Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Sandwich Generation

I never paid much attention to that connotation until two weeks ago. That's when my almost 84 year-old mother fell and broke her shoulder. When taken to the ER she waited hours to be seen and then because it was late the orthopedist would not come down to see her. She was sent home with some pain meds. Long story short she wasn't able to get surgery scheduled for a week. 

 During that week she and my 88 year old dad stayed at my sister's house. Mary and her family took care of mom in the evening,at night and mornings.I helped take care of mom many days that week. My other siblings pitched in as they could. It was a long week seeing mom in so much pain. 

 After her release from the hospital mom needed round the clock care. Many of my siblings took turns staying with my parents at their home. During this week Jerry and I were in Alexandria, VA babysitting my two little grandsons. The day we flew back I came home, unpacked, then packed an overnight bag and headed to my parents' house. Now that we are back, I am taking my turns at staying with mom and dad. 

 Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I know it is selfish. It has been unnerving to change my mother's diapers. (Thankfully this was only temporary.) I feel like a terrible daughter because I just didn't like having to deal with that. There were other issues she had that weren't fun either. I could never be a nurse and have a deepened appreciation for what they do. 

 There has been a lot of coordination to be done. Making sure mom is taking all of her medications.Scheduling who will stay with mom and dad. Who will take her to her doctor appts. Who can do their laundry, pick up groceries,clean, cook etc. Looking ahead who can we get to do their lawn mowing this summer. (mom still cut her own grass) Finances?

We have been keeping a journal on their iPad so all who care for mom and dad have a running record of how each day goes. One of the hardest parts is just being with two elderly people who don't do much all day. You can only watch so many reruns of Bonanza and Gunsmoke! 

 My sister Nancy is flying in from Georgia for a week. Another sister Annie is planning on coming from Florida to help a little later. This is when having a large family is truly a blessing! Mom's recovery we have been told could take up to six months. She has lots of PT ahead of her. She'll be needing all of us to be there for her. 

 This Saturday I am going to babysit my little granddaughter for the afternoon. Early evening I will be setting up a photo booth for another granddaughter's birthday party. In the midst of all the care-taking this is a bright spot for me!

Jerry has been feeling the pinch too. He is the executor for his mother's trust. He is also the one who helps with her finances--checks to see if the checkbook is balanced, monitors her savings, etc. He was instrumental in getting her moved out of her house into assisted living and then getting her house sold. He was extremely busy with all of this!

Sorry I just had to vent a little. I know we were blessed in that mom's fall wasn't any worse and that two kind gentlemen stopped to help bring her back home. I also know that my mother would do the same for me and she wouldn't think twice about changing diapers. 

 So I am trying to look at this time with mom as a way of walking with Jesus. What would He do? Definitely not complain! Guess I'll go spend some time with Him. I'll ask Him to pray for mom and for me! 

Sandwiched between my grandkids and my parents isn't such a bad place to be. I'm incredibly blessed to have them all. Just need to remember that.

Update: Jerry's mom had an acute stroke last Friday. She was blessed with a wonderful surgeon who removed all of the blood clot from her brain. She is recovering at a rehab center for a couple of weeks. So in addition to giving care to my mom, we have been spending our days at the hospital with his mom.

Praying for good recoveries for both of these special women.

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