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Taking Care of Yourself

Caregiving, Taking Care of Yourself

Caregivers-Be Kind to Yourself-Part 2

This blog is continued from December 4th blog on CAREGIVING

6. Don’t ignore your emotions

Pay attention to your own feelings and emotions, and seek counseling if needed. Vent feelings to trusted family members or friends.

7. Take time for yourself

Use relaxation or stress management methods such as meditation, visualization and yoga. Books and videos are available to guide you in these techniques.

8. Read, pray or meditate for at least 15 minutes a day         

My 102 yr. old Grandmother Chris Crutcher. My Aunt Trina & 2 cousins looked after her.

Consume daily prayer books and helpful magazines like Today’s Caregiver and Caring Today, or books such as Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul to uplift your spirits. If you’re religious, seek the counsel of a spiritual leader you trust and respect.

9. Chuckle more often

Laugh, reminisce and share stories of happy times.

10. Ask for help

Friends, family and religious groups may be eager to assist and are only waiting to be asked and directed. Doing everything yourself deprives others of an opportunity to serve.

Articles on being a caregiver:

mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/caregiver-stress

UCDavis Caregiver & Community Resources 

We Can Never Lose HOPE……

100% of the profits are being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, HDSA.  

The book is available on Therese’s author website http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com & many book websites like Amazon

 

Mindful, Taking Care of Yourself

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Left to right: John, Cindy & father, John

In 1999, John’s second sister, Marcia, was stolen from us by Huntington’s disease (HD).  She was 49 years old, had struggled with HD for 15 years and we had been by her side through those years.

On New Year’s Day, 2000, Cindy’s best friend called and asked John to take Cindy back to California to live with someone because HD was progressively rapidly. The next day, John jumped on a plane to Canada, packed Cindy’s stuff and Kayla, her dog, and flew back to California where she would live with her father.  

The next week, John bought home a book to share. The book was, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…..and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson, PH.D. John and I started reading a chapter a couple of times a week before we went to sleep. (Short chapters) Each chapter rebooted my brain to focus on the present, not the past or the future.  #LiveMindfully

Author Richard Carlson comments about the book.  Click here to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MWSS_7KKI

We Can Never Lose HOPE…….

  

Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s is available on Therese’s author website http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com and many book websites like Amazon

Taking Care of Yourself

The Color that Soothes Me: Purple

Do you have a color that soothes and relaxes you?  I’ve loved purple since I was a little girl and when I wear it, it makes me happy.  When John and I got married in 1980, my bridesmaids dresses were a soft lavender shade.  It’s hard to find purple in woman’s clothes, so when Vanessa, my daughter, and I shop, we’re both on the look out for anything purple.  My Aunt Trina sends me Lavender chamomile body wash and lavender mist spray to put on my pillow at night

Because of my love for Purple, Wednesday is my purple day and I post pictures with shades of purple on my Facebook wall.  https://www.facebook.com/therese.crutchermarin

“Violet signifies strength, peace and wisdom. It has the capacity to bring balance and make you feel inner peace:  Read more at:
7 Relaxing Colors and How They Can Affect Your Mood 

Enjoy these beautiful pictures and poignant quotes!

We Can Never Lose HOPE….. 

 

 

Taking Care of Yourself

Coping With a Challenging Issue

When I made a conscious decision to marry John, despite his unknown gene status for Huntington’s disease (HD), I knew full well the possible consequences of my decision.  I was only 23 at the time, very naive, and didn’t really understand the ramifications of this horrific disease. HD is a fatal, genetic disorder that progressively destroys the nerve cells in the brain. There is no cure.  http://www.hdsa.org

With the 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease, I knew, based on statistics, that at least two (2) of the four (4) Marin siblings would carry the mutated huntingtin gene. Who is at risk:  http://hdsa.org/what-is-hd/#risk   

But, what I didn’t realize, was that it would be so hard, so emotionally depleting, so sad in so many ways.

My advice to those struggling with a challenging issue, like Huntington’s disease, is to:

  1.  Talk to a counselor
  2.  Talk with your primary care physician about anti-depressants
  3.  Attend a support group that addresses the issue
  4.  Have open communication with family
  5.  And never lose HOPE

Two good articles to help you through tough times:  

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/a-4-step-plan-to-deal-with-even-the-toughest-challenge/

http://time.com/3002833/how-to-be-resilient-8-steps-to-success-when-life-gets-hard/

We Can Never Lose HOPE……………

 

 

 

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Taking Care of Yourself

Free Online Huntington’s Disease Support Group

Did you know Woody Guthrie had HD? He did!

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.

Medical News Today Article: What is HD?  

HDSA Online Caregiver Support Group     

This HDSA group is open to caregivers to a loved one with HD who does not have access to an in person group because of distance, time constraints or whatever.  If it is easier for you, please register. The group will meet monthly with a changing leader and changing members due to expanded geography. To sign up:   https://www.supportgroupscentral.com/join_as.cfm?cid=27

We Can Never Lose HOPE………...

I will be selling my nonfiction book Watching Their Dance at the HDSA Annual Convention in Los Angeles this week.  HDSA is receiving 100% of the proceeds.

Taking Care of Yourself

Antelope Canyon-Page Arizona

IMG_0164Since John and I retired, we have traveled in our 5th wheel umpteen times, across the U.S. and back in 2010, and seen beautiful country. We almost missed this unusual canyon near Page Arizona.  Luckily, we over heard a family talking about it in a fast food joint and decided to stay the night and do the tour the next day.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a campground nearby, so we became trailer trash and stayed in the Walmart parking lot .

Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land east of Page and it was formed by erosion primarily due to flash flooding over the centuries.  Our tour guide was a cheerful native gal whose grandmother discovered the canyon.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí (advertised as “Hasdestwazi” by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department), or “spiral rock arches.” Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

Put this on your bucket list, because it’s amazing!

Have a good day!  Therese