Well, we have one week under our belt with Mom living with us and as a caregiver I am sure thankful for hypnosis. For years I have counseled clients who are caregivers. While I tried to stay abreast with current information, I had no clue what it is really like to be a caregiver 24 – 7. I sure am learning though.
I wrote about the fire at Mom’s house on December 8. Mom did great – far better than I had anticipated with the flight. My wife had be “senior-izing” our home. She and I moved into the guest room, mom moved into the master bed and bath. We’ve moved furniture. Bought toilet paraphernalia, got a loaner wheel chair for extended outings, gotten on a first name basis with her health care insurance case-manager and her doctor’s nurse.
Their are pills to give, showering to supervise, hair to set, occasional wet clothes and sheets, doctor’s appointments to schedule and more paperwork than at tax time. To keep her insurance active until she returns home we have to select an in-home caregiver. Of course the person we fell in love with is only available late afternoons when Mom is too tired to have her come.
We were all (Mom, Marilyn and I) all excited that I was able to snag Mom a handicapped seat for Saturday night’s Black Nativity. (Excellent show by the way!) Marilyn and I have had our tickets for weeks and was glad Mom could go too. We knew she would love it. About noon on Saturday Mom dropped an earring (we still can’t find it) and on her own bent over to look for it. Somehow in the process of standing back up she lost her balance and fell banging her head and hip and scraping her hand and arm. I was outside hauling wood, Marilyn was up in her office. I heard the scream from outside and came running in to find Mom sprawled on the floor.
Fortunately the carpet is soft and after assessing her determined there were no broken bones, I was able to stand her back up and help her sit in recliner. Mom was able to move around the house with her walker on her own and insisted she was good to go to Black Nativity. She loved the show, was dancing her her chair, singing and clapping her hands with the Gospel choir. She didn’t even mind the pouring rain to get to the car. But I did notice she had more difficulty than usual getting into the car and was really hurting after the ferry ride back to the Island and had to get out of the car.
It was 1:00 AM by the time we got to bed, but she didn’t sleep much because of the pain. By 9:00 AM Sunday I was calling 911 and the ambulance came and off to Silverdale to the ER we went. After hours of waiting, X-rays, a cat scan, and poking and prodding it was determined that nothing was broken or fractured and that she had not mucked up her recent neck surgery. She is bruised and sore from the fall.
It was almost 4:30 by the time we got home with some new meds to add to the list. Mom went to bed at 9:30 and I woke her at 1:00 AM and at 4:30 to check on her. She slept until almost 10:00 AM on Monday. I left for the gym before 5:00 AM and Marilyn was up by 5:30 to try to get some things done.
I had to cancel my trip to Forks to see clients and spent much of Monday on the phone with the health insurance company, lining up caregivers and setting things up for a visit with Inner-Faith Caregivers to see what support they can offer. I have a handyman hired to put up the hand rails that I didn’t get to on Sunday while in the ER.
On Monday, Mom seemed to be doing pretty well considering that she 88, has recently had surgery, had her house catch fire, flown to Bainbridge Island, has strangers packing up her belongings in her home to treat for smoke, has just fallen and is on new meds …. until ….
I left the room Mom was in for about 20 minutes and then found her non-responsive. Her pulse was down to 40. I called 911 and off to Bremerton she went in the ambulance. Today’s Er doc finally decided her problem was the meds prescribed by yesterdays ER doc. No more pain pills – only Tylenol.
Mom of course is embarrassed, humiliated and feels badly that she is such a “bother”. She even asked me if I wanted her to go home. I told her I would have nothing of the kind and that I have had enough excitement in the last week to last me a lifetime and that if she really needed to be carried around by strong men I’d bring the guys from the gym home to her!
Marilyn and I are changing plans with the kids and grand kids for over the holidays and have canceled our weekend get away to Vancouver B.C.
At times I become acutely aware of the stress and tension in my jaw, neck and shoulders. I know then that I am past due for some self-hypnosis. I don’t have time for 27 minutes of the free full version of my Orange Blossom MP3 download, but I sure do have a minute to use the Light Switch hypnosis with written suggestions. Twice while waiting in the ER I played a Power Minute. I have always valued hypnosis, but I realize over the years I have been taking it for granted. I am now well aware that hypnotherapy is helping me make it through each day.
I have a deep appreciation for caregivers. I always knew that care-giving was more than a full time job, but I had no idea of the intensity. I’m sure in 3 months when she can return to her home (assuming she is still physically able) we will all have settled into a routine. I know that much of what is going on now is due to the sudden emergency of her stay and are one-time events that need to happen.
I also know the importance of self-care. If Marilyn and I don’t eat healthy, exercise and rest, then we won’t be at our best in the care we give to Mom.
I am so thankful for this time to be with Mom. At meals we tell old tales and learn more about family history. Some of the stories I have heard a million times and yet now they seem so much more precious. I know I won’t hear them another million times.
I have already discovered the value in sharing stories with other children of elderly parents. The morbid humor has made us laugh at ourselves and appreciate the love we share. If you are a caregiver to a senior or disabled family member and have stories to share, please post a comment below or send it to me in an email. Our journey is just beginning, so please help us along the way with your stories.
If you are a caregiver, be sure that you learn hypnosis! It will help you keep things in perspective, appreciate what is important. Relax with self-hypnosis.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I eat well, I exercise, I get enough sleep, and I speak kindly to myself.
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