While this winter was hard on me, it was not problem free for Clara either. Clara always had a hard time making it through the winter without a lingering head cold. We both were happy when the warm spring weather appeared. Clara was approaching five years on dialysis and many would comment on how remarkable it was that Clara was still alive. I would give my running joke that I was told Clara would only live for two years on dialysis, and here it was almost five, I should have gotten that in writing. Yes, I know it is sick humor, but whatever it took to keep going!
By this time Mike was married and out of state, Zack involved with college, so Andy and I had more opportunities for travel. We had our annual April trip to New York for a long weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Andy won another five day trip from his job, this time to Arizona the beginning of May. Mike and Tanya wanted us all to go to the Bahamas for a long weekend the end of May. Then in August we had our annual beach trip with my family. I could not believe all the traveling we had lined up. Then friends of ours were organizing a group to go on a Caribbean cruise in December. I felt greedy having so many trips planned but thought it was cool that we were at a point in our lives where we could travel; well except for Clara and Carly. For the New York and Arizona trips Zack could arrange his college schedule to still care for the dog. Clara wanted to stay in her apartment, so it was a matter of having her cared for during the day and Zack would put her to bed in the evening. Her daughters helped a bit more with that. Of course, even away we would have to call Zack each night close to Clara’s bed time on his cell phone to remind him to put his grandmother to bed. We kept the December cruise quiet until after our August beach trip. We thought of the problems we had the past two years with vacation time and knew the increased amount of travel would not be greeted happily. With the cruise being the second week of December, I felt confident with us traveling during a busy holiday month; it would be met with even more resistance.
I was Clara’s full time caregiver for 8 years. I mentioned earlier in this blog that I am posting exerpts from my book, Life with Clara – One Caregiver’s Journey. My goal has always been that my experience and honesty could help others in this life changing role. My entire account is available at www.createspace.com/3469034