Thursday, November 30, 2017

10 Things to Do While Home With a Sick Spouse

Or significant other, relative, friend, or anyone else

Hub came down with pneumonia a couple of weeks ago. We thought it was a cold but the nasty cough lingered. He spent days with the TV on and eyes closed. 

What does a caregiver do for days home when the sickee (as opposed to sicko, which hub decidedly is not) does not require 24/7 constant care?

Here are ten suggestions (in no particular order) for anyone facing this predicament:

1. Spend money...lounge in your favorite chair, laptop in hand, multitasking - watch TV, listen to music, observe your significant other sleep. Buy anything. Doesn’t matter. Keeps you busy and stimulates the economy.

2. Cook. Jewish penicillin, a.k.a. chicken soup, is a must-have in a home inhabited by sick folks.

3. Watch TV. Don’t feel guilty. Be a couch potato. It’s part of a caregiver’s job and somebody’s got to do it. I reviewed a list of the 100 best movies of the 20th century. We watched All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity…oldies but goodies.

4. Clean the house. You can do it. I thought about doing it. A lot. But didn’t get further than feeling guilty that I wasn’t cleaning but should be.

5. Read. Magazines, newspapers, that book on the top of a pile waiting for attention…

6. Clean out your computer. Delete old emails, documents, pictures, anything and everything.

7. Create photo albums online, or better yet use real photos printed on real paper. Place them in real albums. If you are like me, there are boxes of old photos sitting in a closet patiently waiting for you to reach in, drag out the boxes, organize pictures and create photo albums.

8. Plan a trip or two. Not going anywhere is a good time to research where you want to go. Plan a getaway or two, maybe a day trip into the city to visit a museum or see a play or spend a day with friends, or a longer trip farther afield.

9. Catch up with family/friends/business associates/other humans. Call folks or send an email that is like an actual letter, with sentences and paragraphs.

10. If at a loss for something to do and starting to go stir crazy, there is the best modern time waster of all – social media.

To maintain sanity, there is one thing you absolutely should NOT do:

Do NOT under ANY circumstances listen to a 24/7 news channel. You will become anxious and fearful, the result a desire to take out your anxiety and nervousness on the nearest human – the poor sick guy or gal under your care.

And remember – this too shall pass.