The next couple of posts will have been written by a fellow Massage Therapist, who is a close friend of mine for over 20 years now.
She has been taking care of her Mom for several years now and recently, her Mom has passed away. She is sharing her story and hopes it will give someone else going through a similar situation, inspiration.
A Care Givers Journey
It was 8:30 AM when I got the call. It would take me close to an hour to get there. It was mom’s second seizure and though they had stabilized her, I called Linda to see if she could get there any quicker. Thankfully, Linda lived less than a mile from the assisted living facility where mom had been living for just 2 years.
After mom’s first seizure, there were many details that needed attention. Linda was like a sister to mom and had been there for her mother, who died from a brain tumor, also. She knew, before I, how to step in and be helpful. She knew it was necessary to get a system for laundry in place to make sure mom had fresh linens & keep the room pleasant for all.
While I was managing mom’s overall care from a crisis management mode, there were many details that were not on my radar. While I was keeping the medical and physical aspects of her care topmost in my mind, there were other things that while important, had never occurred to me. Especially helpful was the use of Baking Soda and Borax while washing dirty linens. These two ingredients help to illuminate odors like nothing else.
It was March and while mom was diagnosed in January with brain cancer and a tumor in her lungs, every day was unique. Hospice had come on board and was managing mom’s pain but there were so many other details and needs that varied daily.
As mom had several falls after breaking her hip over 2 years ago, I was grateful I had an opportunity to catch my breath and realized I needed to pace myself. The support and ‘coaching’ from family and friends had opened my eyes to the massive amounts of energy I was expending caring for my mother, whether I was physically with her or not.
There were the daily challenges with hygiene & feeding as mom’s right side of her body showed the effects of her brain tumor. An issue which created more challenge overall was the worsening of mom’s neuropathy and spinal stenosis. About 6 months prior to her cancer diagnosis, she was no longer able to assist herself with a walker or wheelchair. She became a ‘total lift’ and that brought a whole different level of complexity to the care she would need.
Please check back later for the second half of A Care Giver’s Journey