That’s how I feel, anyway. I don’t have the best plan for dealing with stress. My typical response is to hide in the nearest mental closet until I think it’s safe to come out.
January. Oh let’s back up to December. My mother was in the hospital for a significant surgery. I have blurry memories of a meeting put on by the Alzheimer’s Association that included warnings on the possible effects of anesthesia. I take the notion of ‘don’t borrow trouble’ way too far. I’m not sure anyone could have prepared me for what happened next. We had many days that we did not think my mom would leave the dark, dreary, depressing nursing home. Thank you God, she did.
I’ve been reading a book called The 36 Hour Day. I sometimes feel like someone was watching us and writing a book based on their observations. If you have a friend or family member living with this disease, I highly recommend it. We had to make further adjustments in her level of care because she took a significant and permanent turn for the worse. On the days that were filled with guilt-laden comments, I would have been refreshed to hear that we were making the very best decisions for her. (Shameless plug: encourage someone this week who is assuming the responsibility of care for someone with dementia. It is a tough role, whether they reside in your home or in a facility.)
We moved her again, which meant another downsizing. She also had to live in a temporary apartment for a week. By mid-February we were dealing with anger, depression, frustration, exhaustion and much more. I will always be thankful for the supportive staff and some dear friends who helped us walk down a pretty solemn road. As I write this, she does still remember me and most of her immediate family. She is making some good friends and even seems to like the meals. Count your success wherever you can!
Take a deep breath in, exhaling slowly.
Our shoes weren’t dry yet before we received more bad news. A very close family member was diagnosed with cancer. I walked in circles around my House for days just wailing. The prognosis could be worse, but it could be much better. That story is still being written.
We had one final hurrah before summer. I landed in the hospital for several days after passing out. It has taken awhile but I’m now fully recovered.
What did I learn from these past six months? I think of the acronym WIN – what’s important now? I read an article recently that was about drowning. It said a drowning victim rarely yells for help. They are using every single breath to stay afloat. They don’t have excess lung space to yell. That is a bit of a description for why I haven’t been blogging. Any energy left over was spent trying to get some much needed rest. I knew it would come. Chaos, no matter how much there is, never lasts forever.
If you are in a similar season, focus on the biggest priorities. It is good to offer an explanation to family and friends of your situation. The deep relationships will be there when things calm down. For now, take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so you can offer your best… Not your leftovers.
Thank you for your patience with me!