To caregivers everywhere consider this:
- What you think will happen may be all in the mind, and I am not referring about the person you are caring for; I’m talking about you, the care giver. Just because you get a comment of “I need to talk to you about something”, does not mean the conversation will be one of the usual conflict and argument.
- My mother called me early this morning with the above statement. I admit, I did not want to talk to her, as I thought it was going to be about what was scheduled to happen tomorrow, which was having an MRI and other tests. Prior to today she said many times she did not want to have the test, while other times she was okay with it. But this morning, I thought she wanted to talk to me about backing out of the appointment. Rather that taking care of it then, I postponed it, telling her I would talk to her about it later today.
- I spent the day thinking of endless scenarios of how the conversation would go, and how I would answer each one. What happened was none of the above. When the time came for us to talk, she said she was concerned if we had the right papers, and that the test had been approved by the insurance company. I assured her that I had called the hospital, and while there were issues, the corrections were made, which changed the appointment time, but all was in their computer and we were set for the appointment. As a result, she appreciated knowing “I was on top of things” and she would be ready tomorrow to meet me at the time I requested her to come to the car so we could go.
- The conversation took a short ten minutes, and it resolved a couple of things. I think we were both relieved: me giving her information she did not have, and me for not using any of my responses I stored in my brain for possible scenarios that did not come into reality. For me, time I used for that today was time not spent properly. Which brings me to the next point:
- Take things a step at a time and don’t think so much; your loved one is already doing that, so don’t follow suit. For caregivers, this is an area where stress can build, sleep is lost, and the ‘what-ifs’ can be endless. And for what? For something that has the possibility of never becoming reality. One last point:
- I learned I need to handle situations rather that putting them off. Delay did not help neither of us in this situation. My mother probably thought all day of what I would say, and I thought all day of what to say and what may happen. If I had taken the time to see her (though it would have made me late for church) the issue would have been resolved much earlier.
Live and learn, and in this case it is learning how not to think too much. Hope you do the same.