Saturday, September 4, 2010

Handling Mr. Guilt

This is my first entry in the SG inTouch blog. I'm asking myself, What do I say that would be helpful? Certainly, it should be Spirit led. That doesn't mean I'll be preachy, but if the Spirit speaks to you through this attempt, don't blame me.
My mother will be 92 in November. She wants to stay in her home and she does most of the time, but with a lot of help. Health aides come in to help her bathe, check her vitals, encourage her to exercise. With all this, I'm still her primary caretaker. She's become quite dependent on me.
If she feels bad, she calls. When I ask what her symptoms are, she can't describe anything in particular. "I just feel bad," she responds. This happens so often I've been driving back and forth from my house to hers several times a day.
I worry if she's eating enough or if she's taking her medications. Her short-term memory is shot. A friend told me I needed to get help before I become a burn-out case, but I've been dragging my feet.
Why? It's called Guilt. Ever heard of Guilt? Guilt is an ugly dark cloud that follows you around wherever you go. No matter how much you do, no matter how much sacrifice of time or money, Guilt doesn't go away. Another friend told me, it never will matter how much you do for your mother, Guilt will say you haven't done enough.
So I braced myself, admitted I wasn't a superwoman, pushed through the dark cloud of Guilt and hired Nellie. Nellie has had many years of experience in elder care. Mother liked her immediately. I still see about my mom every day, but now I have a few hours of breathing space. What about Mr. Guilt? Oh, I'm sure he's back there somewhere.

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