Friday, December 11, 2009

Holidays For Primary Caregivers (not so jolly!)

You missed my once-in-a-blue-moon rant! Yes, two days ago I not only posted an update about Stephen, his surgery and recovery, I also managed to throw in a rant about the health care system and our government. I deleted it after my husband (who NEVER reads my blog) walked by the kitchen table and read it and thought it was “inappropriate“. I don’t see why. It’s not like I was cussing or anything. Next time I pitch a duck fit on my blog, I’ll make sure to close out of blogger. I did save a copy, so if you’re dying to know what I said, let me know and I’ll email it to you. ;-P And to those few who did read it and sent the emails, I want to thank you for your support and encouragement. Okay, moving along. The holidays are here, people! Are you ready? Does your home look like Martha Stewart has been there and decorated it for you? Or are you like me, and your tree and decorations are still in the storage building?

I said I was going to get to this, so here I am with my not-so-thought-out entry about caregivers and the holidays. I have only this to say: Can we skip Christmas this year?

We did skip Christmas last year. We had the Christmas morning thing with Stephen and my parents came by on Christmas Eve to bring his presents, but we skipped our family get together. That’s right. No “Mia’s famous cheese ball” no cakes, pies or fudge. No eggnog, no hot apple cider. Baaah! It was almost as if Ebenezer Scrooge himself lived here (before his transformation). When did I start disliking the holidays so? What used to be my favorite time of year is now something I dread like a root canal or mammogram. No, that isn’t true. I’d rather have a root canal or mammogram.

I think as Stephen has gotten bigger and the care giving has gotten more difficult, I’ve gotten older and more arthritic. Therefore, the part of me that once enjoyed doing those things was shoved aside as real life, as we know it, forced its way in. I want to enjoy the holidays, I just don’t have the strength to get there. Exhaustion is a wicked, wicked little monster. If you are a 24/7 caregiver reading this, you’re nodding your head and shouting, “Amen! Preach it sister!” But what good does it do to preach to the converted? I am a microcosmic representative of the group known as “Primary Caregiver” … I truly, with all my heart hope that non-caregivers are reading this, so I can help you understand how difficult it is for those of us who are caring for a loved one. We want our families and friends to understand that we just don’t have it in us.

I am skipping the whole section I was working on titled, Useful Holiday Hints For Caregivers, because I couldn’t think of anything useful to say, so I‘m going to speak from the heart of a caregiver.

… And I’m going to work on that today! If you have anything you want me to talk about as I “represent” the care-giving community, comment me or email me your thoughts.

Thanks guys!


kelly said...

Thinking of you and yours.. rant and rave all you want... that's what this site is all about. get it out..
Thinking of you~

Bridgett said...

I'm sorry, Mia. :(
I'm sorry that you've lost your joy for the holiday season.

While I consider myself Parker's primary caregiver, he's doing so well lately, I kind of feel like a 'regular' mommy. Whatever that means.

But I remember those days. I do. And I empathize with you.

Sending big hugs your way, my friend.


Warren Baldwin said...

What is one or two simple ways to encourage or help primary caregivers?

Warren Baldwin said...

Just checking back to say, Happy New Year.

I've read these last 2 posts a couple of times now. If it is ok, I would like to use a few lines from this one in a sermon I am working on for tonight. Your posts inspire me.

My lesson tonight is from Proverbs 15:30 - "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." Cheryl and I live too far away to give you and your husband a cheerful look. But, maybe we can give you a "cheerful book." I wrote you an email recently offering you a (free) copy of my book on Proverbs. Perhaps from half-way across the country it is a way we can offer the cheerful look and hopefully impart some joy.

God bless all three of you!