Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Most Difficult Phase of Caregiving Thus Far

By far my most difficult phase of caregiving thus far has been the year long struggle that ensued between my mother and me immediately following her diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease in April of 2004.  

I have written about our relative easy caregiver/patient relationship in this blog, but perhaps I do not share that initial time of struggle often enough.  This difficult transition to the role of caregiver and patient is the subject of the devotions in my book, and I'm in a different place in my caregiving journey now. 

I want people who are coping with that transition to understand that your challenges are not unique.  Mom felt so angry and resentful toward me, and I was so hurt.  I was horrified by her cognitive decline and overwhelmed by terrible love for her along with intensive grief as I lost the mother who had once been my firmest supporter and confidante.  It was awful!

But it got better. 

I think I owe it to those who have come to look to this blog for help and encouragement to address these issues that face caregivers and patients as they make that difficult transition through changing relationship roles.  These stresses can literally tear families apart.  One family bought a copy of my book for each sibling and were helped as they each prayed through the readings together, literally staying on the same page. With this in mind I've decided to share some excerpts from my book here on the blog.  This comes with prayers for each of you in your caregiving journey.  

Excerpt from Chapter 1:
 We tend to view the past through the lens of the present. It is human nature to shake a fist toward God when our circumstances are painful; Jonah was angry enough to die when God provided the worm that robbed him of the shade of the vine. He was not grateful for the protection the vine had provided him while he sat in its shelter; he was only angry that he’d been deprived of its comfort. (See Jonah 4:1-3.)
Having lived and thrived in the shelter of my mother’s nurturing love, I prayed for grace to remember the ease that her work and sacrifice provided for me for so many years.
Caregiver’s Prayer
Lord, please guard my perceptions, my reactions, and my words. Please don’t allow the trials that my loved one’s age and illness cause in the present to rob me of the remembrance of the blessings of the past. Grant me the grace to view my loved one through your eyes. Amen.
 From My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers, Chapter 1, Making the Transition pp 18-19

1 comment:

  1. The first part of Alzheimers (the diagnosis, the acceptance, the adjusting) is very hard. I know you found it to be so and appreciate your sharing those times with us all.