Showing posts with label aides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aides. Show all posts

Peeking Out of the Cave

Do you feel like you are in a constant state of change? Sometimes I am afraid to put my feet down so to speak, as everything is bound to be different before I get them settled. Today will be different too, as each day is unique and yet redundant at the same time.

We do the same caregiving tasks over and over, day after day. Today, though I have the promise of an aide. And now that I have settled in to an aide-less routine, that means changing it all up again. It sounds silly and like it wouldn't matter, but it really does change a lot.

For instance, I want to make sure our laundry is sorted out because when aides are not coming regularly I do some of it together. I also have to get Chris fed, bathed or up (depending on his sleeping schedule) before the aide comes - or figure out when it fits in. I pretty much have to change the way I do my mornings since I have word he's really going to come. (His boss told him if he didn't show up today, she'd restaff him. Why she didn't say that to the one who is supposed to come 3 days a week I have no idea.) I'm trying not to get too excited about maybe getting to run outside or go grab a few groceries because you never really know.

I'm thinking it would be really nice if people just did their jobs. But today I'm wondering if that's just a bit much to ask. I really feel like aides, and maybe even others, don't really know their value. Maybe they think it's just a "job." They don't understand the break they can give us or how much it helps for them to tackle some of our daily chores. They just want to get their paycheck. But that is not in any way a demonstration of their true value.

When it comes to relieving the caregiver, a good aide is invaluable. They don't seem to get that. Even doing a couple loads of laundry, vacuuming or sitting with my son for a few minutes so I can run is worth more than anyone can pay. Especially if I get to run out and be free for a few minutes! They are not here long and I have to balance it all with work so I often have to choose between getting some errands done or going for a run. I also have to do everything with one eye on the watch because I have to be time conscious. But it can make or break my day. They don't understand the value in that.

As I am thinking about aides and how they can really make a difference for caregivers if they put just a little heart into it, I wonder if we underestimate our value to God, and to others for that matter. We can feel cut off and separate from society like we live in a cave with no real value to give. Ah, yes the caregiver's cave. It can be a humble, but safe place to be.  It can also be lonely and dark sometimes. And when we do dare to peek out - it looks so different out there.

Our days, our jobs, our lives can look so different, in fact that it's much easier to stay tucked inside rather than venture out to see what our lives appear to be lacking. I have to guard my attitude sometimes because I hear people outside my cave whining about what I consider a simple matter - an outside the cave matter. Looking at life out there can make me feel more alone - more separated, and of less value. But this is simply not true.

We are the apple of His eye - of great value. God didn't take anything back from us as His children because we became caregivers. Every single promise still holds true. We are still in the beloved, His son still died for us, we are still the righteousness of God in Christ. He still calls us His own. And the list could go on and on. We are still part of His greatest treasure.

Today, I am going to think about how valuable I am to God, even if I don't feel like it. Life may discard us - but He does not. I'll turn my thoughts to His great love for us - even caregivers - and aides. I'll meditate on the value He must place on us. I'll think about what it means to be His prized possession or to be precious in His sight. And that should fill my mind up today - as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Who's Got Your Back?

Have you ever felt like no one really understands? It seems like it hurts most when it's people who are supposed to be helping. For example, last week my son was up for re-certification in the Advantage program. I was sitting at the table with his case manager and the nurse who will be overseeing his case. They are cutting the hours an aide will come to help because they just don't see what needs to be done. They are cutting the aide from 17 hours to something like 6 or 8 per week. On one hand I could care less because I've found working with an aide to be more of a hassle than it's worth - unless you get a good one.

I was dumbfounded at the ignorance of the situation and I sat and just listened to them talk back and forth about the things the aide is and is not allowed to do. While there are some limitations there are plenty of tasks they can help me with, if they want to. Most of them just want a paycheck. I felt so unimportant and defenseless and very unsure of what to say. (Trust me - I've comprised a lengthy list to have on display now - it will not be an issue!)

Even though it seemed like a small thing I just felt like they didn't understand my situation, but they were supposed to. Aren't they on the team of professionals who are helping me be a good, healthy caregiver? And they don't know? It was one of those moments where as a caregiver I felt so overwhelmed, alone, and like I really don't matter. I felt defenseless and wasn't sure what to do. Should I take up for myself? I'm not one for whining - I am one for just doing. I'll move on without them, even though I shouldn't have to.

We advocate for our loved one probably on a daily basis. But who advocates for the caregiver? No one. I see organizations just trying to save a buck - and I'm frugal so I understand that. But they are sitting there talking about where they can make cuts and save - I felt like it was at my expense.

Then I found Psalm 141:8 where David said My eyes are toward You, O God the Lord; In You I take refuge, do not leave me defenseless. I think I could say that God has the caregiver's back. He sees what we go through and He understands us. The trick is letting it all go and letting Him handle it for us. Caregivers are typically more likely to just roll up their sleeves and get busy and then get busier when the going gets tough. But we must take our refuge in Him. The programs designed to help - are not our help. God is our help and He has our back.

Today I will take deep breaths and relax knowing that God has my back.  And I'll make a conscious choice to rest in Him today. Will  you join me?

There was a Crooked Man

Do you ever wonder why life can't be easier? Why can't things go smoother? Life can get so hectic - and do so suddenly with no warning at all. I'm sure you've had those days. You know - things are rocking along pretty good and Bam! Out of nowhere it's helter-skelter. Now it's anything but smooth sailing. And since the caregiver lives on the edge - it really doesn't take much, does it?

What do you do when life makes a sudden change? How do you handle it when the day is going along smoothly and the aide doesn't show, you realize you're out of wipes (that's serious y'all!) or you didn't get the right formula? Usually, the aide shows up fine as long as you don't plan anything, right? But decide you're going to run to the store for some necessities like coffee or toilet paper and she won't show up - guaranteed. We really do have to just laugh about it (later though because when it happens it's usually traumatic!).

Usually, things do have a way of working themselves out. It may take some crazy, frantic phone calls, or some huge schedule juggling to get through some days; but we do live. And we do get toilet paper again! lol Even though it may seem to the caregiver that there are more hectic days than gentle ones - it does even out.

These were some of my thoughts earlier this morning as I was preparing for the day. This can be a difficult task as things can change on a dime. Presently, the aide comes whenever she feels like it and leaves when she thinks she's done. Oh, and she brings her lunch from Church's Chicken and sits at my table to enjoy it! Sounds silly, doesn't it? It happened yesterday for real. I just shake my head in disbelief - We really can't make some of these things up!

So what's a caregiver to do with all the craziness a day may bring? Scriptures promise us that there is a "place of rest" for God's people (Hebrews 4:9). For the caregiver, it can seem far away. But it's there. In my meditations this morning I thought of Isaiah 40:4 -He makes the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth. You know, Isaiah was right (of course). It all evens out in the end.

At the end of a hectic, crazy, long day - we will still be able to rest in Him. He is still there for us, He is still carrying us and it all smooths out eventually.

Today I will meditate on the peace of God. I'll set my mind and heart on letting His peace guard and keep my heart and mind. I will purposefully shift my focus to the peace and rest He offers and I'll accept a full serving today. Will you join me?

Do We Have the Time?

Do you ever feel like others don't have the time to deal with you? I know the world is a busy place and it is no different for the caregiver; but wouldn't it be nice if someone had a few minutes to share a cup of coffee with you?  Aides do not come even though they are scheduled because they had something more important  to do. They do not say it that way - but that's the raw truth. And getting someone to sit for a couple hours here and there (even for pay) can be difficult because it seems that everyone already has plans. Many times it adds to the solitude of the cave - that feeling that you can't get out - And yet at the same time it's easier to just adjust to being in the cave than it is to try to find someone to help...because it seems no one has time.

 There are days where it seems like we ourselves do not have time to turn around twice. The chores and tasks associated with caregiving can easily suck a day away. We must feed, bathe, and transfer our loved one throughout the day. Maybe we have to do therapy, range of motion or other mobility exercises. If we are not careful we can look up and an entire day has passed. Maybe we don't have time either.

Do we have time to spend with Him? It is very important for us to take time to spend with our Father. Just as we can sense that no one has time for us - perhaps God "feels" like He is not important enough to us for a small amount of our time. Maybe He is waiting for us to just come to Him. In Isaiah 55, the prophet bids us to Come to Him. Jesus also said for those who are weary to come to Him and find rest. (Matthew 11:28) Let us find a few moments today to just come to Him and present ourselves before Him in humility. He is waiting on us to come...let us find rest for our souls in Him today.

Emotionally Stranded

  I was up late last night - and it wasn't to study my Bible. Lol. I was watching a dumb show. But each episode ended with things up in ...