You Don’t Have to be Saint

selflessness

During the time I was a caregiver and even now, after reading Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, people tell me I must be a saint.  Always I assure them that I am not now nor I have I ever been saintly. Rodger would have been one of the first to agree with me.

None of us are saints. We are people dealing with dreadful situations brought on by terrible diseases. There is reason to be angry and resentful and less than perfect.  There are even more reasons to quit. To walk away and let someone else deal with it. There is only one reason to carry on. Someone we care about needs care. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Maybe there is no one else is able to do it. Maybe no one else is willing to do it. The reasons are many.  But you are the one doing it and you are the one putting the needs of another before your own. That is not saintliness. There is no expectation of perfection or being prayerful or holy.  That is selflessness.

Selflessness is what keeps you going in all your glorious imperfection. Making it up as you go along. Stumbling and picking yourself up as you do the best you can.  Reaching out to the person in your care at the start of every new day. Yes, you are the embodiment of selflessness and probably no more a saint than I am and that’s a very good thing.

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Good Morning Caregivers

I’m still running a little late. This cold is getting better but I’m still sleeping later than usual. I know you don’t have that opportunity when you are not well so today I am sending you a hug. The good thing about sending it this way is I won’t pass on any of my germs.
hug time

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go quiet when things are hard

So often as a caregiver I felt overwhelmed. What did I miss? What could I have done different? Where did I fail him? I’m quite sure you are not much different.  I’m not going to tell you not to feel that way. It won’t change anything. It seems that second guessing ourselves is part of living with these terrible diseases. What I hope to do is help you through it. One the hard days, and there are many, try to remember this, “more action is not needed to create order and peace.”

Go quiet, even if it’s just for a moment, and know you are doing the right thing,

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Good Morning Caregivers

I’m a little late this morning. I caught I nasty cold over the weekend and slept in. I want you all to know I appreciate all you do for others and even when I don’t feel well I am here for you. I know some of you are close to the end of your rope and wondering how you can go on.  I was there many times with Rodger. Caregiving is very hard and no one who hasn’t done can appreciate what you do every day.  My prayer for you today is that you find a few moments to be calm and know you are not alone.

Appreciated

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Good Morning Caregivers

 

how do you feel today

Leave a message in the comment section and let me know how you are doing.  I hope there is a smile in your day today.

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love is whqat you do

Caregivers, remember what you do every day is LOVE. Love isn’t perfect, love isn’t easy. LOVE is who we are for those in our care.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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Sometimes I wake up Grumpy

Give yourself a few moments of respite. Let Grumpy sleep late this morning.

I hope this cartoon lifts your spirits as you get ready to start your day.

 

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all entitled to a meltdown

The meltdowns were one of the hardest things I had to deal with as a caregiver. Not his. Mine. The times when I felt drained and had nothing more to give. His resentment, anger, and accusations overwhelmed me.

“She’s no damned good. I know all about women like her,” he told the nurses. “She’s poisoning me,” he said to a sheriff’s deputy one day.  “She doesn’t give me any food,” he complained to my husband.

So yes, I had meltdowns. Many of them. And the guilt afterword was overwhelming. How could I behave like that? What was wrong with me?

The answer is, nothing.  Just as there is nothing wrong with you when it happens. We all have our limitations and the stress gets to us. Sometimes emotion overcomes us. It’s normal. It’s natural. It will happen. And you will feel the guilt. Let it wash over you and then let it go. You are doing your best and you don’t have to everything right in order to do the right thing.

When things become too hard know that The Imperfect Caregiver understands and is here for you.  Contact me anytime.

 

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Up the Down Staircase

alz up the down staircaseOften Rodger would say to me or my husband, “It don’t make sense.”

He was right. This disease turned his world and ours inside out and upside down. Going up the down staircase was the only thing that did make sense. If we tried to approach the situation with logic, chaos ensued.  Throughout our lives we are told to live in the moment. Mental illness and dementia made that imperative. We abandoned our reality and went into his feeling as lost as he did.

Many times he told the doctors that I was crazy. We thought the same of him. Who was right? The answer depended on the day. He had moments of clarity so crystal clear I sometimes wondered if he had been pretending much of the time. I had moments when I lost it so completely I was convinced I had gone over the edge and might never find my way back.  Still we carried on. Step by step, day by day, we resumed our proper roles and began again the trek up the down staircase. Each a little bit crazy in our own way.

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Good Morning Caregivers

 

So often I hear from caregivers who are confronted by family members who question their motives. Others don’t approve of care decisions we make. The last thing we need is criticism when we are trying so hard to do what is best.

When I saw the picture I am sharing with you today it immediately spoke to me. Among the many things we need; understanding, compassion, some company now and then, respite care, time for shower, etc., is encouragement.

Pass this on to the people in your life who may have forgotten that a kind word or a small gesture can mean the world to a caregiver.

Caregivers I appreciate all that you for others and I am praying for you today.

 

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