Showing posts with label caregiver normals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label caregiver normals. Show all posts

Like "Normal" but With a Little Twist

 

Chris looking out across Lake Hefner

Yesterday was so pretty out that I decided to take the afternoon off and head to the shores of Lake Hefner. It was great to get some fresh air and a little Vitamin D therapy! But I also needed to go to the store. Since I don't have an aide - I am the aide - I've just ordered deliveries but not gone to the store. Navigating the apps has become a huge frustration and I rarely find what I need. Or better yet (sarcasm alert) - I make an order because I need this ONE item - and it's the only item the store doesn't have. What a waste. lol So, I decided to go to the store with Chris for the first time in a LONG time!

I was so excited that we were going to do something that looked more like "normal!" But by the stares and gawks I observed as we shopped - I realized we are far from normal. It's quite interesting actually. I push Chris in front and pull the grocery cart behind me making my way through the aisles of the store like an awkward train. I've gotten quite good at it actually. lol.

But there's more! lol - I have to load all the bags into the van - and load Chris too! Then I realized I was going to have to figure out a way to unload it all when we got home. Hmm. Do I take the groceries in first? Or do I take Chris in first? Do I put the groceries away first? Or do I lay exhausted Chris down first? I had to chuckle (It's okay to laugh!) as I thought how not normal this was. Only caregivers can understand these kinds of normal challenges we face. Nothing is simple, is it? We were doing "normal" stuff - but with a twist!

I'm so glad that God understands the caregiver's normal - because it's way different than everyone else's normal. It's even different for each caregiver. Yet time after time God empowers us and strengthens us to get 'er done whatever that looks like for each of us. I'm so glad God doesn't have a special caregiver box to put us in. He loves us just like we are and whatever shape we are in no matter what normal  is for each of us.

Today, I will be thankful that God walks this weird road with me. He didn't wait for things to get "normal" - He interacts in my world just because He wants to. And today - I will let Him! I will lean in a little closer to His heart today and listen for it to beat for me.... will you lean in and listen for His heart beating for you today?

___________________________________________________________________


Check out my bookstores! Downloadable eBooks are on my DFM website. Print and Kindle books are available on my Amazon store shelf.

Can We Laugh Yet?

Chris and i after our first race

 I had a very awkward moment while talking with a nurse yesterday. She called to schedule my appointment with a cardiologist. After we had it scheduled, I explained that I am a caregiver and I don't have a sitter for my son. I asked about COVID protocol and if it was okay if I brought him to this initial appointment. She said it was fine and that there are no limitations on visitors in place. She said - as long as he will wear a mask. I assured her that he can wear a mask - then I chuckled and said - "He'll have to - he can't move his arms so he can't take it off." I thought it was funny but then a very awkward silence followed. 

Now I admit I can have a weird sense of humor, and I can make a joke about almost anything. While it wasn't an awkward moment for me, I felt bad if I made her feel uncomfortable. She'll get used to me - I know it's an adjustment. (lol) But it made me do some thinking about when it's okay to laugh. That statement wouldn't have been funny to me at all right after his accident. 

We learned to laugh to keep from crying as my mom went through dementia. Somehow seeing the humor made the pain a bit more bearable. Some of the antics she pulled were hilarious - and we would laugh together and then cry together.

We are (hopefully) coming out of a pandemic and there hasn't been a lot to laugh about. It felt very irreverent to laugh or make jokes at first, didn't it? But eventually, as a whole, we began to laugh and even write songs about the woes we've faced as we forged through some of the world's toughest days. 

Some days we can't laugh until we get through it, right? Come on - you're caregivers, you know all those unspoken things we "aren't allowed" to talk about - like bowel catastrophes. (There, I said it!) We can find ourselves in some crazy situations and once we have resolved them we may sit down and cry it all out. But then later, we find the humor. When it's not so in our faces, then we laugh and laugh. 

We know that tears can be healing - but so is laughter. It's okay to laugh. We need to laugh. It literally can help lower blood pressure and relieve tension in your body. So, go ahead and laugh. Watch a funny movie. Listen to silly songs. Laugh. 

Think about it this way - when we can laugh (at funny stuff - not serious stuff), we are saying we trust God with it. There's a freedom that comes when we can laugh while we are going through, even if others don't understand us. That nurse didn't get it. Most don't get that I am okay when it looks like I shouldn't be. Are we supposed to be down and depressed and sad all the time? I refuse to succumb to that. You know as well as I do that I have my moments. And I know that you have yours. But ultimately we are trusting God to get us through whatever we are facing and working through, right? It's okay to laugh. It's our way of showing that the circumstances haven't won - we are still "in there" somewhere under the caregiver's load - and we are still alive. Better than that - we are thriving because of our trust in our God.

Today, I will purposefully lighten up. It's my way of saying I know you've got this God. I refuse to be burdened to the ground with the load, even though it's heavy. Maybe I'll take a break from work to watch a silly movie (no dramas. lol), read a book, or play a computer game. It sounds a bit silly - but it is a true faith statement - one that says I trust Him for the outcome of this day, this week, this year, this journey. It's part of trusting Him. I will lighten up today and trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

_________________________________________________________________


Check out my bookstores! Downloadable eBooks are on my DFM website. Print and Kindle versions of a few of them are available on Amazon.

No Room in the Inn

Chris' new look
 Do you ever just feel out of step with the rest of the world? I'm not really sure what everyone uses to measure "normal" but I think our caregiving lives don't fit the mold. :-) Most of the time, I'm good with it - I know we walk a very different walk. However, I also know that the baby boomer generation is busy taking care of our parents, so it's a bigger thing than most think. Honestly, I'm not sure about everyone else - but I am sure about me. And I feel out of step with pretty much the rest of the world.

When you are a caregiver:

  • Simple things are not simple.
  • Doable things are not doable.
  • Basic activities of life are more complicated.
I know you understand. In one way, the pandemic has been a huge help. It's so much easier to order groceries and household supplies now. I am thankful for that since just going to the store can be a huge deal. One cough from my son and the trip is off! lol (Yes, I'm a bit overprotective like that!)

With the holidays approaching, my sisters and I were discussing our family's Christmas get-together. One of my sisters has a single step going into her house so it's easy to get Chris' chair inside. My other sister has a series of steps. The last time I went out there, several of the guys grabbed Chris and his chair and toted him inside. It worked, even though my blood pressure went up! lol

It's obviously not feasible for everyone to build a ramp for their house, right? I've even found a few businesses that didn't have access for chairs. Like when we were ordering flowers for my aunt's funeral - the flower shop in a small rural town literally had no way for me to get Chris' chair inside. I stood outside and waited as others went in to arrange her flowers.

I wonder if this feeling is anything like what Mary and Joseph were feeling as they went from inn to inn finding nowhere to stay. Of course, their circumstances were a bit more demanding. :-) I can just stay home, they didn't have that option. How many places did they try before settling into the barn? It had to wear on their emotions - especially Mary's! She was going to give birth and had no place to rest.

One thing I'm thankful for is that God always welcomes me. His door is open for the caregiver - no ramp needed. I don't have to worry about not being able to "get in" to see Him. His ear is listening for our faintest cries for help. He is right here. Right now. I never have to wait outside for Him like I did at the flower shop. I can bring my son - chair and all - right into His presence where I can find grace to help in time of need.

Today, I will be thankful that He is ever-present - and that He doesn't always wait for me to get to Him - instead, He's right here. He never runs out of room, never denies access. I love Him for that. He hears the words I cannot form and sees the tears before they fall. He's that close - that accepting. So, when I don't feel quite "normal" today - I'll look to Him. Will you join me?

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 ...