Tuesday, April 26, 2022


We knew it was inevitable. We've talked about it for 16 months. We've strategized for possible solutions. But about 2 months ago we finally saw the inevitable iceberg dead ahead... we saw our maximum sustainability of huge amounts of caregiving hours. The past 5 months have been especially brutal. Unfortunately, starting on the day after our Annual Banquet in November our parent's health issues skyrocketed (multiple hospitalizations, multiple UTI's, multiple surgeries, multiple COVID cases, etc, etc). It has been relentless and nonstop for the past 5 months (not to mention the past 16 months). During this recent resurgence of around-the-clock care my Sister and I saw the inevitable iceberg dead ahead. We've been on a head-on collision course with an iceberg called "unsustainability". Everything in our lives has been suffering to very unhealthy points for quite a while. We had gone further than we were able to go. We had no choice; we had to start backing off of our hours caring for our parents. Instead of being there 24/7 we had to cut back to around 16/7 & 12/7. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing. It was our new "best" that we could give. We've also had wonderful friends & neighbors that have come to be with our parents for 4 hours at a time to help lighten our load. We are forever grateful! With our reduced hours at our parent's house our hope was that Mom wouldn't fall during one of those times we could no longer be there. That lasted about a month. The day she fell was a day I would have been there. And the place she fell was a place that we prevented her from falling many times. I'm not struggling with guilt or anything like that. I understand that all I can do is all I can do, and we have done a good job of getting them this far. I jokingly blame my parents for not having more kids so those kids could be here now helping us too haha! So the long & short of it is that life is tough and growing older can be very hard. Exiting this world can be brutal. Mom is in a rehab center (nursing home) trying to walk again. Her Alzheimer's complicates every aspect of her new situation. There's a 100% chance that she will fall inside the rehab center during an unattended moment. Ironically she is now more vulnerable to falling than ever before. So I'm spending everyday at the rehab center trying to keep my precious Mom off the floor and on track to hopefully returning home... possibly in a wheelchair. But there are still times throughout the night that she will be unattended and has the potential of falling, breaking her hip, and heading back to the hospital. There have been 2 elderly patients that have fallen in the week that I've been there. And this is a fantastic facility full of amazing & caring workers. Another fall for my Mom right now would be a death sentence for her so we are doing all that we can to give her a fighting chance to come back home one more time. We are also scrambling to make whatever changes & adjustments we can to make whatever improvements we can in every area of our lives... including housing, wheelchair accessibility, and our own work & life responsibilities. I will be posting those updates over the next few days & weeks. As Albert Einstein once said, "In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity." Despite the exhausting aspects, this crisis is opening new doors of opportunities all around us. The hard part is having any time or energy to make the most of the opportunities. Still we press on to do our best to seize those windows of opportunities before us while they are open. Sometimes transformation comes through consternation. There are many good things that have been going on over the past 16 months that I haven't had time to share or post, but I'm going to be doing my best to share those good things. Keep your eyes peeled for some good news, good changes, and needed help with projects & opportunities that lie before us. We aim to turn ice bergs into snow cones!