Mental Health Ride

The excitement of the impromptu surprise party that my brother and sister-in-law threw for us was too much for the mother-in-law. By the late afternoon, she developed medical issues (not describable, but quite smelly) and I had to turn into a caregiver again.

I spent the evening and most of the night caring for her. My spouse…

…loves her, but with the effect of his past long-term illness on his Limbic system, he has no patience or stamina to deal with “old lady” internal gastric problems, as well as her declining mental state.

I slugged through the day on Monday doing what needed to be done to restore our household to some semblance of peace and comfort. Fortunately, the issues that MIL were having subsided by late morning, and I could settle her down with a movie while I took a break.

It was quite wet outside before lunch, so I decided to call some senior pals and offer to take them grocery shopping. I feel better when surrounded by older people who, well let’s say, are more “part of the present day,” but just need a little help with transportation.

When I returned home, I prepared lunch for the MIL and spouse. My brother and his wife were visiting more of our family, which I am glad they are continuing to do. (They decided not to go to church because they’re still angry over the incident on Christmas day.)

I got MIL settled with a movie in the basement, and the spouse retreated down there to keep an eye on her. Then he looked at me and said, “thanks for doing what you’re doing with Mom. I can’t handle it. But she’s okay for now — it is warm out, so go for a ride.”

That’s my spouse — he knows what will help me clear my mind from pressing concerns.

So I donned a new pair of padded leather breeches that I had made in Germany, favorite Chippewa Firefighter Boots, a leather shirt and vest, but no jacket. It was unseasonably warm — 68F (20C).

I checked my Harley sideways from Sunday (T-CLOCS), and all was well. Off I rode. I rode for about 90 minutes on backroads and byways of my home county. Not much traffic out, but a heck of a lot of other men and women on motorcycles who had the same idea that I did!Ride20151227When I returned home, things were quiet and peaceful. I changed clothes to my “at-home grubbies” and began to prepare my famously curative and healthful chicken soup.

Unfortunately, the remainder of the day went downhill from there. Time to go… caregiving calls again.

Life is short: maintain mental health with breaks when intensely caregiving.