I’ve been finding things quite difficult in the last while, supporting Mum as she cared for Dad at home, and supporting hubby. It’s felt at times as if no-one has been there to support me as I continue to struggle both physically and emotionally.
As you’ll know if you read my blog post yesterday (Even The Simple Things Are Forgotten) my Dad was taken into hospital on Wednesday suffering from dehydration as he wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Having spent hours in the hospital on Wednesday with Dad waiting for him to be admitted and then transferred to a ward, I was physically exhausted and due to the stress and supporting Mum, emotionally exhausted too. Since then we’ve visited Dad each day in hospital and that in itself is tough as he is just lying in bed with his eyes shut unable or unwilling to do more than respond occasionally to things we say to him…he looks so frail and helpless.
The other week I was chatting to a friend and we were talking about all the things that are going on in my life at present, and they asked me how I able to keep going. My honest answer to that question was, “not very easily“! Yes, while I’m in public I do my best to be strong and look completely in control, but underneath I’m struggling to keep it together and be strong for everyone around me. It would be a little easier if I was at least feeling pain-free all the time, but having to deal with all the things going on with various members of my family, and support them, as well as coping with severe pain levels at times is incredibly tough.
As far as how I cope with the situation with Dad, I think my automatic coping mechanism of seeing the funny side of everything definitely kicks in. Dad’s dementia means he has often said and done things which are quite funny on one hand, but when I think about the person he used to be, are incredibly sad and heartbreaking. Whenever anyone asks about Dad I find myself almost smiling and joking about it all the time, simply because it’s how I keep myself together and don’t fall apart. So if you’ve spoken to me and thought I seemed to make light of Dad’s situation please realise it’s just the way I cope with it, as I am deeply upset and saddened by what has happened to him, and I certainly do not find it funny in any way.
So my assessment of how I’m coping with life at present is I’m Getting By.
I pray every day that God will continue to give me the strength and the words to continue to support and help Mum and hubby. It sometimes has felt as though I’m on my own in this, but my faith keep reminding me that I’m never alone, because no matter what I’m facing, God is with me, supporting me.
I pray that if you are simply “getting by” in life too, you will always remember that God is with you through it all.