Wednesday, 23 December 2015
My Caregiver Transformer Christmas
I've been thinking a lot about how in my family, we plan special family occasions and how we change our plans or even cancel at the last minute. And I've been thinking how typical that is for anyone giving care to a loved one.
For example... Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday. She's 93 years young and at that age, her body sometimes betrays her wish to party. So I won't know for sure that we are having her birthday lunch until just before we leave in the morning. I've made two quiches and a lemon sponge cake. I've packed dishes, wine, cutlery and special decorations, plus gifts, of course. If Mom doesn't feel up to having company tomorrow, we'll unpack everything and reschedule her party for another day. And that's OK.
On Christmas Day, we'll drive to our son Nick's house and help him get ready to come home for the day. We'll pack up his feeding pump, syringes pre-filled with multiple medicines and extra supplies of all sorts. We'll bring him home to open presents and later on join us at the table for a roast turkey with all the trimmings. Will Nick's pain get the better of him and force a change of plans? I don't know, but one thing for sure is that we are flexible. We'll see how it goes and we'll go with the flow.
If Nick is feeling well on the 26th (not too tired from Christmas and pretty much pain-free after all the excitement), the whole family will join him at his residence for a world junior hockey game on TV (after all, we're Canadian so holidays always involve hockey!) and lunch. We'll change up those plans if Nick isn't up to it on the day.
And the list goes on. We've got a family event planned every day during the holidays. And we know that each event might be on... or not. Our job as family caregivers is to accept that we cannot control how our loved ones feel on any given day, no matter how much work we've put into an event or how much we might be looking forward to it. Nothing is written in stone, ever. The main point is that we love each other and that we all want to have fun. How that happens is very fluid because we are caregivers and we understand how to have a transformer Christmas holiday season.
I want to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow caregivers everywhere a very Merry Christmas and a New Year blessed with joy and contentment. We walk a special path - a noble one. Peace on earth, everyone!