Writing After a Medical Crisis Hits Your Loved One
Last month’s article, How Do You Write When a Medical Crisis Hits, discussed how to keep on writing in the midst of dealing with an elderly parent being hospitalized. Once your beloved senior has been released from the hospital though, your interrupted writing should be back on course, right? Not necessarily. Even though they are at home, there are still plenty of caregiving needs to keep you too busy to get to your computer. There will usually be follow-up visits to the doctor on a regular basis along with physical therapy appointments two – three times a week. Plus your senior parent will probably need extra help doing household chores, gardening work, and running errands. What’s a writer to do?
- Get organized. Make sure all the appointments are on the calendar, along with reminders about your senior parent’s household chores and gardening needs. Be sure to pencil in planned writing time for yourself as well. If you have it in your calendar, you’re more likely to stick to it. And by having everything in the calendar, you can be more organized and make better use of spare moments for short bursts of writing.
- Delegate when possible. Does the budget allow for a part-time housekeeper or a gardener? If so, spending an hour or two picking one or both out can save you several hours over the next few months as your senior parent recuperates. If this is not an option, make good use of the time working at these types of chores by listening to educational podcasts and books in your mp3 player.
- Don’t forget to jot down ideas garnered from the whole surgery and recovery experience. No matter what your genre, there is probably plenty of interesting material you’ll be able to use at some point in your writing career. Take good notes about what lessons you’ve each learned, what advice you’d like to pass on, what things you might do differently in the future, etc. Remember, if you don’t take notes during the process, you may easily forget with so much going on.
- Just as you did for the hospitalization, make sure you take your smartphone, iPod, and/or netbook with you to the various appointments. One thing you can usually count on with any doctor appointment is wait time. This can be a great opportunity to update your social media sites or do some simple research via your smart phone, write an article on your netbook or notepad, or keep learning new writing and marketing tips as you listen to your mp3 player.
Writing while dealing with caregiving issues can certainly be a challenge. When those caregiving issues escalate and require extra time and attention, it’s easy to let your writing be totally disrupted. But if you plan ahead, stay proactive, and make good use of bits of free time, you really can continue to combine caregiving and being a writer…albeit somewhat interrupted.