I am not one who handles change well. I am better than I used to be, but not much. Yesterday I was thrown from the couch with the early news of a text. I was being informed once again that one of the caregivers would not be here.
I try very hard to understand both sides. Al is not as important to everyone as he is to me. I don’t have a husband nor small children and others do. This can be considered an easy job, meaning there is no lifting nor transfers from bed to chairs.
This job is very mentally draining and for me very emotional. The changes occur frequently. Sometimes Al’s MSA will change hour to hour. Staff that works in this house have to be or learn to be flexible or it will definitely become a burdensome task.
Also, I can remember when I was a caregiver for other patients, not family. We go, we do our job and then we go home to our own private life. I never gave it too much thought how much time is still left in the day for the primary caregivers.
Now that I am that primary caregiver, it is imperative for my mental and physical health that caregivers be here at all times unless bad snow storms hit. I am responsible 16 hours per day and when a caregiver doesn’t show, I am suddenly thrown into a 24 hour day.
I love my brother, but I need a break. This is why I hired two caregivers. It saddened me yesterday when I was forced to let one of the caregivers go. It just seemed every week there was a day called off.
My friend came here to be with me for emotional support, friendship but I found it disturbing that she was jumping in and doing caregiver work when one did not show up for work. I felt so bad for having to make this decision, but I have to sometimes put me above even Al.
Also yesterday it saddened me deeply to learn that my friend was going home. It is easy to be selfish and want her near me, but alas, she has her own life to live and I must let her live it.
Now I have one caregiver that splits her responsibilities between her job and here with Al. She is picking up some of the other caregiver’s hours, but I have learned today that I will still carry that sole responsibility of caring for Al each weekend and a couple of days a week.
There are no easy answers. I went for six months without any help and I so appreciate any help I can have for Al and me now. I pray daily that God will take Al home and I will gain the rest that I so desperately need.
I am drained, tired, exhausted, sad, frustrated and yet somehow I get through each day and night. Al will always remain the most important person in this home. I have to do what is best for him even if it means I suffer along the way. He is the one laying in the bed, not me.
The house is quiet. The caregiver is here. I look over at the recliner and I do not see my friend knitting the baby blanket. I don’t hear her sweet voice or see her beautiful smile. I don’t see her eating her popsicle. I miss her so much, but I have learned so much in the past seven years. The most important thing I have learned is life moves on whether we want it to or not.
Life has never nor will be a bowl of cherries. Laughter can not always be made to happen. But I still stride to look for the small things each day to help me carry through. I lean heavily on my friends here at WordPress, through numerous comments.
I lean maybe too much on the MSA groups through Facebook. Maybe I do lean on my caregiver and all of my internet friends, but if I don’t, what will happen to me? I do what I have to do, this is what I have learned through my adult life. God will carry me through, because someone out there in this world needs me.