Lists, Plans, Hopes and Dreams

Sharon

Lists, Plans, Hopes and Dreams

Sharon
question-mark-460869_640Well, tomorrow is our appointment with the geriatrician. When I made this appointment, I was so overwhelmed, worried, scared and frustrated. I did not know where to turn, or what to do. Mom was not eating well, losing weight, didn't want to go to daycare to give me a break, and was visibly declining. I wanted someone, anyone, to tell me what to do, as I have no handbook for all of this.

They told me what to bring to the appointment. Meds in original containers, any equipment we use, and a list of concerns. The meds and equipment is easy, nice and straightforward. Now the list of concerns, that is a different story, entirely.

How do I list my concerns? Obviously, lack of appetite and weight loss is an easy one. Next, how do I get me time without her feeling she is a "burden" and I am trying to get rid of her? Next, how do I plan for what is to come? How will I know when I may need outside help? What will this look like as time goes on? How will I know the end may be near? What is considered an emergency and what is considered just the way things will progress? Do I try to give her hope by planning trips and events, or just let her relax and rest? Should I push her or let her just sit? When do I let her lead the way instead of me always looking for a way to improve her quality of life? Do I press her for answers about what she wants, hopes, dreams of or do I just let time slip away and go with the flow? How do I handle the anxiety of knowing if I am doing it right? How do I handle making decisions not knowing if it is what is best? How much sleep is too much sleep? How many layers of clothing is too much clothing when she feels cold? Can she get too hot and not know it? How many questions are too many questions on my list of concerns? How do you put on paper what it means to watch your parent have to be parented? How do you list concerns of keeping a promise to keep her home when you don't know all the answers or all the right things to do?

Every time I wear my caregiver shirt in public, someone says something to me like "My sister took care of my mother, and I know how hard it is", or "What you are doing is admirable", or "I give you a lot of credit". Well, as you all know too well, this is a scary, rewarding, stressful, happy, sad, joyous, overwhelming, patience draining, loving, wild ride. I guess my list of concerns should be: How could I NOT do what I feel in my heart is right, no matter what a geriatrician, pharmacist or social worker tell me?