Monday, September 19, 2011

Keeping It All Together

Life can be hard enough to keep track of without throwing in a major illness like cancer, but when it does, keeping things together is a little bit of a challenge.  I’m not even talking about emotions here, I mean the new lifestyle you have just acquired.

My husband and I tried really hard to keep things as routine as possible for my son.  Everything I had read emphasized the importance of doing so.  So, with the help of my family and friends, we were able to get him where he needed to be.  But how could I know where to get him to and who was getting him there, when all I could think about was where I needed to be and who was getting me there.

I cannot begin to explain how the mind works.  But, for me it’s hard to focus on so many things at once, especially when some of those things have a much louder voice.  Often times the less demanding parts of life would fall through the cracks.  No one really expected me to keep up at a normal pace, except for me of course.  But now there were just too many things for one mind to keep track of.

Music, 4H, Art, FLL Robotics, Scouts, field trips, birthday parties, sleepovers, doctors appointments – in town, out of town, tests, lesson plans, payroll, board meetings, work….Did we have family prayer?  Did I buy groceries this week?  I don’t think we have milk for breakfast. What did he just say I have to do?  What does that mean?  Are you going to remember that?  I think I just glazed over.

Luckily I found a few very helpful tools, and I want to share them with you.

1.      Google Calendar!  A great friend I home school with turned me onto Google Calendar before all this and I am so glad.  You can create calendars for every member of your family and have them show up on one screen.  You can set up reminders to be sent to your email or phone.  This was God sent.  I could not have functioned without it.

2.      A good old fashioned divided accordion file folder.  Every appointment and test you go to, you will have notes, pamphlets, paper work, test results, receipts, business cards, etc.  Keeping them together in a file folder is the best way I found to keep track of vital information that could otherwise get lost.   File Folder

3.      A small voice recorder.  I know this may sound odd, and I will admit I felt silly taking it out during my appointments.  But let’s face it, it is really hard to digest everything we hear while sitting on an exam table.  Digital Voice Recorder

4.      A big purse or small bag to keep it all in.  I used an old purse that worked perfectly.  I kept my folder, a current copy of my Google Calendar (you can print them), my recorder, my wallet, and whatever else would fit inside it.  Everything I needed went in this bag.  If I took it out, I made sure to put it back – that way when I was rushing out the door, everything I needed was already in my bag.

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