Friday, 9 October 2015

Care Giving: Real Life Answers by Lacey Dancer

Sydney Ann Clary was born in Alabama, her first word was HI. Catholic school taught her the advantage of following the rules until she left home at eighteen.

Rebellion was never the issue. Wanting to try everything was. Love speed? Try flying over the water in an off shore racing boat or learning the intricacies of speed shifting from a NASCAR driver. Want to learn to ride horses? Start with a horse that bucks. "The trail boss had to cut my hands out of the mane. I was not coming off." 

Run out of books? "I'll just write my own." No training and no real thought about what I was doing, I picked up pencil and paper and got to work. I had such fun. The characters just grabbed me by the pencil and yanked me into their world. 

The day I finished I had a book order to collect. The owner of the store was a friend and asked what I had been doing. She had just been talking to a woman who had started a writers club. I could go and listen to other people writing books. Here was a source I had never considered. 

So off I went, clutching my story in hand. Nobody mentioned I would have to read ten pages of what I had written. I wanted to hide under the couch when the leader said,"let's hear yours". The couch was too low so I couldn't hide there. I read. No one said a word. The silence was awful. My writing had to be too. 

The minute the meeting was over I was ready to bolt. The host must have known. She got between me and the door. I swear she was part quarter horse cutting a hapless calf from the herd. "I'll send this to my agent". With those words she plucked my story out of my hands and I escaped. I sold four books that year. 

Lacey Dancer is one of the pen names for Sydney Clary She is an award winning author; Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best All Around Series Author, 2 Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, and 2 Woman of the Year Awards just to name a few. Although she is best known for her women's contemporary fiction she has also published two historical fiction novels. And now, after a 10 year hiatus to care for her aging family, she has added nonfiction to her list of accomplishments.

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About the Book

Are you facing the task of care for an aging relative, a child or loved one through a serious illness? This book is a real life approach to handling the multitude of problems that crop up each day. 

In your home, in a care facility and all the variations of care giving locations, there are ways to help those who matter to you and help yourself survive the stress and strain of care giving. 

  • How to wait in waiting rooms. 
  • How to find a new location for your loved one when the present situation no longer meets the needs of your relative or friend. 
  • How to handle medical insurance. 
  • How to handle home care. 
  • How to resolve problems with medical staff. 
  • How to get bills paid. 

There are answers for these issues and many others, real life answers that work. Need an idea or new avenue for that dead end you are facing as a care giver. 

The goal of this book is to provide those answers, those suggestions. Examples of use are in every chapter, real people dealing with problems and solutions. Some will make you smile, some will make you cry but each will show what can be done as you face this demanding and rewarding task in your own life.

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Excerpt from Care Giving: Real Life Answers

And this brings me to one of my few pet peeves, parenting the parent. This approach really should be revisited. When someone parents a child, that child has always been dependent on that person, he has never known independence. He looks to his parent automatically, through imprinting and training, to find his safety, his comfort and his security. An adult, one who has cared for you, wiped your nose, held your hand, loaned you money, listened to your troubles, is exactly the opposite, in my opinion. The chances of your mother or father happily settling in to being organized, prodded ever so gently or even not so gently, or worse, told what to do by you when his or her body is failing but the mind is still sharp, aren’t too great. Neither likes being dependent and each likes it even less when each is feeling death creeping closer. He or she is losing even the illusion of control over his or her own body. Doctors’ appointments, medications around the clock and you standing in the background parenting are NOT a good prescription for a happy life for any of you. 

Example: This situation is a bit funny in hind sight but it certainly was traumatic in the moment. Papa Clary had fruit trees in his tiny back yard. The orange tree was laden with the best oranges. He called my husband and asked him to harvest the fruit. It was mid-week and David was working overtime as well as going to school so he told his father he would be there first thing on Saturday as usual and he would get the fruit in before he did anything else. 

My father-in-law decided not to wait. Late in the afternoon, he put a ladder up in the center of the tree to pick the fruit. He fell through the tree. 

Thankfully it was only about twelve feet tall, and the branches broke his fall but they also ripped his ears off his cute little bald head. I received the call from the emergency room. David had just arrived home from work and dropped into bed for a quick nap. He had just worked about twelve hours. I woke him and he raced to the hospital while I stayed with the children. 

The rest of this tale, according to both men, went like this.

David: “You had no business getting on a ladder at your age. I told you I would pick the damn oranges.” 

Papa Clary: “Son, I knew you were working. I didn’t like bothering you and the fruit was ripening.” 

David: “You could have killed yourself. If you don’t promise me that you’ll stay out of the tree, I’ll cut the damn thing down.” 

Papa Clary: “It’s my house and my tree. If I want to climb it, I will.” 

My husband rarely cursed but he did that night. My father-in-law rarely confronted anyone, but he went toe to toe with his son over those oranges. Neither was given to sulking, but they gave new meaning to the word for the next week. 

Eventually, they made peace. David did the harvesting or I did. And Papa Clary’s ears grew back thanks to a really good surgeon. The moral of this story is: don’t expect your relative to listen like a child does most of the time. The next time, the ears may not grow back.

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