Showing posts with label hectic caregiver schedules. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hectic caregiver schedules. Show all posts

Darn Those Rough Spots

Every day is challenging for caregivers. Period. Even our better days are filled with things others may never even have to deal with or think about. I don't know the specifics of your daily drills - but mine include transfers, tube feedings, changings, dressing, range of motion, and feeding.. for starters. Of course, there are tons of other things that come up in the midst of the caregiver's norms. We do tend to adjust, don't we? And we just keep putting one foot in front of another. Other people might call these the "rough spots." But I call the extra bumps - like making decisions on behalf of another person or dealing with extra emotional baggage the rougher spots.

What are we to do when things go from rough to rougher? Personally, I'm just sad lately. I'm sad Chris can't walk, talk, or do anything for himself. I think a lot about who he was - and all he did. That creates a rough spot emotionally. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a way to tunnel under it or climb over it and it's far too wide to try and get around.

I remind myself that the psalmist said, He is near the brokenhearted....and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) I guess this isn't the type of broken I always wanted to be. You know? I want to be broken before Him  - as in humble. But not broken before Him as in lots of pieces. But I'm pretty sure He is near me either way. And I still must remain humble before Him - life tends to have a way of humbling us doesn't it?

So here I am trying to gather up all those broken pieces so I can bring them to the foot of the cross. Then I realize He is right beside me helping me pick them up. He's already carrying them for me. I have but to be humble before Him and not worry about the pieces of my heart... of my life....

Today, if all we can do is trust that He is near - that's enough. There is no striving - it's not work. It's not one more thing on top of everything else we already carry - it's not a chore. So, today, I will close my eyes, release my grip on my broken life, and trust. I'll trust that He is near - that He hears - He sees - and He cares. That's going to make my day go much easier. How about you?

The Invitation

I woke up tired this morning, but that's nothing new for caregivers, right? And honestly, right now caregiving isn't the hard part for me, I've become accustomed to this normal. The difficult part for me right now is trying to figure out how to manage my work schedule along with my caregiving duties. Of course, there are always complications - because we are caregivers. No two days are exactly the same and you never know what is going to pop up unexpectedly.

Unless you are a caregiver, you won't get some of the frustrations that go along with the blessing of being able to care for your loved one. My greatest one of late is the repeated rescheduling of my son's case manager. Evidently she has no idea how much it takes to rearrange our schedule 3 times a week to accommodate her.(But she will have a clue after her visit on Friday- if she makes that one.)

Just my mornings go something like this:

  • Alarm goes off at 5:30 - hit the snooze to about 6
  • Get up (run to the bathroom - weigh in for the day)
  • Make coffee
  • Get Chris' bolus and meds ready
  • Start coffee
  • Go change Chris (welcome to the real world) and get him comfortable - bolus him
  • Back to the kitchen to rinse out the syringe and bolus cup
  • Grab first cup of coffee
  • Head for the recliner with coffee, baby monitor and Bible in hand
Honestly, the little baby monitor is one of my greatest investments! But this is the first half hour or so of my day. Then I start devotions, or that's the goal anyway. 

This morning my frustrations were still high as not getting to go to the store yesterday as planned means I have to change up this mornings schedule as well - all because the CM decided not to come yesterday and come Friday instead. But as I sat in my recliner and sipped my coffee, my Bible fell open to Revelation 22 and my eyes went straight to verses 10 and I read to verse 17 where I landed. It says this:
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."
And let the one who hears say, "Come."
And let the one who is thirsty, come;
Let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

I thought about that a bit...I'm thirsty for Him. I need the refreshing water of life. And I can get it for free just by wanting and taking it....

My "google" mind brought up another similar scripture found in Isaiah 55:2 and it goes like this:

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
And you who have no money -
come, buy and eat.
Come by wine and milk without money and without cost.

Wow- His refreshing waters are there for us to partake of - at any time - at no cost. Now I'm on my second cup of coffee- and I'm smiling. My mind went to another familiar scripture in one of my favorite go-to psalms: 46. It says: there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. "Dwelling places?" That would be us. His stream is running to us and through us already.

Let me see if I can pull all this together in my mind. There's this stream of living water and we are invited to drink anytime we want....the refreshing is free, we just have to come and get it. It may sound like it's far away - but it's actually running in our midst....the refreshing is there any time we need it, anytime we can just take a slow, deep breath and breathe Him in. He's here with us.

Today I will let His presence transform my frustration into refreshing. I will purposefully welcome the stream of God's presence to flow through my heart. My meditations will be on how He is just asking us to "come" to Him and be refreshed. I'll think about the rest of Psalm 46 - and how He is present and He is inviting me to come drink of Him. I will accept His invitation - will you join me?






When We Wake Up Tired

Some mornings I just wake up tired. Perhaps it's because I overdid it yesterday, or maybe it's because I'm looking ahead at what I have to do today. Either way there are these mornings when I feel like I am scraping myself off the bed to get about the day.

I've heard people say that it is so nice you can stay home. I try not to laugh too loudly. I think they have no idea what that actually looks like. Just today I have the nurse coming at 10 for her monthly visit, then I have to get my son fed, changed and loaded to go to therapy by 1:30. That takes the whole afternoon (not at all a complaint - just a fact!), then I'll have to get him back home and fed and in bed for a short rest before we start our evening schedule and then hopefully at some point back to bed late tonight. AND somewhere in all that I have clients who are waiting on work and of course they all need it right now!  whew! No wonder I was tired when I woke up this morning.

It is very hard for me, and many caregivers, to admit to being tired. If we acknowledge its presence, we might succumb to it; and we really don't have time for that!

This morning I did my usual morning routine (after scraping myself up at 6:30 which is late for me!). It goes like this: prepare Chris' meds and bolus, start the coffee pot, change Chris and get him comfortable, bolus him and then grab a fresh cup and head for the recliner for my devotions. all the while the day before me is running through my mind: call the apartment office at 9 - the air still isn't working, have Chris bathed and up by about 9:30, the nurse will be here at 10 or 10:30 (she wasn't sure), after she leaves he has to be fed and dry by 12:15 to load in the van and head to OKC......And then I start running through the clients who want work TODAY! I've been up for an hour - and I really wish I could go back to bed!

But as caregivers we really don't have that option. We will push through the day functioning as well as possible and hope nothing falls apart! There's no time to stop, rest, recover or put broken things back together.

As I am rehearsing and organizing my day in my head (yes - I'm a type A - it is ALL  rehearsed and scheduled!) for a brief moment I allow myself to think I'm really tired.  And immediately I think of the familiar passage in Isaiah 40. It's as if God showed me a snapshot of that page in my Bible. almost like He was asking me the question:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, 
and vigorous young men stumble badly
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

I let out a huge sigh as I found it comforting somehow that God acknowledged my weariness. It's not like He doesn't know. So today while I am scurrying about getting done as much as I can - and letting go of the rest (we are only human you know!) I will on purpose - wait for Him. I'll trust Him for strength today and smile because He never gets tired. He's always there to lift me up and strengthen me.

Today I will purposefully acknowledge that I need His strength and I will let Him carry me. My meditation will be on waiting on Him instead of relying on myself. I will wait for Him. I will rest in Him. And I will make it! Will you join me?

Inseparable

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