Have you heard of ‘sneaker waves’? They are unanticipated coastal waves that are much greater in force and height than the waves preceding them.
Family Caregiving can be like sneaker waves. You’re going along with your life, things seem to be ok with your Mom and then WHAM! You didn’t see it coming. That first 911 call happens, she’s rushed to the hospital diagnosed with pneumonia. After being there for days she’s off to a rehab facility to gain her strength back. Then she comes home weeks later with a nurse visiting 2x a week and things seem to continue to shift from there.
Time passes quickly it seems and months later you have forgotten an important follow up call about a doctor’s visit. Then there’s another argument about the diet she should be on. And you question whether you should really be leaving her alone on Saturday, even though she insisted she would be ok.
You find yourself chasing facts, questions and…..wait a minute. Now I’m a….what? How did I go from being a daughter to being a family caregiver? How did this happen? What happened to riding my bike, getting a raspberry on my knee and Mom kissing it and making it all better?
Time passes so quickly. Of course you’ll take care of your loved one, without question. But you’re navigating unknown territory and it’s scary. You were never prepared for this in school, it’s awkward and there are so many unanswered questions. So you jump on the internet for answers and 3 hours later you’re still not sure whether you’re making the right decisions. Suddenly you start to question your every action. A cycle begins, and it can be pure crazy making. You talk to your friends about it and they kindly commiserate with you but there’s something missing.
You are not ALONE. You need to be able to reach out to other’s that have gone through this. To speak your peace in a ‘safe’ zone has power and support that can change your life, or at least let you know that it’s all ok. You’re going to make mistakes, and there is no way you could know all of the answers.
I’d highly recommend the Family Caregiver Alliance website; https://www.caregiver.org/national-center-caregiving. It has wonderful resources, articles and tips for you as you go through your journey. Breathing Spaces offers a Facebook page that gives you inspiration and the ability to connect to a CLOSED page where you can connect with other family caregivers. Hearing stories from others has great power in it and soon we will be offering walks and seminars to support you in a more comprehensive way so we hope you’ll sign up for our weekly newsletter to be kept up to date as new things are offered.
This is about you, too. Our mission at Breathing Spaces is to help you as best that we can. We get it and hope you’ll take time out today just for you and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.