#care #mothers @
Two words, “Fatigued” and “Frustration” describe how I’m feeling. Tired is automatic and overused. Weary, describes me as teary and worried. Exhausted can be cured with a day of bed rest. The feeling is all through my body. As you all know, I shared how my Mom and I received a “Reprieve to Love” back several months ago from a health emergency. The reprieve was such a blessing; but, as illnesses with the elderly are unpredictable, the journey continues. We are now on the fifth hospital and having survived six ambulance trips, the fatigued factor that our small family feels turns to frustration. Frustration from dealing with hospitals, doctors, schedules. Frustration of knowing this could be the end or just the beginning.
What I Understand
The most frustrating part is Mom. At 78, and having been a controlling, strong, opinionated and oftentimes cantankerous personality, begging her to eat, sleep and participate in her therapy sessions has added more fuel to the frustration fire. I understand her age factor. I understand that she is struggling with fatigue of going through a major life-threatening surgery. I understand that she is looking at hospital rooms that become more like a jail cell. I understand that she is dealing with her own frustrations after managing diabetes for over thirty years to now having to have dialysis three days a week. The result was a hospital depression.
What She Could Not Understand
All of this is expected. But, what is hard to understand is this woman taught us to always fight through our battles. That’s when the fatigue turned to pure frustration. When you see a family member that has fought through so much adversity and survived many other surgeries just quit and become a medical diva, you realize a stopping point was coming. It came when her insistence that one of us stay all night all the time stopped for the pure simple fact that our bodies shut down. Our own fatigue took over. Mom didn’t understand and got mad; but, in truth, it was the best thing we could’ve done. We realized through our stumbling around with no energy, no sleep, and even to the point where we ourselves began to comment on our own dishevelment, we weren’t doing Mom any good.
A New F Word
You see, being in a constant “F” mode keeps you from thinking clearly and you really concentrate on being “Fatigued” and “Frustrated.” Everything involving the care and business of your loved one gets overshadowed by these two things. As I began staying at home every night, I had to understand that getting rest beat my guilt over leaving my mom. As I regained my energy, slowly but surely, my mind switched to another “F” word, “Faith.” Faith in the staff at the hospital. Faith that we as a family regained our own health in order to help Mom. And, faith that everything would work out in God’s own time in his own way.
Faith instantly lessened the fatigue and frustration and gave us new breathe to function. As we enter the 9th month on this journey, I remind myself that I have choices on how to continue to best help Mom and help myself. I can either stay in the “F” mode of fatigue or frustration or pick the “F” mode of faith which keeps my blood pressure down, my hair color intact, my stress weight down, and the smile beaming with no resentment when I visit my mom.
So, when your time comes for a journey similar to this, please remember. You have a choice to be in a good “F” mode or a bad “F” mode. Just remember one gives you a bright smile and beautiful hair. The other makes you fat and bald; hmmm… which one do you choose?
[Janet E. Blakemore is a former full-figure model, former director of a modeling school, retiree from TN State Government, and an awesome, vibrant spirit of a person. In addition to writing, Janet is an entrepreneur who enjoys retail therapy, being a Tennessee State University alum, and time with her adult daughter and extended family. ]