Control

Jean

Control

Jean
time-731110_640We had a hospice aide who provided excellent care for the 1-1/2 years that my MIL was in Hospice. She was great at all aspects of care--bed bathes, hair, nails, transferring, etc. and tidying up afterward. She did have some "issues" that didn't affect her performance. She always put a couple things back where she thought they should be so rather than where I wanted them. I didn't make a big deal out of it and just move them back when she left. She easily got upset at any perceived criticism. She was very "controlling" and frequently confabulated--her stories were really quite outlandish. But she was good at her job.

This morning I woke up from a very disturbing dream. I was in college, moving into housing with 3 roommates and the aide ended up being one of them. She had moved around the furniture, decided whose bed was whose, put away everyones clothes in the drawers she thought they should have, had shopped for groceries and had meat thawing for dinner. No one else objected. I finally spoke up and said I thought we should collaborate on things and that I wasn't so sure we would all be having dinner at same time, etc. Her expectation that we would just split the grocery bill after she did all this shopping. I finally spoke up saying I though we should discuss these decisions then everyone looked at me like I was being unreasonable and a real bitch. Then the other piece of the dream was that I couldn't focus or concentrate long enough to finish any classwork.

I woke up feeling so disturbed and having trouble shaking it. I guess I'm still trying to shake it now. When I think about the overall theme of the dream, it is a need for control. First the aid controlling everything and then me trying to take back control of my "stuff".

Maybe it is because I can't control my best friend's cancer. I can't control when I will get a call from her or her family to update me. I can't control the flood of tears that hit me throughout the day. And I'm once again losing focus, finding the house phone upside-down on the charger, constantly misplacing things, losing my thoughts mid-sentence.

I told P that the up side is that I can vividly see how much my memory/focus is attached to stress and that means I worry a bit less about symptoms of Alzheimer's. Both P and I had noticed as we approach the one-year mark of his mom dying and our caregiving ending, both our memories and concentration have been gradually improving.

I have used and recited the Serenity prayer many times in my life. This is certainly a time to use it again.

(I think last I wrote about her we were waiting for biopsy results. It is stage 4 lung cancer, haven't gotten PET scan yet to see if it has spread to other areas.)

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Denise

I'm so sorry, Jean, for this diagnosis. What a shock and what a heartbreaking situation.\r\n\r\nWhat an unsettling dream. It does seem to be about control--and all that's being controlled for you. It seems like you fear you're losing your voice to all that's happening. I wonder if you could somehow talk to your friend about being more involved and being part of the direct communication chain? I know I feel better when I'm in the know--it's the not knowing (especially when others know) that's awful.\r\n\r\nSo odd how one year away from caregiving brings yet another caregiving situation. So glad you're here so we can support you.