Monday, June 01, 2015

Still Caregiving

I cancelled my Saturday night plans with Lucy and Chet to stay at home with my mom. There wasn't another viable option; Meg was in a wedding and my dad was attending another one on behalf on the family. Also there were coconut cupcakes and we are rapidly making our way through Downton Abbey and, while she insisted that she was okay to stay by herself, she wasn't.

Have I mentioned how exhausting caregiving is?

Everything is going as well as to be expected but I am beyond tired. I am delirious. I can't tell which way is up. And I don't have much to show for it -- I get Mom ice and refill her coffee cup and keep her company and turn on the next Downton Abbey episode but I am back at work today and, quite honestly, barely functional.

Yesterday finished me off.

On Saturday morning, my pregnant cousin Anna showed up in town with her husband for a very sporadic visit home. Like, they decided at 10:00 on Friday night to come to Michigan for the weekend and they left 20 minutes later. She called on Saturday morning to let us know that they were in town and she mentioned coming over to see my mom. I knew there was no way it would be a I-know-you're-laid-up-so-I'll-just-stay-for-5-minutes visit. On Saturday afternoon, I went to the grocery store and stocked up for visitors.

Visitors, indeed.

Their Sunday evening visit turned into a full blown family party. When Anna said she had invited her father and his wife to join us, bringing the total number of dinner guests to 10, I nearly started crying.

Instead I made appetizers and a salad. (Anna brought the main course.)

It was good to see her (and everyone, really) but it was a lot.

My mom was a really good sport about it. She knew that the circumstances were utterly absurd but she was a trooper. She smiled through the evening and didn't even try to do the dishes.

It's okay that I'm pulling more than my fair load of the burden in the wake of Mom's knee replacement. She's pulled more than her fair share for my entire life. But I will admit that I am looking forward to the return of normal. Between dogsitting for Lucy and Mom's first post-surgical week, I feel like I can barely remember what my normal life feels like. I just know that I miss it.


Danielle said...

Normal life will come back to you, it's always there, waiting in the wings. I think it's a very kind thing to look after your mom while she is recuperating, especially from a knee replacement, yikes. She probably hates the attention more than anyone. I hated people taking care of me, and I only had a knee arthroscopy done. Yet, everytime Miles got me a cup of tea or cooked most of dinner, I was grateful and felt very loved. I'm sure your mom feels the same x1000

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