Ups and Downs

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

“…as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.”-Rick Warren

Emotionally, it is so hard being a caregiver…if the patient is down, you can’t help but be down yourself even while trying to lift the patient’s spirits. So, yes, everyday, I go through with mom what we are grateful for: “Getting up…”    “You” (meaning me and me meaning mom), having her own home and her family nearby, etc.

I don’t believe she’s eating enough. I prepare the meals. I am so much more lenient now because I want her to eat. My cousin said buy those Ensure drinks…Mom will never ever touch those things. We saw the gastro dr. this past Friday and continuing on the Asacol. This Thursday we’ll see her regular dr who is her cardiologist and internist. He’ll see that mom has lost weight, she’s at her high school weight of 160lbs, that part she likes.  I bought some lox so tomorrow she’ll have a little lox and cream cheese on a half a bagel and I hope she eats the whole half of the bagel!   Today I got a 2″ diameter blueberry pancake into her for breakfast with a coffee, that’s it. For lunch she ate a little cheddar cheese over a little chopped salad and some matzo (no, not a whole board of matzo). For dinner she has a little potted chicken, meaning 2 of the “leg” portions of the wing with rice, greenbeans and carrots. I’ve been juggling watching what she eats to get the glucose level down (she won’t go on diabetic meds), but wanting to provide foods that she will eat. Did I tell you she loved the 6 steamed shrimp dumplings last week and ate all 6 in one sitting??? That was unbelievable. I am getting a shrimp with lobster sauce lunch on Friday that she’ll have for dinner Friday and Saturday. 

Mom’s spirits were better from the get-go this morning, so if her spirits are better, then mine are too. We’re connected, folks, what can I tell you. There are many ups & downs to caregiving, but we have to go through them and navigate them the best way we can.

Today my son called mom from India and that is always a source of happiness for mom. My daughter calls her several times a day as I’ve previously mentioned. This Friday she’ll see her granddaughter because she’s coming to sleep over and spend some time with her grams. My children are mom’s only grandchildren and they mean the world to her and she means the world to them. They’ve a very close bond.

3 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. I found caregiving to be a series of bumps and mitigations. Bumps created downs, mitigation created ups. Visualize a gently rolling line of ups and downs, with a gradually declining slope. Crises create more valleys. The overall slope becomes steeper–and, eventually, slippery.

    I’m glad to hear your children and grandchildren are actively involved with your mother. Mine were too, and I consider them my greatest gift to my mother-in-law.

    As I said in “What to Do About Mama?”

    “BGM saw all her in-laws as family. She also wanted to be a good role model to her own grown children. Keeping their interest in mind, she saw caregiving as the opportunity for a “teaching moment,” (well, actually more than a moment), where they would learn and internalize the real meaning of family commitment (and never did her children disappoint).” p. 202

    “Most importantly, at least from my perspective, was that she was central to the active life we were blessed to have with our family—three of her grandchildren and eight of her great grandchildren. She was always concerned about whether the little ones would remember her after she died. A short while ago the oldest said to me proudly, ‘I was the last great grandchild to talk to Great Grandma.’ She would be pleased.” p. 206

    Barb

    • Always enjoy hearing from you!!!! My daughter is going to stay with my mom all day this Saturday since I am attending a ceremony to pay tribute to my uncle’s life. He was mom’s younger brother and died in March and mom can’t go. I am going to be a speaker so I’m so happy my daughter just called to say she’d stay with her Grams.

  2. My daughters became much closer to their grandmother after she moved to our area, and later into our home, and they became involved in caregiving. My younger daughter once said to me, “Mom, thank you for taking care of my grandma and for being such a good example to me.” Caregiving has its positives and its negatives. This is one of the positives. Barb

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