Monday, January 23, 2012

NO Pit So Deep

As a caregiver you may sometimes feel as if you are in a deep pit from which you cannot escape. The emotions of being responsible for the well being of your loved one who continues to decline before your very eyes can be overwhelming. Below are some words that I journaled on January 23, 2010. If you are a family caregiver, perhaps you can relate:

"Last night we watched the DVD “The Hiding Place.” It is about a Christian family in Holland who hid Jews in their home during Nazi occupation in World War II. They were eventually found out and captured. The father died about 10 days after capture, but the two sisters, Betsy and Corrie Ten Boom, were sent to a concentration camp.

In the horrors of concentration camp Betsy and Corrie came to the conclusion that there was no pit so deep that God does not go deeper. That movie was a real encouragement to me. Sometimes caregiving can seem like a real pit, but the Lord is with me each step of the way. My life is a piece of cake compared to what those ladies endured.

Having said that, however, there is no getting around it that sometimes caregiving is very difficult. I really have to struggle with patience and wisdom. Besides the difficult physical and mobility symptoms in my husband I am seeing some slowing down in his thinking. It is not that I can’t still rationally discuss some things with him, but as I said there is a slowing down in thinking.

He sometimes does have trouble controlling his emotions also in public. This usually manifests itself in laughing. Then there is the always the difficult task of communicating. He speaks with a mumble and does not speak clearly. Sometimes I ask him a yes or no question to try to make it easy for him, but then he talks around the question. That can be really frustrating. Then I suspect some depression is going on also. This whole process of decline physically and otherwise that I see in my husband seems like a slow death sometimes.

Adding to this stress we are planning on moving in about 4 weeks. We are scheduled to close on Feb. first on our new condo. We are moving from an apartment to a condo. Then we are scheduled to have a wheelchair ramp built starting on Feb. 2 for our condo. The plan is to move in Feb 20. My prayer is that the ramp will indeed be built the week after closing and that it will be easily usable with my husband, Wayne.

We have people from our church who have offered to move us and provide the trucks on moving day. I have seen one detail after another that I have been concerned about with this move fall into place, so why am I still stressing? I know our condo will be a sunny, more roomy place to live once we are moved in; but all the details to be taken care of before hand can be a little overwhelming. Sometimes my stress level feels like about 12 on a scale of 10.”

Dear Christian caregiver, the stress of caregiving can often be overwhelming. It can feel as if you are in an emotional pit that is so deep that you can not possibly crawl out of it. In those times remember the conclusions of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boon that there is no pit so deep that God does not go deeper.

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