The Caregiver Cup Podcast

Journey of Love: A Decade of Caregiving with Laureen

April 16, 2024 Cathy VandenHeuvel Episode 209
Journey of Love: A Decade of Caregiving with Laureen
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
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The Caregiver Cup Podcast
Journey of Love: A Decade of Caregiving with Laureen
Apr 16, 2024 Episode 209
Cathy VandenHeuvel

Send Cathy a text:)

When Laureen Wysocki stepped into the role of a caregiver for her husband, Kevin, with young-onset dementia, she embarked on a path that would test her strength and resilience. Our heartfelt conversation with this courageous opera singer and dedicated caregiver shines a light on the complexity and beauty of caring for a loved one. Laureen's narrative, intertwined with her music, unfolds like a poignant aria, revealing the power of self-love, the need for a support network, and how she manages to harmonize the many facets of her life.

Throughout our time together, Laureen opened up about the crucial balance between providing care and maintaining one's own well-being. It's a delicate dance of setting boundaries, being clear in communication, and finding solace in practices like gratitude and journaling. She emphasized the importance of seeking and accepting help, and how vital support from counseling to community can be. Her insights offer a beacon of hope to those who might find themselves in similar shoes, reminding us that self-care is not just necessary, it's a lifeline.

Ending on a note of joy and optimism, Laureen's story is a testament to finding light in the darkest of times. She shared touching moments of connection with Kevin and the importance of cherishing small victories, like a special Valentine's Day that reminded her of love's enduring presence. Her journey, though fraught with challenges, teaches us to find and hold onto moments of happiness. Laureen's experiences serve as an inspiring reminder that even amidst life's most trying circumstances, there is beauty to be found and hope to be had.

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Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

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Send Cathy a text:)

When Laureen Wysocki stepped into the role of a caregiver for her husband, Kevin, with young-onset dementia, she embarked on a path that would test her strength and resilience. Our heartfelt conversation with this courageous opera singer and dedicated caregiver shines a light on the complexity and beauty of caring for a loved one. Laureen's narrative, intertwined with her music, unfolds like a poignant aria, revealing the power of self-love, the need for a support network, and how she manages to harmonize the many facets of her life.

Throughout our time together, Laureen opened up about the crucial balance between providing care and maintaining one's own well-being. It's a delicate dance of setting boundaries, being clear in communication, and finding solace in practices like gratitude and journaling. She emphasized the importance of seeking and accepting help, and how vital support from counseling to community can be. Her insights offer a beacon of hope to those who might find themselves in similar shoes, reminding us that self-care is not just necessary, it's a lifeline.

Ending on a note of joy and optimism, Laureen's story is a testament to finding light in the darkest of times. She shared touching moments of connection with Kevin and the importance of cherishing small victories, like a special Valentine's Day that reminded her of love's enduring presence. Her journey, though fraught with challenges, teaches us to find and hold onto moments of happiness. Laureen's experiences serve as an inspiring reminder that even amidst life's most trying circumstances, there is beauty to be found and hope to be had.

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

Cathy:

Well, hello there and welcome to another episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. It's Kathy here again, but today I'm introducing you to this great podcast interview. I had the complete pleasure of interviewing Laureen Wysocki, I think that's how you pronounce her name. She has been a caregiver for over a decade. She's a caregiver wife, a mom and a professional opera singer, so she's a busy lady. But what I admire most about Laureen and you're going to hear it is how she takes on the caregiving challenges with this motivation and inspiration that she has learned over her decade of caregiving.

Cathy:

I want you to pay attention to the words Laureen says, because she's giving us little golden nuggets to think about and use every day. She talks about the importance of self love and taking care of yourself. She talks about the help that she has and how she embraces the help and how it was meant to be, and the relationship she has with the people helping take care of her husband, kevin who, by the way, kevin, she'll talk about Kevin being a dentist and how suddenly his disease evolved. And she also finds that support groups and counseling are things that make her a better caregiver. She is such a wonderful person who has figured out how to make the best of this challenging situation in her caregiver life. She truly is an powerful caregiver and somebody that I strive to go ahead and continue to be.

Cathy:

She gave me such complete inspiration and motivation after I left the interview. I had this kick in my step, so I know you're going to enjoy today's episode. So, without further ado, here is the episode with Loreen. I am so excited to go ahead and meet you, finally, because we've had so many interactions on email and I got to saw some of your videos. But I think, loreen, what I'd love to hear, and our caregiver podcasters would love to hear, is first of all, your story and then why you're doing this podcast and interview with me.

Laureen:

Okay, my husband and I are 61 years old. He is a retired dentist. Life was okay. We found out we were pregnant with our third child when we were 40 and the wheels started falling off. Shortly thereafter, his mother had a very serious heart attack and she was in declining and serious health, and Kevin was her power of attorney. On top of being a dentist, on top of being Mr Mom when I was at work, I'm a professional opera singer. So, oh my gosh, the beginning of the road was probably the most stressful because we didn't know exactly what was going on.

Laureen:

And I'm going to just be straight out honest. My loving, beautiful, caring, awesome, intelligent husband got not one but two DUIs. And what is a man? Leaving his eight-year-old son at home to go get beer? What is going on? Well, he was starting to have memory issues and he was self-medicating. He knew there was something wrong and you know. So that whole legal process and the gratitude of him not having hurt anyone, but also the embarrassment of being in the legal system and you know, at the courthouse running into a lawyer who is a patient of his and just you know, cars being impounded and all kinds of things Stressful, insanity.

Laureen:

After the second DUI. We agreed through the courts that my husband would seek medical treatment and we went up to Mayo Clinic in June of 14. And Kevin went through you know everything a PET scan, a spinal tap, cognitive and behavioral testing, ekg and so on. Ekg's, hearing tests, everything. And sadly what they discovered was he was diagnosed with young onset dementia comma, non-alzheimer's comma mixed. I'm still trying to determine exactly what that means, but I do believe that there is a vascular component to his issue and I do believe there was an alcohol-contributed component.

Laureen:

But here we are a decade later and one doctor gave my husband five to eight years, another gave him five to 15. Is my husband? Well, not by any stretch of the imagination. He's bedbound. He's been nonverbal for several years. He aspirated on food in December of 21 and he almost died. And last year our beloved caregiver took a month off, well deserved. Again, my husband. He was emaciated and constipated and dehydrated and very near death, and the caregiver had been able to nurse him back to his status quo. It's been a gigantic roller coaster ride of horrendous hardships and beautiful Godwinks along the way. One thing I'm thinking of, so I'll just pop in there. We've had the same caregiver for closing in on six years now and this gentleman, a stranger, came and sat at my table six years ago and I'm signing our life away as the way it felt financially. And so you know. Fill out the forms, okay, what's your birthday? And I state my husband's birthday. My husband and his caregiver share the same birthday.

Laureen:

They were born 18 years apart and half a year later half a world apart. But they are old brothers. Because this human being is just, they share everything. They're closer to each other than I am with my husband at this point and I will be forever grateful that this man came into our lives. And there's a thing called Hilarity for Charity, which is a nonprofit organization that supports people that suffer from young onset, dementia and other dementias, and they have a caregiver award and for the first time this year they gave out one non-professional caregiver award and one professional caregiver award.

Laureen:

I filled out all kinds of essay questions. My husband's two siblings filled it out as well and two of my seven siblings. So five of us applied on Roly's behalf and T, of course, one. So he got a grant of $1,500 and a beautiful, beautiful statuette that's like multicolored and kind of in the shape of a heart. So it's such a juxtaposition of heartache and beautiful Godwinks along the way that make me know with no uncertainty that we are not alone on this journey. And if I could do anything to help people in the future that might be facing this dilemma of young onset or any form of dementia, it is my aim to try to help.

Cathy:

You have just I mean just talking to you your heart is so you feel my heart. You feel my heart with your positivity, your inspiration, lorraine, it just is unbelievable. You know, I'm sure there are tons of challenges that you face each and every day. Can you tell us about some of the ones that you face and how you maintain this positivity? I mean, first of all, everybody you're listening to Lorraine right now and she's. She has COVID, she's isolated in a room, probably not feeling well, and she's still delivered. You delivered such a beautiful inspirational message to all of us and sharing the story. So how do you do it?

Laureen:

Thank, you, faith is a huge component and we are blessed to have the help of an incredible caregiver so I can spend time on myself. Because, oh boy, december of 21 was the time that I came closest to tipping over the brink. December 12th, my husband choked and aspirated and he kind of clung on to life and our children came home for Christmas too. I think at the time we're living in Europe and they're just stressed from every angle, trying to be Mr, mom and Dad to my kids and trying to advocate for Kevin and trying to help my kids understand the situation, but also like so desperately needing more help and support from them than I felt like I was getting. So I would say December of 21 was the closest I ever came to teetering. And other than that, in the very beginning my husband was a dentist, he was a jack of all trades, he was the smartest man in many rooms, and here's, all of a sudden, I have to take over the homes, the cars, the business, the taxes, the hours of attorney, the children, the legal. I can't even describe how stressful it was. Something as simple, as you know some pump ejector, pump backup battery. What are these things? What do they do? Who do I call just the, you know sleepless nights of. We were always both kind of like do it yourselfers, and between the two of us there's not many things we couldn't figure out. But in this last decade I've been reminded so often how much I did really rely and lean on my husband. And now, this last decade of taking over everything, oh gosh, you know financial mistakes and personal mistakes and all kinds of lessons along the way, but I feel so empowered by the fact that I am an incredibly different and much stronger person than I was a decade ago. And so even in misery, there can be wonderful things, and that's what keeps me positive and that's what I cling to.

Laureen:

I'll give you one other example of a crazy guy. My husband has been in hospice for seven and a half years, october 1st of 17. It's supposed to be for the last six months of your life. And on one hand some people may think I'm taking advantage of the system. Right, it's supposed to be for the last six months of your life. Well, my husband is terminally ill and he continues to degrade, and he luckily, I guess I should say meets all the criterion for staying in hospice. One God Wing capped into many years ago.

Laureen:

She's not even Kevin's nurse anymore, but we get supplies delivered and it's always very kind of impersonal, isn't the right word. But they don't let you know your nurse's last name. It's just a name tag with first name. So I never knew her last name. I'm going along with life. I'm emptying out the bottom of a box of supplies and I see a paper at the bottom and it says Regina Janisak that's my maiden name. It's not that common. What are the chances? So the caregiver sharing my husband's birthday, the the nurse sharing my maiden name Just different signs along the way that, like, I just feel like I'm being slammed in the face by God because sometimes I can be pretty dense. But um, those are just like Signs along the way that I'm on the right path and that we're doing the right thing. Is it the best circumstances in life? So, absolutely not. Yet We've got to do and deal with what we've been handled, don't we?

Cathy:

I mean yeah. I have a couple of questions that I think that I want you to share the share with. If there's a caregiver that feels like I don't know if I can do, I can ask for help, or I don't know how to ask for help, can you tell us, we know, on 2021, you came to that, that turning point, who helped you find the help, and then how did you shift your mindset to say help is a good thing?

Laureen:

Okay, so the help came actually before 2021 because we've had Brolin since 18 and I just hired him because I have our youngest son was only in high school. At that point, our two daughters were living in europe. It was spring break and life has to go on. We our last family vacation we took to europe was in 17 and it was very obviously challenging for my husband. So I decided to take my son to europe over spring break to visit his sisters. And Through just another godwink, I'm a professional singer, excuse me, professional singer. I take lessons in the city and my voice teacher said hey, I know this one agency and they're great. So I contacted the agency. I live in the southwest suburbs of chicago. This agency is northwest. I don't couldn't even put on a map exactly where they are. They're miles and miles away from us, but I called them and that's how I we met up with roley, our beloved family member, caregiver person and it's like usually caregivers go through multiple people until they find that okay and that like after.

Laureen:

I should back up. Okay, the first caregiver coven ever had was through a boy scout link. My son was a boy scout and there was a mom of someone else on the troop and I hired. She taught english as a second language at a local college and I heard a beautiful, lovely hispanic woman who you know my husband six one. But at that point he was walking and talking and just couldn't be left alone, and so she cared for him for a couple of years.

Laureen:

Then again, we were so blessed we won a grant from hilarity for charity and for two Years they covered caregivers for me 25 hours a week so that I could continue working. But it was an absolute financial Windfall of help. Yet it was through an agency and I didn't know who was coming. I didn't know when they were coming, I didn't know if they were coming, I didn't know what they were going to walk out with. I, somewhere along the way a beautiful diamond bracelet gift of my husband's disappeared.

Laureen:

So I have been through the ringer with caregivers and I am sort of uh, I had on a more of a complacent personality than anything, and Since we had the grant, I was so grateful. I was very hesitant to To criticize or to request or to demand. You know the caregiving I really would have wished I had, and so, again, I'm so grateful for the help. Yet it was Two years of trauma, with All the shenanigans of the person showing up late so that I have to, like, speed into the city to get to work on time. And you know my husband's playing with his feet in the toilet while somebody's sitting at my table, you know, doing their homework or whatever. So I have been through the ringer and I did learn very valuable lessons on how to advocate, and we did have one or two bumps with roley in the beginning and I and we were able to through awesome communication, you know figure things out and be happily ever after.

Cathy:

Yeah, tell us about. Tell us a little bit about the lessons learned. If you had like, if somebody was looking down Now for help right now, what are some of the advice I heard grant? So I'm thinking financially, look for all the resources. Amen, yes, what other do you do? Set expectations? Do you ask good questions? What do you do?

Laureen:

Yes, all of that, and the importance of being in a support group, the importance of having your own counseling. If I could look back at my journey, what I would criticize of myself is I would wish that I could have stood up for myself and my needs and my husband's needs a little bit more adamantly. But again, I was so grateful to receive the help that I, you know, didn't want to rock the boat. But, um, you, you have got to speak for yourself. I'll give you one example of the one rocky thing I went through with roley. Um. So this is, say, five Christmases ago. Maybe you know it was that same Christmas 21, the one up where my husband was so desperately cleaning to life, the one that was so stressful. So he works for us 24. Seven holidays are double time. He has had less than 10 off in six years. Devoted, beautiful person. Roley says I have an elderly aunt, you know, heading back to the old country, this is the last time I'm going to see her. Can I go visit her on Christmas? Yes, of course I love you. You have family, you have a life.

Laureen:

Yes, um, but he went and then he was gone for longer than I thought he was going to be gone and he didn't respond to texts. And then I have my kids going Where's roley? And you know, like my kids are kind of point Picking at me and I'm picking at myself going oh my god, where is he? Blah, blah.

Laureen:

And it was so like trauma on top of trauma. He ended up coming in and apologizing, saying you know, I was driving, I didn't want to text and drive. That's smart, right. So, um, did I want to confront him? No, but I had my then you know, either high school or young college age son laying on the couch next to me, and so I sat down with roley at the table and I said you know, I absolutely understand that you need your, your free time, but I was very concerned when you didn't respond to me and from here on out, both you let me know when you're going and when you're coming and where you are. And to this day he has kept up better communication and we kind of like nipped that issue in the bud and In six years only having one situation.

Cathy:

That's all the less. Yeah, yeah, setting expectations and being, I think, what, what you haven't From what I can, just vision and just a short conversation, you have a good dose of being kind and respectful to the people and informing that family atmosphere as well as setting expectations. That's really a unique situation as well.

Laureen:

Yes, so I did not want to have that talk, but then I was so proud of myself because it's like my son's not interacting. But I know he has ears and he's in the other room and he hears me, and what a great way to like solve an issue with Communication. Nobody's screaming at each other, you know, I'm putting out what I need and and it was just win, win, win. Um, not always easy, especially for people that have more.

Cathy:

They're afraid of a person.

Laureen:

Yeah, they're afraid of confrontation as well.

Cathy:

Yes, oh my gosh. Okay, we're gonna switch gears just a little bit. I want to talk about the life of Lorraine right now, a day in the life. If you didn't have COVID right now and you had a normal everyday week, are you still working, Lorraine?

Laureen:

Yes, it is a seasonal job. I have been in the Lyric Opera Chorus for 36 years and it's kind of more off than on, especially post COVID. Actually, I'm supposed to be rehearsing tonight, but I'm here with COVID, so our season currently goes from like, say, august to April, with some time off in the middle, so a day I wake up, I have really kind of regimented like gratitude practice of prayers and reciting things like the Serenity Prayer. I'm Roman Catholic by faith, so Hail Mary and our Father, the glory be. I have different apps. One is the tapping solution, and every morning there's a free little two or three minute little pick me up that I start my day with. I have devotionals, one that is just a Catholic one, one that's a non-denominational Christian and one that's a caregiver, and I actually share the devotional daily with two other widow friends who have lost their husbands to my husband's same illness. I have a pretty religious yoga practice, although I will guiltily admit that I've had the last week off. I'm a very cerebral person, if you can tell, so the fact that there's a body attached is sometimes forgotten, and that could be really great. My intellect has gotten me this far, yet you can burn out and just the sitting on a mat and moving your body and stretching and connecting the head to the rest of the body is basically life-saving to me.

Laureen:

I'm an avid journaler. It started when my 30 year old was a baby and you got like a calendar as a gift and you'd put a sticker on there first, spit up, first food first, and then I started writing in the little squares and then I started writing a journal on each one of the kids and at this point it's morphed into just one journal where I verbally vomit everything. But it is.

Cathy:

You know, my dad did that. My dad has journaled.

Laureen:

My dad passed away.

Cathy:

He journaled for, you know, 40 years.

Laureen:

Yes, Are you the one who said he would do the time and the temperature too? Yes, the time is the date, the time, the temperatures. Yeah everything In your spirit. Somehow it's very cathartic to put your thoughts and your wishes and your worries out on paper. It kind of helps you organize and encourage them. So that is huge. Those are some of my daily practices. I love gardening, I love house plants, I love nature, I love decorating.

Cathy:

So what's your quality time look like with Kevin, your husband?

Laureen:

I. Ironically, it's awesome because I, like I said, I've never had to change a diaper. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yet sometimes I almost have to like block it into my calendar because I am a working person, I am a mother, I am a homeowner, et cetera, et cetera, and, you know, have to be so careful. I'm so glad that I haven't snuggled with him in the recent past because I never want to get him sick. But what I consider quality time is when he's in a special hospital bed because of bed sores that are luckily very beautifully managed at this point. But we crank that mattress up to accept the extra weight and we lower the mattress and I get in and I snuggle next to him and just the fact of his beating heart and the body on body contact comforts me and I have to believe it comforts him.

Laureen:

And I'll share one other miracle that relates to a story I was telling about the Hilarity for Charity Award that Roli just won. You had a little few minutes online on Valentine's Day and it's when I was actually out of town visiting my grad school mentor in California. But Roli was home with Kevin. There was a hospice massage lady visited him. That day. Kevin had a day of miraculous lucidity.

Laureen:

His eyes were bright, he followed people. Roli went to take a picture of him and he looked at the camera. Could he speak and jump and run? No, but I am not making it up. And again, I was half a country away, but the people that were in the home noticed it. It was remarkably noticeable. And then Roli admits to me oh, I gave him tiramisu and New York cheesecake, along with this insurer for breakfast. And I'm like is this a normal day's food? Happy, it's not, but I do believe that we are all made up of energy, which is why I try so hard to keep mine positive. And how did Kevin know that it was a special day Valentine's on top of this special award day? Yeah, no, but he was in on it with us. And again, I will be just forever grateful because that was a gigantic recent God wink.

Cathy:

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Oh, my gosh, people can't hear it on the podcast or can't see it on the podcast, but definitely can hear your smiles. You just lit up like there was no tomorrow. So it just is amazing and I think that's the biggest thing for me. Lorraine, when I started this podcast, I just wanted to go ahead and have a purpose, like you do, and being able to tell people that, yeah, it stinks, but there are always these little moments of joy, these small moments to embrace, and that's why caregiving can be so hard, but it can be such a beautiful gift. Yes, and definitely. Now I'm going to end today with just a couple of I call them like fire questions or just a fire question what advice would you have for a new caregiver, lorraine Thinking back when you said that Really comfortable with accepting help.

Laureen:

I'm a giver, I've been a giver, my husband was a giver, but it's a hurdle to jump to learn how to ask for and accept help. But the more you and I'm a kind of person, I think I'm more inward than outward. Usually so, and especially when I'm hurting, I tend to circle in on myself. But anytime I was brave and I reached out in any way, I was so fortified by the connection that we can have with other humans because it is scientifically proven, we are like pack animals and especially during COVID, didn't we all realize how traumatizing it was to be isolated from each other? So don't be afraid to ask for and receive help and to build your community.

Laureen:

All the years I've been married, going on 33 years and being a career person and a mother, of course you have to circle your wagons and prioritize your home and your kids and your job and so on my totem pole of priorities, friends fell farther down. But then, when I needed them, I'm like hello, hello, yelling into a vortex, and I realize you have to be a friend in order to have friends. So encourage yourself to reach out, because I have new groups of friends now and it is just hugely fortifying and fulfilling.

Cathy:

Yeah, that was my second question, so you already had ESP on this one. Because how do we? Because we shift and change. And then how do you go ahead and you are a new person when you become a caregiver, and so you go through loneliness and isolation and change, what can you tell a new caregiver, or even an existing caregiver when the roles are shifting? How can we go ahead and accept it and embrace it? I don't know, that's a hard question. I've never asked that one before, so this is just the first thing that came out of my mouth.

Laureen:

Okay, I have another tidbit that again I'm an intelligent person. But this was counterintuitive to me. I'm hurting. My inclination is to circle into myself. Yeah, and it's hugely helpful that I learned from another dear man who is in my caregiving support group because his wife has a young onset. When you are hurting, help someone else. So here's this guy. I don't know him from anywhere. This is a few years ago. I'm out gardening and he's like hey, I have something for you, Can I stop by? And he delivers me a box of cookies. And that's how I met this guy. So then I am now his co-pilot and when he drives all over the state of Illinois to deliver a box of cookies to other unfortunate souls who are caregivers to people with young onset dementia, it's like a team effort. We deliver the cookies, we visit with a person for an hour. What a great idea.

Cathy:

I mean, just think of what a box of cookies does to somebody. Yeah, it's funny because I have a one caregiver client that went back to volunteering because she was finding herself just so depressed and so isolated and your brain just starts focusing in on just that one thing and your brain always wants to go into that poor me state versus you have to go ahead and look outward. I really just envy you. I think this is. You are an inspiration for somebody that just keeps going. How many years have you been doing this now?

Laureen:

And it will be a decade, decades since diagnosis. The wheels started falling off 12 or more years ago 12 years, yes, and what was your biggest?

Cathy:

what did you see? That you, how you changed along the way. I'll end with that one. What was Lorraine like back 12 years ago to what Lorraine is now, and why are you so proud of yourself and I am proud of you myself, okay so in all of my self-help studies the whole world boils down to like two emotions.

Laureen:

I shouldn't say the whole world, but the emotional world boils down to two things love and or fear. And I in the early walk spent so much time living and loving out of a fear lens, and now I make a conscious effort to be positive, proactive and to lead with love.

Cathy:

That is so beautiful, so beautifully said, because it's so hard to go ahead and lead with or love with, fear it is. It is a terrible space to be in and that fear, then, is the fear for me. Behind the fear is anger and worry and resentment and guilt. Those are all bottled up. But when you make a conscious effort to go ahead and be in that positive space and loving yourself and loving everybody, that's helping you. It just probably makes the world of a difference. I think you would be a little bit alike.

Laureen:

I'm not that, I'm not where I aspire to be you, but I think I'm halfway up the hill by you, god bless and so also, like for his friend, is, as traumas could be in as terrible as the, you know, the totem pole, the worst end of the spectrum. Don't we deserve that in extreme on the other end, and so being able to. One time I was living a suburb of a city but I see two bunnies out in my backyard fromping and like they're playing like hops, leapfrog over each other, and it was just so ridiculous and delightful and childlike and joyful. Would I have noticed that a decade ago?

Cathy:

I'm not sure, but in the life I lead now it just brought me sheer joy to see such a silly little event occurring right in my backyard with two bunnies All that journaling and that gratitude, because you're training like you probably listened to my podcast about training your brain to go ahead and looking at it, and your brain can go so fast, it can easily go back so fast to the negative space and the hum and glum and sadness and all of that. But you have to have that intentional focus each and every day And-.

Laureen:

That's what brings me to one other idea.

Cathy:

I'm sorry, God no, keep going, yeah, keep going.

Laureen:

How you brain things in your mind and how you speak them out loud. We had a big scare yesterday. Roli came up and he's like oh my throat, can I have a COVID test?

Laureen:

And I'm just like, oh my goodness, my biggest nightmare would be if Roli got it, because we all know Kevin is so susceptible to my husband and it could have taken me down this like roller coaster path to hell. But instead of saying oh please, god no, and like taking it from a negative lens, I wrote in my journal I'm so grateful that Roli and Kevin have been spared. Like in present tense yeah, and how you speak to yourself in your own head, and how you speak out loud and how you write. I truly believe it makes a difference it does.

Cathy:

It does, and even as hard as it is for us to hear the diagnosis of our loved ones, at least we were able to get it and start treating it as soon as we possibly can. There's well. It comes down to the silver lining and everything you can choose to be. Look at the glass half empty, or you can choose to look at the glass half full. Oh my gosh, I could talk to you forever. I could, I could, I could. This has been really great and I just truly wanna thank you and I will put your name out in the podcast notes. And are you on any social media sites or anything like that where people could follow you? I can cut to that.

Laureen:

As a caregiver? No, but I am on Facebook as a person, so, and I do belong to different hair grooving, hair giving and grief groups through Facebook. Well, people could find it and. I am willing. If somebody really needed support, that's what I'm here to do. I believe so.

Cathy:

What do you think? Wasn't, lorraine, a breath of fresh air? What was your favorite pieces of the interview? I'm gonna share two of mine and I want you to go ahead and tell me what yours is. Drop me a message on Kathy Lynn Vann, or go ahead and share it on your social media site and, just you know, take me in on it. But here are my two pieces.

Cathy:

When I asked her, my very first one was when I asked her about what quality time looked like with her spouse, kevin. Oh my gosh, we were on a Zoom call together, so that's why you heard some of the echoing. But her face lit up with this big smile and remember, she had COVID, so she wasn't feeling well, and her eyes teared up as she was explaining her, getting into that hospital bed and snuggling with Kevin. Oh my gosh, my heart was just racing and bubbling at the same time. The second piece and this was like one of the first things I wrote down was at the very beginning. She talked about even in misery, there can be wonderful things, and I love the way she said it. That's what kept her positive and she says that's what keeps me positive and that's what I cling on to. Oh my gosh, that was like a drop mic moment, and so I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. And as always, my friend, you know I look for episodes that are going to go ahead and provide you with resources, give you tips and ideas, share experiences and inspiration, and Lorraine really did it for us today. So I hope this kind of gives you an extra boost in your step and gets you through the day with a different outlook on life. So until we meet next week, my friend, thank you again for listening to the caregiver cup podcast. Bye for now, all UPLしあげよう.

Overcoming Challenges in Caregiving
Navigating Challenges and Quality Time
Caregiving Journey
Finding Joy in Adversity