Archive for Caregiving – Page 2

Peace – The Greatest Gift of All

Peace! The Greatest Gift of ALL

Peace. Seek Peace. Be the stillness. Be at Peace. Calm the waters of your mind. Find peace and then visualize.

Years back when my soul journey began in earnest, there was a popular song titled The Greatest Love of All.  I challenge you now — to revise that old line to The Greatest Gift of All — for it is in Peace that we find everything we need. EVERYTHING. I’ve asked myself for years now: What is really in the way of getting results. Whether it is finding a job, lining up enough clients, monetizing my website, getting help for my hubby, selling, buying, staying sane, having fun, keeping any momentum on anything….the ONE KEY to it all is PEACE.

Peace on Mt. Erie - a magical morning

Peace brings a calm clarity leading to effective action.  This is a magical Sunrise at Mt. Erie, WA

It is obvious to me that the last 9 years of caregiving have made Peace rather elusive and results even less stellar.  So many big things. You know that list of high stressors? That list of the biggest stressors in life? When you have nearly all of them on your plate and the world seems to be saying “Let’s just see how much you can take, little lady”, all you can do is keep going and keep juggling. Until instead of dropping a ball, you just sit down and bawl. Still, there must be a solution… Read More→

Self-Nurturing Day 4 – Do something new

Self-Nurturing Project Day 4 was all about taking care of that which needed attention.

Self-Nurturing Day 4 - Visible Results

Day 4 – Do something new to you

Self-Nurturing Day 4 is about visible and invisible results – back to a state of grace – back to being all that one is. Self-Nurturing Day 4was all about growth and stretching.  If you don’t know you can do something, and then you do it well, it feels good.
I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone. I did some things I don’t normally do. I fixed the grout in 2 bathrooms, then I caulked a couple places. This sounds simple if you know what you are doing. I don’t.  I finally decided I had to take care of it. I was committed. If I was buying a house, I’d look at all the little things as part of my decision. The cracked grout made a gorgeous bathroom look old and worn. It’s pretty good, eh?

I felt happy when I finished this little project. It didn’t take long. It had been bothersome for a long time. Doing it accomplished 3 things: 1) stretching my skills, 2) visual sense of accomplishment and 3) a little boost of confidence.  Sure there were a couple moments, but easily handled. And the beauty is I know – as a woman – that doing this is going to help sell the house.  That gives me a bit more peace and hope.

Good Job, Kiddo!

And there’s more Self-Nurturing Day 4.  This Self-Nurturing Project is already becoming a gift.

In Your Greatest Gift, by Richard Dotts, I am daily reminded of the value of going deep into peace. Many are immersing themselves into books and thought on manifestation. It’s always been somewhat elusive to me – but the key is revealed in this work. Thus, each morning, I ask myself the following question in the quiet zone:

  1. What one thing can I do today to nurture me?

I follow it with other solution questions and especially this one:

  1. What one thing can I do today to fulfill my needs?
Self Nurturing Day 4 - plan your work

Self-Nurturing Day 4 – Learn from the Masters

Today’s Self-Nurturing Project – Day 4 of 365 Days of Self-Nurturing found me studying the copywriting masters. It began with a Facebook post by a new writer.  As I answered, I dug up some information. It led me to study – seriously study from the masters. AND create my reading list for 2016.  This is important. This is critical. I need to make some lasting changes. And I am focusing again.

I am a writer. I’ve been writing since 7th grade. It was my way. I returned to writing as my need for self-expression (without interruption) grew. When I write, no one edits me before I finish my thought. No one cuts me off before I hit the last period. It is a journey into self-expression as a healing art. Then it became a career. I wrote letters, training,  and articles for non-profits. Then the technical revolution hit and there was more money to be made serving software, aerospace, and financial corporations.

Journey ==> Journaling — Get it?  My high school English teacher, Mr. Foubert, had us write in a journal every day. We had to turn in our journals for review. Mr. Foubert mocked mine at first. It was all emotional stuff until I learned what he wanted: Essays on stuff that matters in life. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but he taught me to think. He taught me to look deeply for understanding and to discuss meaningfully.   Mr. Foubert ignited my passion for real writing – essays about life, about worthwhile issues, about how to express in a meaningful way. Mr. Foubert taught me to think, to review, to write.   We learn from the most unexpected situations, right?  

After several short-lived career attempts, writing became my career. I wrote letters, training,  and articles for non-profits. Then the technical revolution hit and there was more money to be made serving software, aerospace, and financial corporations.  And always, I wrote in my journal. 

Haven’t you often done something because it was fun and fulfilling – and later thought about how to transition into doing that for a living? That’s what I did. Back then, the act of writing was the self-nurturing project that worked for me. Thus, Self-Nurturing Day 4 involves journaling and writing — and learning to grow. The commitment here is to study from the masters. I made my list. I have the beginnings of a clear plan. It matters not that it’s not crystal clear yet. It’s still a beginning and it’s only Self-Nurturing Day 4.

What comes easy to me is as a hobby requires a focused study if I am to make this work.
2016 is getting off to a hot start and I want to ensure I survive.  My list will guide me.

That said, this is a great time to introduce an inspiration for me. Meet Lori Morgan Ferrero – She’s the Red Hot Copy lady who ignites passion with purpose in her writing.  Studying from the masters is the way to go. If you are looking for a great retirement income, check out her books. While I’d rather everyone hire me, I’ll have to admit I learn much from the inspiration of others and Lori is at the top of my list. She’s got the women’s perspective, she’s classy, and she’s a spark of red hot positivity.

Part of self nurturing is expanding the brain. Doing one thing every day that I don’t normally do may become a habit. I highly encourage anyone reading this to consider it as part of your recovery from stagnancy.

365 Days of Self-Nurturing

Self-Nurturing – 365 Days

Self-Nurturing is My Journey back! 

Self-Nurturing is listening

The message lies within

A Journey Back to Self is 365 Days of Self-Nurturing, Self-Loving, Self-Awareness. It’s just time. This is the beginning. It’s the time of year when people make resolutions and buy little daily guides. 365 days of Self-Nurturing is my attempt to help caregivers journey with me. In self-help groups across the land, people have little daily readers that serve as their serenity guides. In self-help groups, we learn to self-nurture. In other words, we don’t rely on others outside of us to do what is only ours to do. I’ve found that caregiver’s needs something a bit different. This is the twist as 365 Days of Self-Nurturing is one older woman’s quest for relighting a flame that serves as guide and mentor. This is the key to nurturing. A Daily program from self-caring — for if we don’t do for ourselves, it’s not going to get done.  I’m all I’ve got when it comes to taking care of me. This is for me. And for all caregiver’s. It is my hope that anyone who thinks they have reached the end of their life rope that they find my words helpful to just keep going.

Self-Nurturing is not Selfishness — it is a healthy self-centered way to give to others. 

This is my 2016 Project – to restore, renew, reawaken. To rebuild. To become again

“the Me that I want to be”  Read More→

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Sleep Deprivation

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not the same as the sleep deprivation! 
Ever done an all nighter? Whether it was work related, school studies, or a night of partying, the body shows the same signs after a while.

I woke really tired this morning. I’m grateful that it’s just a day and it won’t be a lifetime. 

Running on Empty

Running On Empty

David Avocado Wolfe writes about the fatigue young Mom’s experience – putting it into an interesting light. What he doesn’t mention is the common misunderstanding of Chronically Fatigued or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Here’s David’s article: Torturing New Mothers

His article screams  to me of how fatigue is not the same as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The differences between the disease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and serious sleep deprivation are vast — mainly because getting enough sleep cures one and not the other.

Read More→

Be Wary of Fad Diagnosis

Fad Diagnosis – even doctors and science can’t agree. 

We hear it over and over. Some new diagnosis that suddenly everyone has or knows someone that has and thus, we need to get tested. In this article, I intend to provide my thought process for debunking fads and following sciscience-baseddical resources. I’m also providing links to credible sites where you can do your own research. 

Whether it is IBS, Leaky Gut, MTHR Gene, Hashimoto, RSD, ABC…  you know where I’m going here.  But what you don’t know is that these fads start somewhere.  When we get desperate for a solution, we buy in. And when we buy in, we lose time and a lot of money. But the worst part is we lose hope.  And that is the one thing we can’t afford to lose.  While I do a lot of research on what to do for my loved one, I try hard to avoid the arguments that erupt over what many call quackery or fads and others claim scientific proof.  Fad Diagnosis are those ideas that suddenly everyone has.  Remember when suddenly all the kids had to be checked for Attention Deficit Disorder — a new disease? Or was it too much structure and too much sitting around?  Remember when no one had a gluten intolerance but ate wheat moderately? Now it is more popular than ever to claim a gluten intolerance.  These are fads.  Maybe there is a little thread of validity?  


When it comes to Fad Diagnosis Read More→

Caretaking or Caregiving: The Difference


Caretaking or Caregiving: The Difference

The Differences are subtle yet powerful! 

CareTAKING is not CAREGIVING. In Al-Anon I learned the difference. It was a challenge. Many misunderstood the whole concept and decided that doing anything for anyone was caretaking and should be avoided. But CFS / ME / SEID or any chronic illness dictates a different view. 

The challenge is that the one needing help simply gets frustrated and patience wanes. The one giving care and help often fails to practice self-care first — thus gets tired, frustrated, and annoyed at every little request. There must be both a balance and a shared understanding of how to communicate.  

When I learned the subtle yet powerful differences, I learned to set boundaries, ask for help, accept the choices I made, and stop finding fault with others who did nothing. I also learned that many people view caregivers as weak, less than, and inferior while they do nothing to help.  It’s a weird dichotomy. 

As a Caregiver, one of the key things we must do constantly is remind ourselves of our personal value. That means we work daily at self-acceptance. 

As a Care Receiver, we must do the same type of thing. One doctor called it perfectly. Leave who you WERE behind you. Live today and stop thinking about what you used to do. It’s too painful.  Focus on what you can do today. Find something that grabs your attention and during your good periods, do it. 

For that to work, communication between the Care Giver and Care Receiver is essential.   
Here’s my latest article on that very issue. See — many people say some weird stuff. All relationships have issues here or there and it takes a LOT of self-awareness and mindful self-evaluation to sort through the emotional demolition that goes on as a caregiver. It’s hard on everyone. And sometimes, the care receiver forgets. They can’t always help it. 


© Cammeraydave | – Message In A Bottle Contact Photo

A Letter to the CFS

I write because it helps me get clarity. If it helps me, it may help you whether you are giving or receiving care. We are truly in a different world.  Many friends see me as this awesome giving person. I see me as a loving wife and daughter who did what needed to be done. 



Getting Mobile: A mobility challenge

liteRiderPTCrotatingPicMobility Challenges are becoming a hot topic. As we age, we’ll look at it in terms of an aging issue. But it is the reality for many who suffer from chronic, enduring issues. Many take years to realize the value of a mobility device because the disease is so little understood. 

It’s been a long road to get my husband back into activities. It’s been a delight to see the instant changes when he was able to get out and enjoy being out of the house. With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, the hardest thing to do is pace activities or exertion levels. While most common folks think that a little exercise can invigor someone and lift their spirits, this defies logic. 

I’ve been active all my life. I am a high energy girl who has more energy than many half my age. People ask me how I do it. I don’t even know!

But when the spouse needs help getting through a grocery store, standing for a couple minutes to gab with a friend, or walk the distance from the parking lot to doctor’s office — there’s a problem.

Our solution led to the knowing that a little help goes a long way.
If you need mobility help, this little gem might be your solution too.

The biggest hang up is insurance won’t cover it.

JAN – Job Accommodation Network

There is a Job Accommodation Network? Run by USDL?  Why is this not readily available? Who knew???
There is an organization that helps retrain and retain workers with disabilities and it is in the US.  They help employers understand and accommodate. But they also help the disabled find a way back to working.  It’s really not my thing, but I was looking for something and ran into this. I wanted to better understand the ADA.  It does so much more than force businesses to provide bare minimum wheelchair access! 

(Which needs an amendment badly. I watched a man in a wheelchair get stuck in narrow grocery checkout aisle. Another time, it was apparent that the wheelchair stall in a bathroom was poorly conceived. The restaurant patron stated that he could get in the stall, but couldn’t close the door)  

Yes, it is part of our government services as part of the US Department of Labor: About JAN

JAN the Job Accommodation Network.

There is help out there. Wonder why this information is not made readily available. 

An Employer’s Guide to M.E: HOPEFUL

Chronic, Fluctuating, Debilitating – crazy-making. But wait, there is a tiny little speck of light amidst the darkness. 

Yes, there is every reason to keep looking for it. For Me! To take care of Nancy! Not to keep looking for a cure or a cause but to keep looking for a reason to be, do and have the best in my life. 

My favorite doctor amidst a pile of some 30 different doctors over the past 8 years has now told me, the caregiver, to stop looking. Stop seeking. Stop driving myself crazy. STOP

START thinking about and ACTING on what I CAN DO.   Read More→

Quick Tips to Pick Yourself UP from Despair

Happy Coach

Happiness Coach Nancy Lamb

Breaking the Downward Spiral

Many of you know how tough it is to break a downward spiral. But did you know there is a way to reprogram your brain? Did you know that some simple mind games can trick your happy factor to wake up?

Goodbye Darkness, my false friend

I’m happy as I write this, but I’ve not always been. In fact, there were times that despair was actually comfortable. Yeah, we all have down days, but the darkness for a time was my friend. Just like the song, I’d fall into a funk that could easily be sung …”hello, darkness my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you gain…” Yep, we all have those times. No one is fully immune. But I learned .. I learned after dealing with the darkness that it truly is all about me. How I think. How I perceive. Whatever is going on, I can focus my thoughts. I can train my brain — and so can YOU. Yes. YOU. Happyhammer_dreamstimefree_237722

Certain Useless Emotions…

First of all, guilt and shame are about the most useless emotions on the planet. If you feel guilty, do something about it. If you feel shame, you’ve got some inner work to do. You need to first own it, but then you need to delete it. Shame is what other people put on you. Shame is what you were told you should feel when you didn’t meet some one’s expectations — even if they were constantly changing.  Shame wreaks havoc in you inner world. And you need to eradicate it. Shame is absolutely useless. It gives your power to those who wish to dominate you.  Most often, you have nothing to feel ashamed about.  Guilt, maybe. Shame is purely a way of validating those who chose to make you feel inferior – even if it is yourself.  But when you let yourself feel shameful about things that happen, you are adding to your despair.

Every time you think about shameful beliefs, you add fuel to the pile of despair. It’s like taking a bite out the pity pie.  It makes you feel worse. Every time! 

Enough of that. A friend said it best: Shame is just a false sense of guilt turned towards oneself . 

How do you get rid of it?   You’ve got to answer the hard questions. What did you do? Anything? Could you do something differently? Can you really control what other people think? Probably NOT. 

Part of my Reality: How I know this stuff works

For a time, after an estrangement from my loved ones, I was feeling hopeless and depressed. I’d learned that my family no longer wished to do family holidays. I delivered 2 large bags of gifts  – gifts that stretched my budget – and it was then I was informed that this family had decided we would no longer exchange gifts either. OUCH! Thanks for telling me!  I suddenly got it! It wasn’t just that year they were going out of town. They were flat out done with family holidays.  In some ways, they were done with extended family gatherings.  Hold on – there is a gift in this, else why would I bring it up? I was faced with a choice. I could stay miserable — or I could fight my way out of the despair.  

What I did with the pain actually created miracle after miracle. Eventually.  No one is immune to this kind of pain.  Once I learned the gifts I received from this, everything changed. 

That’s why I write today.  These tips will take you from despair to happiness, maybe even bliss. It’s not about food or exercise. It’s about mind games that flip your switch. 
We are going to hammer your happy track into a habit. And just like any new habit, you need to commit to 5 weeks to make it real.

The message to me set off on a spiral downwards that was extremely hard. Wouldn’t it do the same to you? I have a small family. I have one brother. His family decided they no longer wanted to do family holidays. 

Oh my God!Guess what? It was such a gift! It was hard to get my heart and my head around it, but it was a true gift. Freedom to create that which makes me happy! Freedom to have a life without judgement. Freedom to be me, accept those who cherish me, and stay away from those who sneer at me.  Yes — a gift. 

NO Pollyanna Here

Before I go off on what you might think is a Pollyanna Puff of superficial happiness, let me explain. Seriously, I am the last person to pull the Pollyanna crap on people. But I do believe there is always a gift inside pain. Something that causes us to go forward to become a better person. And I am not talking about getting sober, quitting drinking or other destructive habits that change one’s true persona. I am talking about finding an inner source of reality.

Lessons learned

What I learned from that painful episode stays with me now, some 14 years later. It had already been an acrimonious situation where several times, I felt excluded and hurt, but the mixed messages made me question my sanity.  Yes, they are family, but their actions are entirely different than their words. The questions I used to ask myself are telling, but more important was what I finally did! That’s where we really start!  

The questions: 

What do you want?

Why do you keep going back, expecting different results?

Why did you accept invitations, show up where you felt uncomfortable, do caregiving, buy gifts, do things for others instead of taking care of yourself? 

What’s really behind all your hurt?  What you wanted, what you wanted to give, why you felt so hurt or humiliated when those you loved turned you away.  

Isn’t it always about wanting to be valued? Wanting to feel worthwhile? Wanting to be a part of a unit?  So what can you do today, to build that for yourself in your world? 

Sure this stuff hurts, but it teaches you to value YOU. 

It might be old stuff. It might be going on now. As the holidays approach, it all comes back. It always comes back, right? And even when it’s not just in your head – say you get a phone call or an email – or someone dies and the funeral is packed with family triggers. It always comes back because you are a human being not a robot. 

You can’t reason this one out, folks. You can’t find logic where there is none. In my experience, I can not find anything in my behavior or history that would cause me to deserve such treatment, but I continued to look. For years, I self examined. In other words, I ripped myself apart trying to figure out why. The bottom line: THERE IS NO WHY.

But that leads to the Quick Tips to eradicate the negative thoughts, self flagellation, chronic pain, and emotional self destruction. That’s just what it is. Self destructive thoughts designed to create answers where there is none. Now, I know many folks out there have some amends to make for actual harm they have done to others. But that’s not what I’m talking about.


Tips to Create Your Own Habit of Healthy Real Happiness


  • Focus on what you do well
  • Learn something new
  • Be present in the now
  • Look for ways to add value
  • Look in Your EYES and SMILE at yourself with Love
  • Go Outside and Play
  • Make some art or craft
  • Do something you enjoy (and don’t I CAN’T yourself out of it. – JUST DO IT AS BEST YOU CAN TODAY ) 
  • Do something for yourself
  • Do something for a friend or a neighbor
  • Be mindful: If you get a stinking thought creeping in, notice, say ERASE and REPLACE it with something good.
  • Daily Gratitude List to start each morning
  • Daily Happy List each night



If you are feeling stuck, like you can’t crawl your way out of a wet paper bag, you’ve got some inner work to do. Really, if you are totally depressed, you might see a counselor. And on top of that, you might start your own personal rewiring program to retrain your brain.  Some is unconscious. Some are conscious. All day, every day, watch your thoughts.  Keep looking for what is good, and keep reminding yourself of the value you have added to the day, you create a stronger foundation for long term survival of the darkness.  

Sure living healthy is a huge part of this. Daily exercise, daily nourishment for the body, mind and spirit is essential. 

No amount of stinking thinking can be overcome by good food, enough sleep and exercise alone.   You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to make the decision to change your mind in order to kick it into happy factor. It’s up to you.

 The Long and Short of it is it’s up to you. You have to fight your way out of the cavern, claw by claw to a place where you come to love yourself no matter what anyone else says or does. Love YOU no matter what happens in your life. Stop berating yourself for anything. Start loving yourself. Stand up for yourself when the stinking thinking kick’s into gear. 

In my coaching practice, the one thing I can’t fix is what you say to yourself. I can give you all kinds of ideas. I can share what I have done to retrain my brain. I can be honest that I am far from perfect. We can talk weekly or more often about how to change your life. If you are a caregiver, you know the ups and downs that are the emotional rollercoaster of your daily life.  The downs are devastating and the moments of bliss are fleeting. But you know you will ride the wave. We all do. It’s how well we master it that makes the difference. 

These tips make it work. For me, a daily glimpse of things I do well and enjoy, a daily review of gratitude notes, and a daily dose of getting outside all serve to fuel the flame of happiness. 

But it’s always, even on the days when I can’t get out of it, it’s always a look at what gifts are in the day .