WOW – week 8 already of our life with Mom. It’s hard for me to believe that on Sunday it will have been two months since the fire. While overall its been a great week, there seems to me to have been more underlying emotions this week than in previous weeks. Fortunately, there was no great upset or trauma. Yet, I had the sense that there was an undercurrent emotion throughout the week. I believe that we were able to resolve anything that was interpersonal – I’m not so certain about the inner-personal *stuff of life that we live with on a daily basis. I do know that for me, using self-hypnosis at least 5 times each day kept me grounded and centered and more in touch with my *stuff. On Sunday Mom did say that she wanted me to teach her self-hypnosis. That’s pretty cool, my 88 year old Mom learning how to make hypnosis work for her.
Our house is the perfect size for Marilyn, Luna and I, but when you add in a 3rd person and a walker and 6 day a week care-givers, it starts getting small. On Monday we were laughing about our 2 butt kitchen and how crowded it gets with Mom, Luna and the walker. I think that it is the constant closeness for Marilyn and Mom that raises stress levels. I am gone to the offices most of the week, so I get out and have more time alone and with other people.
Marilyn loves Mom and would do anything for her. But, Mom is hard of hearing and the TV is on loudly blaring much of the time. With cold wet weather, our bedroom is about the only place for Marilyn to escape to. At times, this togetherness can get to be too much.
Mom seemed more tired this week than in previous weeks and seemed to find ways avoid exercising. Her care-giver did have her exercise, I just didn’t see Mom do as much on her own.
Thursday, Mom got her nails done again and is thrilled with their long color. My sister and Marilyn (and the hearing aid technician) all think that Mom should have short nails. Mom’s acrylic nails and the multiple rings on her fingers are her pride and joy. Yes, they get in the way, but it is something that she can do to pretty herself up so when sides need to be taken, I’m on Mom’s side on this one. Of course the problem arises when Mom takes her pills out and drops them which happened 3 times this week. We had talked with Mom about the dangers of dropping her pills: first for herself in bending over to pick them up and secondly we are scared that Luna will find one and eat it. On Sunday when Luna did find a pill, we had to have a a more serious talk about it. The solution we agreed to would be that Mom would stand at the kitchen sink and take her pills. (She had been taking them seated in the living room). I was fascinated with the gyrations that I went through in my head as I thought about having a talk with Mom about something I needed her to do differently.
Friday we all went carpet shopping but didn’t find much, Mom seemed discouraged when we arrived at home. I noticed that she ate more at dinner Friday night.
Saturday Mom had her weekly weigh-in – she was up 1/2 pound. She seemed upset about it. What I noticed over the week was that she hadn’t exercised as much and that her portions were larger.
Saturday night we went to the 2011 Sing Out here on Bainbridge Island. The singers were incredible and Rev. Pat Wright was in her usual great form. Mom especially loved the 5 year old and 7 year old brothers that each sang solos. They had amazing voices and should be on America’s Got Talent.
Sunday, Mom and I again went carpet shopping. This time with more success. I think she found a back up for her first choice in case it turns out to be unavailable. She even found linoleum that looks very nice with it for her kitchen floor.
On Sunday and Monday we talked about Mom’s goals for living independently. She says she wants to return to her own home. We talked a long time about her need to exercise and that she was going to have to keep up the exercise and healthy eating when she returned home. I talked again about the importance of frequent small meals throughout the day. If we aren’t on her, she will go hours without eating which I keep telling her slows down her metabolism even more.
On Monday her caregiver was putting Mom through the paces and having her walk from her chair to the bathroom and back without her walker. After the caregiver left, Mom looked like she was about to cry. We talked over lunch and she admitted that she is so scared of falling that she has come to use the walker for emotional support more than she really needs it physically. (Over a year ago she took a nasty face plant at church and was in the hospital for several days. Her fear is well-earned.) The time she fell on the floor here and the time last week that she fell into a chair was because she tripped over the wheel of the walker. Even so, Mom can do more without the walker. It would help her strength, balance and back pain.
Later on Monday I started teaching her the Light Switch self-hypnosis technique. This week all she is to do practice the technique without using suggestions. She surprised me how quickly she relaxed.
I also told Mom that I was switching her weight loss CD and wanted her to listen to Emotion Trigger. I went into her room and changed the CDs. Mom had been reading in the living room and I was surprised to find her in the hallway on the way to her bedroom when I came out. I asked what she was up to and she said, “I thought you wanted me to listen to the CD now.” I replied that she can if she wants, I was merely telling her that she should listen to a different CD. She decided she wanted to wait and went back to her chair to finish reading the chapter. It really hit me then that she sees me as an authority figure and was obediently doing what she thought I wanted. WOW – talk about role reversal. That’s going to take some processing for me.
For Marilyn and I, we have become aware of an underlying frustration. We want Mom to to exercise, get stronger and be more independent more than she wants that. Her caregiver says Mom can do more – but it is up to her. I know Mom is tired and that she hurts. There is a part of me that wants the Mom who couldn’t wait to go roller skating or for a walk on the beach. I also know that at the root of my frustration is frustration with myself for holding myself back. The opportunity for me is to look at my own life – where am I not giving my all?
For years I have listened and counseled clients who were giving care to elderly parents. As “educated” on the subject as I tried to be, I truly did not get it. Living it is an experience that has taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade a second of it. I know that I am blessed to have this time with my Mom.
For me, this has been a week of grounding and centering so that I could be in touch with my thoughts and emotions. It would have been really easy to avoid them and let minor things build up or in the old days I would have eaten them. It is good to acknowledge my feelings and emotions and let go of the ones that do not serve me and hold those that lift me up. My goal this next week is to use hypnosis and other tools to stay aware of what is going on for me.
*Stuff: A “professional” term for crazy thoughts, limiting beliefs and decisions, upset and anything else that as humans we often try to avoid or numb out. We all got stuff.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I acknowledge all my emotions, but only hold on to those which elevate my being.
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