A brief note to my readers

You’ve likely noticed a pretty significant drop in my output of late, and I’d like to explain why.

First off, I’m spending a great deal of time and energy in caring for my mother, who is 94 and was recently diagnosed with moderate dementia. She has severe mobility issues, still live alone in the family home, with my sister living next door and me about 25 minutes away. My sister is pretty sick too with a fairly rare autoimmune disorder and associated flare ups and consequent conditions that especially of late have rendered her less than able to do all she typically does. Hence, I’ve been there a lot handling issues and daily concerns, including estate and insurance stuff related to the estate of my late father. It’s a lot and is both physically and emotionally exhausting, so my energy for doing this work is pretty depleted, though I’m still up by first light most mornings to try. 

Second, my finances are disastrous right now; my consulting practice, always slow at this time of year, has been downright anemic and I’m scrambling for every dollar. That takes time and energy, too. 

Third — on top of everything else, my own health is not great. Diabetes complications like neuropathy in my feet and fingers makes it very hard to do certain daily tasks and adds to my exhaustion at the end of the day. There is, also, a cognitive problem going on — short term memory issues and ability to negotiate complex thinking at times aren’t easy to deal with, and I’m usually pretty much in a fog by late afternoon and evening on many days. (Not saying more about this issue, and not entertaining advice. I know what’s going on. Some of it is aging, some of it is not. Right now, that’s all I’m going to say.)

I recently received an award for a history of achievements and support of poetry in this area. It was sweet, but I’m unable to think of it as other than a “lifetime achievement award.” Can’t help thinking the the timing is about right for that. (A joke, but more than a little sobering.) 

Still, I’m plugging away at a full length manuscript; still doing readings; still producing work and maintaining my Patreon site as an alternate way of getting work out there and generating income. I’m still here, and I hope that certain things my sister and I are doing to bring professional in home care to my mom will ease some burdens in relatively short order. 

Thanks for reading. Still here, a little slower than before, but still going. I’ll be here as long as I can be. Promise.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

5 responses to “A brief note to my readers

  • Léa

    I’m so sorry that you have these trials. Furthermore, it saddens me, not to mention fills me with anger, that in such a wealthy nation there isn’t adequate healthcare for those who need it. Here in Europe, there would be home help carers who come in and do cleaning, cooking, shopping, and whatever else is needed to enable the individual to remain at home as long as possible without such hardship to the family. It is part of America’s shame. The services mentioned are just part of our basic health care. Should more be required, the resources are available and can be smoothly set in motion.
    Your friends will always be glad of any new posts you issue but you must take care of yourself as well. Taking care of the infirm can take so much from the carer. Write when you can. Keep your journal going, even word by word. You will be glad that you did, and learn a lot about yourself on this journey.
    My great-uncle’s second wife had Alzheimer’s. The job of the caretaker was placed with me for nearly three years. I wish I had kept a journal then…

  • Eileen

    Hated putting “like” on this. I’ve been on both sides of this, your mom’s and currently my own struggle with words and memory issues and trying to stay on top of finances. When my husband was so ill, Medicare paid for in home help.. I realize Medicare and Medicaid are complicated if you own your home or have money. And it takes a lot of money to get the kind of care people need in their old age. I can see the end of my money if I live over four more years. I will have to live with one of my children and since we had my mom for seven years, I really don’t want to do that to them. Your writing has been meaningful to me through some hard times. Thank you. You are in my thoughts and prayers and also your family.

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