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Hello and Happy 4th


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Hello everyone!

I have been meaning to write but I have been pretty busy. I have so much to tell you.

First of all let me say how much I envy all of you going to the bash. I would really love to meet all of you but it is not possible right now. Maybe someday. When I stopped for a few minutes in Houston in February I thought about Don and Lucy and wished I would have had time to meet them while I was there. I feel like I know most of you. Like you are family.

My first really good news that I am sure you will all want to know is that on the 4th of July it will be 10 weeks sense my last cigarette!!! I have finally done it after 43 years. I really feel so much better. It has made a difference. I still want one but I have made up my mind this time and I'm determined to stick to it.

I am also free of depression most of the time. I still have times when I get blue or lonely. God knows I still miss Johnny with every part of my being but I am handling it now. I am living because I know beyond a doubt that is what he wants me to do. Monday July the 3rd will be 4 years sense I joined him to start our life together. A life that you all know lasted only 5 months. That hurts but I can not even imagine never having had that time with him. My life would be so different now. I would be much more lost that I have been for the past 3 and 1/2 years. So instead of thinking about all we missed I am thinking about how wonderfull the time we did have was.

My other good news is about time. I made a request of my boss and she honored it. Starting next week I will be working only 3 days a week. Best of all I can afford it now!! This week I worked all half days until today. On those days I got off early I have been doing something that I love and had not done in over 5 years. I have been going fishing!!There is a place about 5 miles from me on Whiskeytown lake that has a pier. I don't have to worry about snakes or being alone in a deserted place. There are always people around and best of all I have been catching a lot of perch or bluegill. I had bought fish in the store but this is the first really fresh fish I have had other than when I visit Louisiana sense I moved from there 4 years ago. I am having a ball catching them.

When I was working the past month I was leaving here at 8 in the morning and not getting home until after 7 every night. That gave me little time for anything. I love my work but I have my limits. That brings me to a special request that I want to make of all of you who are in the position to make it possible.

The last 2 months I was working those long hours because there is such a need and very few people to fill that need. There are so many people who need the kind of care we can give. Most have very few problems others have many. The main thing is that they can't do the things that they used to do. Some just need a couple hours help a week, others need full time care in order to stay in their homes. Those of us here on this board who have been caregivers for people we love have gained a great deal of knowledge. I found that out so many times because the things I learned have helped me to help some of these very special needy people.

One man has enphyzema. He was on inhalers and was supposed to be using his nebulizer. When I first went there I found him using only the inhalers. I say inhalers plural because he would use the fast acting Combivent all of the time. When that ran out he would use the other the same way. Problem is that is a cardisteroid. He was supposed to be using it twice a day and no more than that. I'm sure most of you are familiar with that. I got him on a regular schedule with his nebulizer and the Steroid. Now he seldom has need of the fast acting one. I also recognized the signs of very low oxygen and called it to his families attention. He is now on oxygen. He does not use it all of the time but only when he feels that he really needs it.

I would not have been able to help this man if I had not had the experience of taking care of my Johnny. I learned so much that I never realized. I also learned the patience and understanding that it takes to work with some people with other problems. I know too what deep heartache is and because of that I can communicate on a level with many of them that others can't.

I'm telling you all of these things because I know there are many of you who could do the same kind of work. Maybe some of you are not ready because of a loss , others may still be caring for a loved one. I am reaching out to those of you like myself who feel the need to help and have the time. Even many of you who are survivers and are doing well could do what I do too. There is just such a need and you have all proven time and again how compassionate and giving you are. This would be just one more step from what you have already done. Understand that most of the work is not medical. Mostly it is just companionship, a little house work and maybe prepare a light meal. You may need to go grocery shopping or take them to a doctors appointment. Things as you know that we don't think twice of when we are young and healthy but can determine if a person will stay in their home longer or be institutionalized.

Sorry for making this so long. This is something that is very close to my heart. The pay in money is not the best but the rewards are priceless.

I want to wish you all a great weekend. Enjoy your holiday and the bash . Take pictures and post them so we who are unable to go can see what you all look like now and what a great time you are having. My best wished to all of you. I will be around here a little more now that I have more time. I hope to be able to return or pass on to others the wonderfull help that you have all given me. Now To my long waited for 4 day weekend. I plan on staying home except tomorrow morning. I am going fishing!!! :!: Lillian

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