I'm Sorry, Grandma. Tomorrow Will Be Better.

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I'm Sorry, Grandma. Tomorrow Will Be Better.

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Sunrise(Tonight, we welcome a new blogger, Denine. You can connect with her on her profile: @denine120.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

I felt resentful for the first time today.

Less than a month ago, I was performing onstage in the Dominican Republic with a Christian hip hop dance group before an audience of close to 1,000 people.

Today, I officially resigned from my missionary position and became the primary caregiver for my grandmother.

Do I know what I’m getting myself into? No. Do I have any experience or training with dementia, or senior care, or any health-related issues? No. Has my family ever talked about this possibility? Had it ever even crossed my mind that I would be the one to end up taking care of her? Never.

No one pressured me into do this. I did so by my own free will, willingly. In fact, I haven’t even told my mom that I resigned yet.

In a way, it makes it harder to deal with days like this, when I feel like I’ve failed her. I CHOSE to be here, trusting that God would give me the strength and wisdom to care for her. But today, I simply don’t feel like it. I don’t want to ask if she has to go to the bathroom, or explain why she needs to change her diaper, or remove her dentures. I don’t want to explain for the 50th time that I will not help her get more cigarettes.  Honestly, I don’t want to be in the same room with her.

And worst of all, I did not insist that she get up and eat before going to bed for the night, knowing that she hasn’t eaten since lunchtime. Although I passively asked if she was hungry (and lamely left a cookie and yogurt), I did not insist when she opted to stay in bed. That means she will go to sleep malnourished, and will wake up hungry and disoriented.

Is this how the cycle of neglect starts? If this is happening after three weeks, what will it be like after three months?

I’m scared. I truly am. Grateful, though, that I have my family who is being very supportive, encouraging and trusting. Grateful for the abundance of resources available to me. Grateful above all that God’s got my back, and showed me so clearly that I was supposed to be here.

So Grandma, I say to you tonight, the first time of what I’m sure will be many times: I’m sorry for not taking better care of you today. But I love you. And tomorrow will be better.

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6 Comments

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Denine

Wow, thanks so much for all the encouragement! I'm so grateful for this forum and to know that I'm not alone. \r\n\r\nToday WAS a much better day! My brother came for a few hours. He totally entered into our daily routine and loved on her while I got out for an hour. (Thrift store shopping!!) \r\n\r\nLove to you all!

Il

Ditto to all of the above. . . you are painfully honest and positive with yourself. . . sorry and tomorrow will be better shows that you will do so well with dementia . . . \r\n\r\n(((hugs))))\r\nil

Chris

Tomorrow is always better than yesterday. The fact that you are honest with yourself is one of the best things and one of the hardest things of being a caregiver.

darciejane

Denine, this is a very moving and painfully honest post. Like so many here, I can relate to every word. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts.

Denise

Hi Denine--First, I love that you are blogging! I'm grateful that you chose to share with us. \r\n\r\nAnd, second, this post just touched me. I love your vulnerability, your honesty. To me, your post screams courage--the courage to give yourself a chance to better tomorrow. \r\n\r\nI hope today will be better for both of you. Please let us know. :)\r\n\r\nP.S. I wrote about \"Fail\" a few weeks ago; perhaps this may help: http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/2013/07/fail/

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