Posts Tagged stress

To Trust is a Choice

It seems I am always trying to get myself together and it’s non-stop. I have heard others discuss the fact that when you come home from a hospital or nursing home others seem to think the crisis is over. Not for the full-time caregiver. For me it’s an ongoing lifestyle – I live in crisis mode. The crisis just started with the tragedy in 2008 – it continues to wear at me day after day. It’s not over – it’s just different. And that’s why I am continually trying to scrape myself up and make another day.

This is the time of year when I really take some time to reflect on the past 12 months and determine what things are different, where there has been improvement and where improvement is still needed. One thing that I have been working on this year is not bottoming out. Just the stress of everyday and the living grief that comes with the situation can wear me down until I hit rock bottom. I can write about it right now because I have a handle on it! lol. But there are times when the situation weighs me down and I collapse under the load. And boy does it take a huge shovel to dig my emotions back out!?!

The trouble with hitting those bottoms is that I can barely function. During the dark night of the soul I can barely get through a day. I overeat, can’t focus on my work – which causes ripples in my finances which adds even more to the load — you get the idea! So to avoid these bottom of the barrel experiences I’ve been working on strategies to prevent them. As soon as I feel my emotions take a nose dive I take action rather than waiting. I have finally learned to recognize it early on and immediately I do something different and change up my routine. I take the evening off – which is rare; or I get on the treadmill or take Chris out for a walk – anything to make a change. So far it seems to be working.

One of the ways that I see a lot of difference is that I am playing my guitar more; and I hear music in my heart more. For a time my emotions were so raw that music just made me mad. And during some very dark emotional days I was too mad at God to be able to sing; and I really didn’t care. In all honesty it’s difficult to sing sometimes when you feel that life has cheated you, raped you and been stolen from you. It can even be difficult to see where His mercy, love and grace come into play. Joy is lost.

I hear all the religious folks starting in on the joy of salvation. But in all honesty, there are times that is frustrating too. Yes – I am so elated that Jesus paid the price; thankful that I do not have to bear sin’s weight. That secures my soul for eternity – but I need to make it through today with faith intact. Eternity is taken care of – not worried about that in the least!

So I have to remind myself almost daily that He protects my soul – but He gives me the responsibility of getting and keeping everything else in line. And that’s no easy task.

One thing that I am realizing is that I just simply have to trust Him. That’s been difficult for me to work back around to since I trusted Him with my kids to begin with…and now look. Job is of course my prime example – though God slay me – yet will I trust Him. My trust has to be so deep that it surpasses the shallowness of life. It has to be deeper than what I can see with my eyes for if I use what I see and feel to measure how much I can “trust” Him with – it would be superficial as well. The heart has to be set on the fact that trust is chosen – no matter what.

Psalm 50:23 says this: He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God. I’m learning that my “conversation” isn’t just going to right itself and thanksgiving does not always come easy. Sometimes I have to force myself to find something to be thankful for – but when I do that – it honors Him.

So that’s where I am in the journey right now. There’s really a lot going on and one of the things I’m working on (daily) is to get myself back together and keep up with my blogs again. I don’t know if anyone is reading- or if anyone cares – or if it helps anyone – but it gives me a place to leave my emotions and thoughts so I can move on.

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It’s not the Caregiving that makes me Tired

Ugh, what a day! You just gotta give it to caregivers, you know? There are so many things that have to be done in a day. Primarily, we take care of our loved one, but we get no break from the common everyday chores like laundry, cooking, and cleaning to do so. Then there are all sorts of other things like making sure all the supplies like syringes, briefs, wipes, formula and medical supplies are filled and ready to go. Plus…yes there’s more…taking our loved one to their appointments and dealing with various medical professionals (and non-professionals) that frequently visit our homes.

Anyone who is in contact with me very much knows how difficult of a time I’ve had getting aides lately. I posted a picture of the aide who was comfortable enough to stretch out in my recliner and take a nap – he’s no longer with us. But now I have an aide who comes right on time every day (that’s a plus); and she does Chris’ laundry and helps with housework for which I am very thankful. But she’s not comfortable staying with Chris – which means I get out of the house very rarely now. I have a horrible case of cabin fever now so everything seems much more stressed than usual. I’m seriously thinking about going with no aide at all. I’m back to ordering everything online since I cannot get out to go to the store. Sure, the aide can “get out” and run errands for me – but there are some things I really would prefer to purchase myself. I really need out!!!

Then there are the “case managers” who cannot get my supplies right! For instance, last month I asked if we could increase Chris’ briefs from 2 and a half cases to 3 as I am having to purchase some each month. She told me it’d be no problem at all. Guess what I got this month… only 2 cases of briefs – (which means I’ll have to purchase MORE this month to get through) and double gloves! I have stacks of gloves (non-latex) so let me know if you need some! lol —

These may not seem like very big deals – but they all add up. I love taking care of my son and even though I get tired, his care is not what wears me out. I really would like to earn enough money to take care of all these supplies myself I think . But that’s another whole area of stress!

I’m beginning to think that there is seriously something wrong with me. It’s got to be – I didn’t think I was that difficult to work with.. all the more reason to stay retreated in my cave. Maybe I need a sign on the door that says, “Does not play well with others.”

When I grow weary like today I always think of the scripture in Isaiah 40:28 Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He givepower to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak.(NLT)

Tonight I will be the first to admit I am tired, worn out and weary. I will trust Him for strength to carry on. I am so glad that even when I wear out all the health care professionals – He will not get too tired to deal with me. He will not shake His head and walk away – He’s committed to walking through this journey with me – just like I’m committed to walking through it with my son too.

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