to friends, family, neighbors, church folks, etc. At times like this you need all the help you can get. So many people have been in your situation, or at least something similar, and are probably very willing to help if they know you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maybe even if no one has a dryer, someone will be willing to take your stuff to a laundomat.

And here I thought clothes airers were all the rage in Europe!
Your suggestion that someone would take my stuff to a laundromat - I'm sure someone would. I just hadn't thought about it. Thank you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Let your needs be known to friends, family, neighbors, church folks, etc. At times like this you need all the help you can get. So many people have been in your situation, or at least something similar, and are probably very willing to help if they know you need it.
Thank you; we have let our friends know the cancer has returned and people are willing to help, I know, I just haven't yet got organised enough to ask for practical help.

Family: huh. There's my husband's sister who refuses to have anything to do with me, blames me for any behaviours/attitudes she sees in her brother that don't suit her. So no help there; that's for sure.

We are new to this neighbourhood - only been here since February; we know our immediate neighbours but that's all. I've told them the situation, which is difficult for them to deal with as they don't know us as people.

We don't belong to a church; I sometimes wish I did.

Our workplace (we are substitute instructors at an outdoor education centre 17 miles away) colleagues know our situation, but again, I haven't yet asked for practical help. Taking the laundry to a laundromat would be SO helpful. Thank you for this suggestion.
 
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Toffee - I am sorry i didnt see this thread sooner. Everything I thought of has been mentioned. I will pray daily that you receive the help you need. Just ask, if someone can help they usually will.
 

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Your suggestion that someone would take my stuff to a laundromat - I'm sure someone would. I just hadn't thought about it. Thank you.
Those of us who aren't used to asking others to help think differently than those who do it routinely. We're always trying to figure out the best way to do everything ourselves. It's hard sometimes to make the switch over to asking for help.

Just remember people are not mind readers. They may want to help but not know what to do. No matter how much I wanted to help someone, I doubt I would ever think to offer to take bedding to a laundromat, but I'd be more than happy to do it if I knew someone needed it. :)
 

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I just read this thread. I'm so sorry for all that is happening. I'm putting you both on our church prayer list too. I wish I knew someone near you that I could tell and have them give you some help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello to all who are supporting us, over the internet. A general update . . .

We met with the Oncologist on Monday 13 June and a further treatment programme was established, to begin as soon as possible. Might even have been this week BUT . . .

On Tuesday 14, Stuart became delirious early in the morning (4.00a.m.) and I didn't know what to do: I called the Emergency Ambulance, and the paramedics came - helped, did a full assessment of the current situation (the presenting symptoms, not the underlying cancer, of course) and took him to the Emergency department of the University Hospital. There, all kinds of monitoring and tests were done . . . the doctor on duty did a good examination, as well as taking oral history, and sent him for scans . . . and then also admitted him to the Acute Assessment Unit, which is where he is now, Wednesday.

When I left him, yesterday evening at 8.00pm, he was rested, reassured, and trusting the nurses and doctors to get things sorted out. The Specialist Consultant on the ward assured us of all that would happen and so - we wait. He, there, I, here, at home.

I will go during visiting hours, this afternoon - 3.00 - 8.00 pm. I want to spend the maximum amount of time with him, if he's up to it, when I can. The parking fees at the hospital are horrendously high, but - we're all trapped in this system and we have to pay.

Here at home, there are phone calls and messages and offers of support. As SpiritDeer says, those of us who aren't used to asking for help don't know where to start! But when there are tasks, I/we WILL ask. I asked Stuart to start a "Team Work" list of ideas we could put before our friends, so if he's been in the mood to do that, there will be things on his list I can start ringing round for. I know people DO want to help, but they don't know what we need if we don't tell them.

Those of you who have us in your prayers - please keep us there. Thank you, all of you

warm regards
Toffeekit
 
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