Thursday, April 06, 2006

Calling On The Lord

A few weeks ago, my mother fell and hit her head on her oxygen tank. My sister took her to the hospital and they said she was bleeding on the brain. Supposedly they gave her some medicine that would help dissolve the blood. She stayed in the hospital for a while, each day she become more confused. The doctors claim it didn’t have anything to do with the injury.

She came home last Monday, but she wasn’t herself. She was still confused and unknown to us having headaches everyday. She went to her dialysis on Saturday and they called an ambulance to take her back to the hospital, they say she was talking crazy.

It’s been an uphill battle every since. The doctors insist the confusion had nothing to do with the injury. Yesterday they had to drill a hole in her head to drain the area that had started to bleed again.

My sister spent the night with her because our mother likes to get up in the middle of the night. My poor sister had a rough night with her mother. She refused to rest and she kept talking about being pregnant and hurting the baby. My sister has never seen her mother like this, so I’m sure it was pretty scary for her.

I know I’ve been stressed out for months now. It’s hard seeing your parent go through pain and suffering. My mother is only 58 and I assumed, we wouldn’t have days like this until she was much older.

Being a caregiver I believe is harder job than being a parent, because you become the parent to your parent, which is hard.

I find myself calling Jesus. Just saying his name some days gives me peace. I know I can’t do this alone. I feel helpless on the days she’s confused. The past few weeks I ask myself and my sister what are we going to do if she doesn’t stop being confused?

I’m a book reader and I normally can find a book on any subject when I’m having a problem. I haven’t found one on how to cope with a sick parent.

I call out to Jesus. Help me Lord because I don’t have a clue.

Are you a caregiver? What do you do when your parent is confused, how do you cope?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just be there for your mother. Hold her hand, talk to her, stroke her hair. Pray for her constantly and know that God has it all under control.

My mother lived with my sister for 7 years and was at my house everyday. She died as you have read from the excerpt I sent you. It was not easy at all, but it was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to be a part of her care. It seemed like it would be an eternity, but God puts no more on you than you can bear. There is a great blessing in caring for your parent. It is part of the commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother....."

Mary Wilson
Author of Colorless Soul

Patricia W. said...

I've been there. My mother has had MS since I was 3 years old and been wheelchair bound since I was about 11. (I'm now 43.) Mom is now 84 years old and in a nursing home, a very hard decision since in my youth I promised I would never let that happen. But we mature and sometimes have to make tough decisions.

I cared for my mother in her home for over three years, going over each AM to bathe and dress her after getting my son off to school and before I went to work. I went over on weekends to give her a full tub bath, shampoo her hair, cut her nails, and otherwise pamper her. I frequently went by in the evenings to fix her meals or just keep her company (occasionally my brother helped with this part). All the while taking care of my own family and working a full-time job with a daily 90 minute commute.

Things came to a head when I was 6 months into a difficult pregnant with my middle son and getting calls in the middle of the night that Mom had fallen out of bed, requiring me to go over and try to get her back into bed or wait with her for the volunteer EMTs to arrive. I couldn't handle it anymore and it was clear that she needed more assistance than I could give her just dropping in and out during the day.

I cried, listened to wise counsel from my husband (who is also my pastor) and my aunt, and then I placed Mom in a nice home. I still get morose about it, especially now that I've moved to another state and see her less frequently. Truthfully, part of me feels as though I abandoned her although she tells me she's happy for me. Although 1600 miles away, I am somehow still am viewed as the primary resource (of her three children) even though my brother is right there and I'm the youngest.

Spend time with your mother. Do what you can for her to help her be comfortable and at peace -- she may not be able to thank you but I believe that she'll know and appreciate it deep within. Accept help, even if the help is just to give you a breather in your own life. If your church has a visitation ministry, get Mom on the list, even if she doesn't know the individuals personally. And most of all pray and trust God for peace.

I've seen some good websites but don't know of any particular books either. Here are some of the websites:
http://www.nfcacares.org
http://www.care-givers.com
http://www.caregiver.org
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/caregivers.html

My prayers are with you.

Patricia W.

Memiller said...

I too have this same experience and by way of practical advice, now is the time to pull in your resources. Call on those people that may not be able to provide direct care for your mother, but can do other things. Shop, clean, cook, listen. These friends, neighbors, relatives, church members can help relieve the stress of worrying how everything will get done. Pray specifically about what you need and apply faith that He will send just the right person for the task at hand. I've seen Him do it and I'm a witness that it really helps. It also helps to get a clear medical indication of your mother's condition. That will determine if this is temporary or something long-term that will require a more definite course of action.
Also remember to take turns with your sister to take breaks. Its so important to take a walk, go to the hair dresser, spend time alone and with your immediate family. This helps to keep you renewed.

Believe me...I've been where you are and thought I'd never survive. But I did and you will. Not only did I survive, but I came out stronger and wiser with a greater testimony. All things work together for your good...even this!