Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God has plans for our life and we do not know or can see what it is until He reveals it to us. I did not know what was coming into my life or how it was going to occur or when. When God has a plan for our life, we need to be open and listen to His word. What I am about to share with you is the plan God had in His mind for me, prior to when I was even born 58 years ago.
On November 19, 2002, I had an emergency surgery for colon trouble. The doctor removed 85% of my colon and I was in ICU for three days due to too much morphine given to me. Then during the 1st week of Dec I had a second surgery and a third surgery on Christmas Eve. I remember telling my pastor that I could not understand why God did not just let me die when I was In ICU. He told me there was a reason and only God knew.
On Feb 12 2005, my mother became very sick. She went to doctor’s office and passed out. The doctor took her back to a room put her to bed and started oxygen and IV. He said he was admitting her to the hospital. I looked at the doctor and asked him how long did she have? He told me then” six months or less”. Little did I know my problems had only first began with my family; but I knew I would have to lean on God even more than I had been.
I stayed with mother for a bit and then started going back and forth. On February 14th, a nurse came to mother’s apartment and talked about hospice. She asked if mother had a living will and a “DNR,” do not resuscitate form. No one told mother or I she would be on hospice. I started to get upset with the nurse and told him that he did not know what he was talking about because my mother was not dying. Hospice started to come in to give her baths and the nurse came in to do her meds, oxygen was brought in and I knew then things were bad.
When we are little, we do not dream that one day we will be caregivers of our parents. I did not ever think my mother would get sick much less be terminally ill. She was infalliable, she is perfect.
When I found out how sick mother was, I cried for days. Nothing seemed to go right. I blamed the doctor / mother / me / and most of all God. I knew something more had to be done, but there was no answer. I just kept getting more and more angry, as I searched the internet hoping to find an answer to this problem. I even took it out on my best friend and I hated my self for it. Then I realized I had to turn everything over to God in order to get through what was ahead.
On Mar 12,2005 she went back into the hospital with pneumonia again. That was when the doctor told me she could not stay by her self and that she would need to go to a nursing facility or live with her family. I told him I would take her in. When she got out of hospital she came home with me. I had cleared everything out of the computer room and had a hospital bed put in for her.
On Mar 17th, I moved mother in with me and that’s when the fireworks flew with my sister. That very night, she started causing trouble and hasn’t stopped since. She tried to tell mother she would die here with me and a lot of garbage. She told my mother that she needed to go to nursing home and she had one picked out. She wanted mother to have her own telephone and with a private line. She wanted mother to have cable in her room. She wanted her room painted lilac. Unbelievable demands were made that I could not fulfill. I told my sister management would not allow the demands she was asking My Mother finally got through to my sister. She told her that she did not want anything that she had been demanding on her behalf; she was happy.
I knew I had to further protect mother's rights from my sister after I found out that she had written checks on mother’s acct. I obtained the Power of Attorney and on April 3, I closed mother’s account and opened another account for her where I bank. To say the least this did not go over too good with my sister, because she knew she was not in control of mother's money.
Having my mother in my home has not all been a bed of roses. I was not used to people coming in and out of my home, nor was I used to conflict or confusion. I am a rather quiet person, but that all changed within two months.
With trouble from my sister, mother’s two sisters, I have had little sleep. On May 12th, mother’s sister arrived from California. I had to tell her to leave the Friday she was here, for she stayed too long. Then on Saturday, she returned. I told her she could not come in because mother was tired from the day before and she started in on me. Before it was all over, I ended up with a broken hand: a friend of mine had to call the police and my aunt was given orders not to come back. On Monday she showed up again and I made one phone call to a friend of mine who is a judge. She came over and ordered her out of my home. My aunt wouldn’t leave so the judge then called the police. To say the least, she is now back in California.
Mother and I have returned back to normal and are having a lot of fun. I just regret she is dying and won't have here very long. We are having fun while she is here. We have a saying, "I love you" and she would say “a bushel and a peck" and we both say, "a hug around the neck", and start laughing.
My schedule begins at 7:00 am, when I get up, dress, write in my journal and read. At 8:00 give her breakfast and morning meds. At 9:00, hospice starts coming in for her bath, cleaning, and nurse comes in. At first I didn’t like hospice coming in; but let me tell you this, it sure saves wear and tear on my feet. The home care comes in Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to give her a bath: a nurse comes in Tuesdays and Fridays, and a cleaning lady comes in on Tuesday to do laundry and Thursday to clean. I get an average of about 3 - 4 hrs sleep a night because moms is constantly up and needing things, but it is worth every bit of it.
I make use of every minute they are here, for that is when I can sit outside on patio and just think about every thing that I should be doing. I sit and think of how much more I could be doing for mother and can't do anymore than to keep her happy and comfortable.
My sister has tried to tell me no one in the family with be there for me and that I had no friends to help me at all. She even went as far as asking me what I was going to do when Mother died. I flat told her that the first thing was to get my telephone unlisted and only one family member would get it; that is my Aunt and Uncle. My sister proceeded to try to tell me that they do not want anything to do with me especially after mother dies. I told her I have friends at church and in the apartment complex that will be there for me and that foremost God will be here for me. I realize then I could not allow her in my boundary and I had to loose the bondage she had over me.
Being a caregiver has brought insight of how God can bring his loving arms around me and give me the strength I need to full fill His work in my life. I blieve taking care of mother is God's commandment "Honor thy father and they mother", I am honoring mother by taking care of her. It has also brought insight into my life of having more patience and character. It has changed my life completely. I depend on God more and more, read his word of love and caring.
I found I have to make time for my self, where as before she moved in I had too much time on my hands, now I have her to care for which I love doing. I do find myself reading more of God's word and praying more and more. God has changed my life completely. I depend on him more and more. I have given everything over to Him and trust Him more.
Empowering Caregivers has also been an important support for me. I have been able to connect with others who understand my situation and likewise, I support them as well. The chat room has been great. and I appreciate a room like we have to come and just scream if we need to. When I first came in, I was a basket cast. Cess told me to come in and see if Mardell or anyone else could help me with the conflict and confusion my sister was starting. Mardell has e-mailed me several times and has been alot of help. To know that I am not the only one in the situation I am in.
Taking care of Mother has been the best thing I have ever done. She has given up and is slowly dying. It will be hard for me but I will make it with God's strength to help me. It has made me stronger in God and stronger in my faith in Him. I have learned to depend upon the Word of God more and more every day.
I love my mother so much and I will miss her with all my heart, but I know I will not ever be alone for I have God in my life and have friends and my uncle to help me through the sorrow and help me gain strength I need and supply a strong shoulder to lean on.
God said, " I will never leave you nor forsake you." I believe this very much and I depend on Him more and more every day.