Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good Advice

A short while ago, someone from my COPD Caregiver's list wrote in an email words to this effect:

"Make the most of each day. Make memories with your loved ones...let them know you love them.....and be at peace, because if you are at peace....your loved ones will be at peace....it is a shared feeling.....along with love."

She was responding to a letter from the worried daughter of a man with COPD. Her father was not doing very well, and she was looking for guidance and support from others in this situation.

Valuable advice. "Make the most of each day" is what I hear over and over from people whose loved ones have passed on.
Some days I do - I cherish our time together. Some days I don't. I have activities to do and other people to meet. I used to worry that one of these days while I am off having fun with my friends or on a shopping trip, I'd come home to find Hubby passed out on the floor - or gone.

"Let them know you love them". Yes, I do - all the time. And it flows both ways. In this I know I'm very fortunate. Not everybody loves their "patient". Some are just Caregiving because the person happens to be a family member and there is no one else.

"And be at peace." Well this one doesn't fit. I am definitely not at peace these days. I'm in a turmoil. Worried about Hubby. Worried about myself. Worried about other family members. And I never used to be a worrier.
In fact, one day, I was talking to a friend who said to me "You radiate inner peace. I want that."
Wow - what I'd do to turn back the clock and capture some of my former "inner peace". That was a long time ago. I don't even recognise the person I have become.

Time to make some well needed changes within myself, especially as I read the last bit of her paragraph: "....... because if you are at peace, your loved ones will be at peace - it's a shared feeling..."

Ouch..... does that mean he is picking up on my inner turmoil? He seems to be "at peace" most of the time. I don't pick up anger or bitterness or even fear from him. The only time I sense fear is when he is having an exacerbation.

Sometimes I think he is in his own little space, his own little world and thinks only of his own needs. Other times, I can see just how sensitive he is to my moods, my feelings.

I need to work on finding my "inner peace" once again. And sharing it with Hubby.
Thank you, E. for sharing your advice.


Cheryl said...

Oh Wendy....you have tugged at my heart strings.....No one can understand anothers pain, and it is so difficult to find peace, when the strain and stress we deal with in caring, becomes such a heavy load. We are human and life changes us as we make our journey. Just be you and I am sure peace will come to you. Trying to find it is impossible, it will find you.
I shall think of you tonight, you are not alone when someone else cares.

Wendy said...

Thank you Cheryl, you have touched my heart too. And given me something to think about - that peace will find me, rather than me trying to capture it - or be the same person I was about 10 years ago when life was truly rosy - before COPD.

That's strange you should tell me to just be myself. I have been wrestling with that too. Who have I become? Where is that carefree, grounded, person I used to be? It's the grounded that's missing - I seem to be walking in quicksand and feel that everyone is pulling me down (not on purpose, not to hurt - but it's just happening.)
I do appreciate you taking the time to write.

JeanMac said...

Thinking of you.

Mary said...

IBINI1Wendy, thank you for your nice comment.

Caregiving - the most difficult job on earth as I have seen but not experienced. My hat is off to you...

I like your blog and I intend to revisit.


Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy....you will feel like you are in quicksand, I have been there. You will survive, you will be stronger, and most of all you will come out a better person than when you started this journey.
Might I respectfully suggest that you find something that nurtures your soul, it is your soul that is hurting and suffering. If only ten minutes a day do something quiet and peaceful, try to clear your mind of all else, Focus on that one special thing for Wendy. You need this, you really do.
If ever you need a friend, you know where I am.

Rose said...

Knowing you must find "inner peace" is an easy task; actually finding it is much more difficult. I hope that you can find a little time each day for yourself to refresh yourself and find some of that inner serenity again.
It is certainly understandable why you feel in such turmoil; you are to be commended for accepting such a difficult task as caregiving and being so caring, as you obviously are.

Beverly said...

I'm thinking of you, my dear. I pray that you will find your inner peace that you need.

Femail doc said...

Oh Wendy, what a struggle to be the people we'd like to be, patient, peaceful, radiating inner strength. I fight with impatience, exasperation, resentment, and other toxic stuff, did with my Mom, do with my spouse. Sometimes I just couldn't be around her when I was full of those feelings, likewise now at home with hubby.

What I found, in retrospect, after Mom died is that the memories of all our good times in this past year, the peaceful times (sometimes she slept in her hospital bed while I dozed nearby in her easy chair) and the good talks left me completely regret-free about our relationship and our long good-bye. I only hope that through the upcoming years and difficult times to come as COPD takes it's toll in my home, I can somehow blunder my way to the same balance and sad-sweet conclusion as I did with Mom.

Wendy said...

Thank you JeanMac, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Mary, I loved your blog and that post about your Dad. Even though you are not physically a caregiver, I'm sure your heart is with your Dad always. Thanks for shopping by.

Wendy said...

Dear Cheryl, I hope you are right. I used to think that I would come out stronger, but lately, I wonder.
Thank you for your suggestion. You are very kind and sensitive. I will try to take some time just for me.

Thanks Rose also - since two of you have given me the same suggestion, I will spend a little time nurturing my soul. Gardening is a good place to start.

Hi Bev, thanks also for taking the time to stop by.

Judy, Thanks for your good advice also. I see you've been there, done that. It is the good times we hope to remember in the end.

Freadom said...

Yes! Good advice for all people. I think we should post hose words on the walls of every room in this here hospital.

Wendy said...

Thanks for stopping by Rick. You are so right about posting those words in the hospital.