No days are easy when you are this side of child loss.
There is the constant burden of sorrow and pain bearing down on my heart and mind 24/7. Then there are the little (and not so little!) everyday bumps along the road of life.
But sometimes it’s not a bump, but a mountain that looms large. Or it may be a sinkhole that opens up and swallows days and weeks before you even realize how much time has passed since you last drew a calm breath.
These past weeks have been like that.
From the night my mother was lifeflighted to the hospital until today, we spent a week and a half in hospital plus these past few days at home trying to get her stable, better and transitioned to a new regimen that will hopefully keep her reasonably well.
While every medical professional gave great care, the majority of responsibility is falling on my dad and myself. And it’s a huge adjustment for everyone. No more in and out to the field on the tractor. No more quick trips into town-at 2 litres of oxygen per hour it will take one portable tank just for the round trip.
Doctor appointments need to be carefully scheduled and routed to minimize time away from home where there is an unlimited supply of oxygen.
I am learning that elder care is a huge challenge-one I thought I knew (in principle, though not by experience).
I was dreadfully wrong.
Just like child loss, until a single call or event takes your world from “I’m in control” to “I have lost all control”, it’s impossible to understand.
There is so much to keep track of, to manage, to watch for, and to do that I honestly feel like my head is about to pop off.
Add random phone calls, doctor appointments, home health visits and (oh yes!) Hurricane Irma-well, you get the picture.
So here’s to all my fellow sandwich generation peers.
And here’s a special shout-out to the ones whose broken hearts already limp along because they are missing a child they love and are now caring for ailing parents as well.
May we all reach out to the only One Who can strengthen us for this journey.
May we speak courage to one another.
May we extend grace to ourselves because no matter how hard we try to pretend otherwise, we are human.
12 thoughts on “Stressed: Why Doesn’t My Head Just Explode?”
Caring for aging parents is a tough job. One that can take it’s toll. Having a brother or sister who is not able to help is also challenging. Throw in working full time adds to the mess. I loved being able to care for my mom at the end. I slept on the floor for 10 days before she passed away. It was a privilege but also exhausting. I don’t thi,k I have fully grieved for her, my dad or my husband. My sons death was my sole focus.
After Jason died, my mom’s health declined. She had had pulmonary fibrosis for a number of years, besting the doctor’s life expectancy by a long shot. My brother and sister were actively involved in trying to get her situated in a facility that would adequately care for her needs. They kept trying to involve me in decisions, but I just didn’t have the energy or desire to participate. It’s not that I didn’t love my mom or didn’t want the best for her. I’m sure they thought I was shirking my duty as a daughter, but I simply had nothing to give. I don’t think I’ve ever fully grieved her death. I was too busy grieving for Jason.
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I’m so sorry Rebecca. That’s hard. I have a brother but I think it’s going to be up to me to be the one to help my parents through this. My kids are adults and pitching in. ❤
It’s so hard I know. One big secret to help with success and is so simple is a big white board!!! They are amazing extra memory cards! Hope this helps as much as you help us
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Great idea! I made a health notebook and use 4×6 index cards to break the day into sections so that my dad can make sure everything is done at the right time (pills, therapy, etc.) I really like the white board idea though. I may take them one when I go back this next week. Thank you! ❤
Amen! you are in my prayers, Melanie. My momma’s cancer took over shortly after my Jeff died. Lost her 6 months later, 2 days after his birthday. I miss her so much, I miss him so much. I know to treasure your mom and it is an honor to serve her at this time, though the burden is heavy. Prayers that you all will have precious time and conversations and that the Lord will daily renew your strength.
Love from California.
It is an honor to serve her. It was precious to see how much comfort it brought her for me to stay at the hospital nights. Thank you so much for praying. ❤
Yes Melanie. It’s sounds like you are in a similar season of life to me. I just spent my whole day off at various doctors and other appointments with my Dad, then had to arrange a night nurse as he was unable to walk or get himself to the toilet.
I’m so thankful I have my sister close by, who carries even more of the responsibility for them than I do as she doesn’t work.
As you say, after child loss I find my capacity is just so much lower than it once was. Things I would have just taken in my stride a few years ago now loom larger.
Sorry I can’t do anything practical to help, but I’ll be thinking of you and sending love and strength from Australia.
You are speaking courage and comfort to my heart and that is a BIG help! Thank you for praying. ❤
From the bottom of my heart I’m sending you peace, love and patience. I (we) are one week shy of my sons first year in heaven. I firmly believe that at times we are faced with additional challenges to help us break from the constant numbness we are constantly living. It reminds us of the strength we still have to help,organize and love in any current situation.
Your entire family remains in my thoughts especially your mom who is I’m sure so grateful for your strength. 💕
Thank you so very much, Maria. I will be praying for you as well. May the Lord give you strength for each day and may He overwhelm your heart with HIs love, grace and mercy. ❤