8 Comments

Caregiving, Ever felt like that Hamster.


Yep
we’ve all been there,
or
many are there right now, takin a few precious minutes for a respite and I’m honored that you are finding here worthy of a moments rest.
The hamster on the wheel is proof in the pudding of those living these days, smushed between lives of caregiving, while running round and round and somehow losing themselves in the process of it all.
That running in circles
and in lives so busy,
even at times getting thrown off the mills/cycles/and round abouts
most folks, just get back up and in the thick of it again.
They forget that perhaps it is in those times of being thrown off or out or on the down
that is a perfect time to be still a minute or longer.
A time to enlist help,
or
to take an inventory of how you got where you are!
Maybe it is a time to find a new way of doing those things that have you feeling a lot like the hamster on the wheel or a squirrel in a tree
and a time to see if perhaps it is time for a well needed break!
Yet we hear and witness stories all the time of how life and situations threw us for a loop and ended us ass over teacups without notice,
yet we jumped back in there and proceeded right where we left off.

Ofen feeling smaller than how we started, yet the wheel goes on, the demands are larger, the routines get absorbed and a nother day goes by…

Time flies by and rather than counting the blessings we find ourselves counting the tasks yet to complete before we can lay down with all obligations as close to being met as possible.
Fun?
What is that?
Friends?
Who are they anymore?
Understanding?
Whose, mine?
Expectations?
Whose would that be?
Self-esteem?
Concentration?
Wasn’t that the name of a game that used to be on television?
R e S p E c T?
oh yes, that was a song from back in the Day that Aretha what’s her name sang wasn’t it?
Care Givers
in today’s world
Self-Care
not so much these days.
hmmm.
Another time perhaps what caregiver and person finding themselves in that thing called the
“Sandwich Generation” has time for such things?
Who would have thought that one would have to raise their kids, raise their kids kids and then some.
Who would have thought that the stress of caregiving while trying to make a living would forestall trying to make a life
and also involve caregiving for Elders and balancing lunch/dinner/cleaning/shopping and standing up for beliefs values and community.
Who ever thought that would not impact wellness, balance abilities of caregivers across our world in ways that are hard to understand yet beckon for friends and neighbors and the world at large to pay attention to?
Communities would do well to involve others to invite speakers, health care, funeral industries, pharmacies to support and encourage
seminars, gatherings where caregivers could hear and be validated!
Caring for the caregivers affects their daily lives; their ability to live their life with zest, with mindfulness with absolute joy.
Others don’t know what they don’t know, and caregivers are so absorbed in all that they face that they don’t know what or who to ask for assistance!
It is well documented that caregivers are under tremendous stress, often have to be absent from their jobs, are suseptible to infections, to immune system failure, to Cancer, to stress related illnesses.
If you love someone who is a caregiver; be tolerant, be a good listener, and call them often.
Show up!
Don’t ask how can I help you.
Instead, offer to take the kids to the mall or movies and give them a break!
Take a meal to them.
When you show up; be active,
ask where is the vacuum/the windex
and make yourself busy!
Offer to sit for them while they go and get a massage, or take a bubble bath.
Be a friend to a friend that is overwhelmed with action steps
and
offer or start a list for them.
If they are in the process of making end of life decisions and YOU are a good and trusted friend;
offer to go with them to a funeral home.
Let them know you are willing, that you do not want them to be vulnerable and alone in decision making.
Once anyone is like a hamster on a wheel it is difficult to get off!
Even if thrown off, the brain now has the message to get back on
repetitive behaviors are the message the brain is used to receiving.
We must work to give that magnificent brain the messages we want in order to get the results we demand.
WORK THE PLAN
Give the brain the command.
YOU are your most precious resource!
As Dr Seuss says,
“You have a brain in your head and feet in your shoes, only you can decide which path you will choose”
Caregivers have rights and responsibilities just as those they are providing care to.
It is a beautiful thing to care for another,
it is demanding and rewarding,
it takes much,
yet unless you care for you well you cannot provide care for another for the long haul.
Take best care of YOU.
It’s time to fly the friendly skies to
Southwest Virginia!
Prayers and thoughts continue for
Thomas O’Brien now home from the hospital with his mom and beloved 4 legged Seamus,
we are with you Thomas and your beautiful mom Debbie.
Walk in Beauty,
DRSES
Advertisements

8 comments on “Caregiving, Ever felt like that Hamster.

  1. Caregivers are often the forgotten ones. It is hard. Life itself is hard especially when we get caught up in the rat race. I for one love our serenity. Hugs

  2. Excellent read, and Excellent comments. So many things in caregiving it blows the mind. Can make one's brain actually feel like it is “spinning” inside the head, literally. Or at least I experienced it. Hope it wasn't loose marbles!!—BUT laying all jokes aside, wish I would have known then what I know now, that I have learned from Dr. Sherry's reads, and all the wonderful comments. You guys are REALLY good people, with experiences that help others. I really appreciate being able to be a part of what goes on here. I had to chuckle about the clean house that Anonymous mentioned–one of the things I had to change from perfectly spotless, to “good enough”… Anonymous was reading my mind again on that baseball bat too. Just keep talkin' Fluff, you are precious, and I haven't ever seen an end to this “little” box we type in. I don't like this “little” box, cause I hate arrow keys. Should be wider, so can see what we type like in a letter–all at once. There is my sarcasm for the “little” box. I wonder how far down it does go? LOL Blessings to ALL!!!!

  3. DLB has some really good advice there. Its all about the balance, and being mindful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, both of you Best, Donna

  4. […] Caregiving, Ever felt like that Hamster. (drses.wordpress.com) […]

  5. Oh Dr. Sherry, never any truer words as todays. I think you are peeking into my life. That hamster in the wheel is and had been my life for far too long. Some days I wanted to shout “Stop the World (Wheel) I Want to Get Off!” You said what I wanted to say yesterday when Anonomyous mentioned about helping one in that situation. It is better, if you desire to help to just do it! Don't ask how can I help because most of the time the caregiver is so caught up in the daily hamster wheel of life that they can't think what someone else can do. One has to continue on the wheel of life with eyes straight ahead and keep on going. The sheer exhastion soon kicks over to automatic drive and her keep on the daily routine. It is best for the caring one on the outside looking in to just bring that meal, stop over and if you see something that needs to be done just do it! Tell that caregiver, sit down and let me do that. I will go visit your Mom, Dad or whoever is in the hospital or nursing home and you stay home today and rest. Go take a nap and let me take your hamster wheel for a little while. Go take a warm bath, go and get your hair cut, go do something for yourself. Perhaps bring a gift card or certificate for something just for her/him and let that person know you will take that precious time to fill in for a while. Simple thing like going grocery shopping for them would be extremely helpful. Let them know you are there and available, it is in your plan for the day for the alone. Take a note pad and pen and say, what do you need from the store and I will write it down. It is harder to turn someone down when they are there in your face and offering a hand. Those things are so much appreciated. Or, you can say, I will be here until you get back – go do what you need to do. The worse thing to say is “Let me know if you need anything.” For the most part that one in the hamster wheel is not going to let you know. Just do it! Many people told me “Let me know if you need anything!” You know how many people I let know that I needed anything? – Right – None! One may put up a fuss at first but believe me, it will be so much appreciated. Even those little things, perhaps a plate of homemade cookies and a smile, a snack, a meal that just needs to be warmed up and enjoyed, a meal in a bag that can be frozen and pulled out and warmed when ready to eat, a sub sandwich lunch etc. is so appreciated. Or, you can order a meal and have it delivered letting that one know dinner is on me and on its way tonight. Okay, I am getting too wordy as I empty my heart out so I will stop now.

    My prayers today for Ali and her Dad. For Thomas and Mom Debbie and his furry friend Seamus. For our friend ee and for you Dr. Sherry and your family and as you travel there to Virginia. Be safe and take lots of pictures you can post and tell us all about it.

    Wishing each one that stops by here a Terrific Thursday and a peaceful day as you count your Blessings.
    /Sandy♥

  6. Great visual doc! talk about jumping right back on the wheel… And we do that don’t we. Easy to forget that a few minutes time spent trying to figure out what is not working well, and how we might rectify it makes sense. When the hours are compressed with demands, how is it we can put ourselves on the “to do list”?
    Taking care of the resource we are is NOT SELFISH. It is necessary.
    A worn out, butt tired caregiver works harder and accomplishes everything the hard way.
    Can’t do it all? Lower the standard. Neat is good enough. You might have been used to a sparkling clean home, now you may have to settle for just clean enough. NO wild animals roaming through the dust bunnies under the bed? Good. Good enough. Just cut yourself some slack. Perfect is NOT the standard to bring to bear. Set yourself free of the baseball bat that you use to beat yourself up if every damn little thing can’t get done in this minute. Guess what? It will still be there tomorrow after you have had a good nights sleep.
    So make time to rest, call on others to pitch in, and be kind to you. Sometimes, sadly, you are your only resource.
    Be well, be smart about what you can do, what you need to do and make time for what you want to do.
    One last bit of advice…. Try my three day rule. If I don’t “get to it” in three days, I cross it off my list. Apparently, I was too busy, or it was not as pressing as I once thought.

  7. Great visual doc! talk about jumping right back on the wheel… And we do that don't we. Easy to forget that a few minutes time spent trying to figure out what is not working well, and how we might rectify it makes sense. When the hours are compressed with demands, how is it we can put ourselves on the “to do list”?
    Taking care of the resource we are is NOT SELFISH. It is necessary.
    A worn out, butt tired caregiver works harder and accomplishes everything the hard way.
    Can't do it all? Lower the standard. Neat is good enough. You might have been used to a sparkling clean home, now you may have to settle for just clean enough. NO wild animals roaming through the dust bunnies under the bed? Good. Good enough. Just cut yourself some slack. Perfect is NOT the standard to bring to bear. Set yourself free of the baseball bat that you use to beat yourself up if every damn little thing can't get done in this minute. Guess what? It will still be there tomorrow after you have had a good nights sleep.
    So make time to rest, call on others to pitch in, and be kind to you. Sometimes, sadly, you are your only resource.
    Be well, be smart about what you can do, what you need to do and make time for what you want to do.
    One last bit of advice…. Try my three day rule. If I don't “get to it” in three days, I cross it off my list. Apparently, I was too busy, or it was not as pressing as I once thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: