A Week in the Life of a Caregiver: Sunday
Hardship Strengthens Our Spirit? Yeah, Right!
I am taking a short recess from this very crazy day! I awoke with a start at 7 this morning to my mom's voice calling my name. As I opened my eyes, I realized she was standing in my bedroom doorway! I still don't know how she climbed the stairs from her first floor bedroom and walked down the hallway by herself. On Saturdays I usually give her a bath, and ever since she broke her hip, I have had to get someone else to help me support her on both sides just to get her from the top of the stairs into the bathroom.
I helped her walk to my blanket chest and sat her down with instructions not to move! I took the quickest shower in history and got dressed and went downstairs to ready things for her breakfast and get her walker. Once I helped her downstairs and gave her breakfast, I could concentrate on getting myself ready to go to church.
I do my best every Sunday to get to Mass. The hour I spend in church every week is my own. I use it to bring myself even closer to God and recharge my batteries. Our second reading today was from II Corinthians, 12:7-10. I interpreted this reading to mean that even when we have hardships, weaknesses and constraints, we become that much stronger in spirit from them. Trials and tribulations are, therefore, to be welcomed (yeah, right!) because they make us stronger. I guess I am stronger than I thought. This reading gave me an inner tranquility I didn't feel before.
Today is Sal's birthday, and I am trying to keep his special day as worry-free as possible, at least for him. At the children's request, I made pancakes for brunch after church and made homemade baked ziti for dinner at Sal's request. I squeezed in a short nap this afternoon and it did me a world of good.
I saved some of the chopped meat from the meat I used for the baked ziti to make Mom a hamburger for dinner, and I was happy to see she ate all of it. I always try to prepare foods she will eat because she has lost so much weight over the past two years.
I've got to run, diary; it is time to serve the birthday cake.
Well, diary, here I am again. Since the last entry, I washed the dinner dishes, put away leftovers and calmed Mom after her numerous requests for more laxatives. She has recurring problems in eliminating and thinks more laxatives will help regulate her. I got a call from Mom's physical therapist, and I cancelled her appointment for tomorrow because I would really like to take her to the doctor to have her checked out. I will talk to the doctor first before dragging Mom to the office because in the long run she may just need to go to a gastroenterologist. I am almost afraid to take her to this type of specialist because of all the tests they will probably put her through. If it is necessary, she will have to have them. The physical therapist listened to my story of what Mom did this morning and told me during her last session with her, Mom was walking very well.
She feels Mom needs only two more weeks of therapy and in her opinion can manage better than she lets on. She feels Mom is being manipulative with me and fishing for sympathy. I would not doubt it. I will keep doing my best to care for her, but, when I see that my best is not good enough, I will have to push myself to put her in a nursing home. No matter how good the facility is, I am sure she will not be happy. I depend very much on God's guidance to do what is best for Mom.
Before I close for the night, diary, I want to tell you a story I read not so long ago. Please forgive me for paraphrasing it.
There was once a man with many problems. One night he had a dream he was carrying all his problems in the shape of a cross. Jesus met him, and, when the man complained to Him about his heavy cross, Jesus took him to a room filled with crosses of many sizes. He gave the man the option of putting his cross in the room and choosing another more to his liking. The man looked around the room and chose the smallest cross. It turned out to be his own.
When we feel we are at the lowest point in our lives, we have to remember there are others in worse shape than we are.
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.