On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘burnout’

When Reality Bites, Write | By Guest Blogger Krista Krueger

English: The autism friendly mark for use on t...

This blog sort of fits with my blog at www.kompletelykrista.wordpress.com  called Writing and Reality because this is part of the reality that goes with my writing.  One of my daughters is Autistic and that takes up a lot of my time.  The more therapies, the more interaction that she gets, are all things that help her development.  One of my sons also has what has been termed as delayed, so he needs less but still some help in maturing and that kind of stuff.  The amount of meetings I go to during the school year is amazing.  My husband works two jobs so that I can stay home and take care of her and the other two kids.  For roughly six years I’ve been doing this by myself.  Sometimes people try to help but when it comes to our kids, we’re very specific about who can watch them for us to get an hour out to maybe grab something to eat and that hasn’t been able to happen for a long time now. (more…)

Caregivers: Heroes with a Different Kind of Courage

I may be a country girl and a grandma, too, but I’m a pretty up-to-date lady. I even have my own Twitter account (@LindaBrendle in case you haven’t followed me yet). In the four months since I’ve been a member of the Twitterverse, I’ve met a lot of interesting people. One of my new friends is Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond, co-author of Heroes: What They Do and Why We need Them, and co-owner of a blog by the same name. When I tweeted him that caregivers are heroes, too, he was kind enough to invite me to be a guest blogger.  Read my post called Caregivers: Heroes with a Different Kind of Courage at:

http://blog.richmond.edu/heroes/2012/07/07/caregivers-are-heroes/

Blessings,

Linda

Ouch! My Halo Is Too Tight! | by Linda Brendle

I’ve written a lot in the last several months about saying good-bye to Mom. I’ve focused on the good memories, the poignant sweetness of my last few visits with her, and how much I miss her now that she’s gone. I’ve received lots of positive feedback, a lot of it similar to this recent e-mail from a friend.

Sue: I have also loved your posts about your mom; you continue to honor her as you did when she was still on earth and I give YOU honor in that.

My response: Thank you for your continued encouragement about my writing. Without the day-to-day stress, and especially now that her struggle is over, it has been easy to focus on the positive aspects of our relationship. I sometimes feel guilty about some of the negative things I included in my book, but they were truth spoken in love, and I think it’s important to tell both sides of the story. Otherwise people who are having negative experiences think there is something wrong with them. In fact, I just may have to write a post about that!!

As a caregiver I was told that I was an angel, a saint, the most wonderful daughter in the world. I didn’t feel like an angel or a saint, and there were times when I felt anything but wonderful. The longer I served as a caregiver, the tighter the halo got and the less appropriate the labels seemed. I wrote one post about some of my less than proud moments, but it’s time for another one for any of you who think you’re the only one having a hard time. (more…)

Grandpa and His Nerd | by Linda Brendle

My older brother, the Reverend Doctor Jim Robinson, is a very special man. Through the 65 years I’ve been his little sister, he’s been my friend, my rival, my tormenter, my hero, and when I came to the end of my caregiver’s rope, he was my rescuer. When I finally picked up the phone and said I can’t do this anymore, he picked up the reins and stepped in as Mom and Dad’s primary caregiver. It’s not an unfamiliar role for him. As a minister, he’s cared for the needs of various churches for over 50 years; and 15 years ago, he became one of the caregivers for his special grandson Kyle. (more…)

I’m Addicted | by Linda Brendle

David and I spent a few days around New Year with my brother Jim. We enjoy spending time with him and Jo Lynn. They’re a fun couple who always has neat ideas of interesting things to do, and they are excellent hosts. That alone would be enough of an incentive for a visit, but they also live three miles from Southridge, the assisted living facility where Mom lives. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I had a major caregiver burnout a year or so ago, and Mom moved from my home to Southridge. I miss her a lot, but in the last 12 months I’ve begun to recover my sanity and my health and to remember how much I enjoy spending uninterrupted time with David. But this visit confirmed that it’s a good thing she lives almost 300 miles away, because I’m just a step away from relapsing into addiction. Hi, my name is Linda and I’m a caregiver. (more…)

Thank You…

We had our Thanksgiving lunch at the Senior Center today, and I’ve been giving a lot of thought to being thankful. Gratitude has been a popular subject on the Internet lately, from the hoopla over Tim Tebow’s public prayers of thanks for his God-given talents to Facebook challenges to post a status of gratitude each day in November. (more…)

Confusion and Clarity

This is a journal entry from the day before my brother Jim arrived to move Mom and Dad to their new home. After caring for them in my home for six years, I reached the point of “I can’t do this anymore.” (See my August 8th post) After my come-apart, Jim found a lovely assisted living facility near him in Arkansas. As always, to avoid undue anxiety for everybody, I waited until the last minute to tell them of the impending changes. (more…)

Jesus, the Caregiver

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance: all the classic stages of grief. As a caregiver, I’d add another stage: burnout. My mom’s memory started to fail about 15 years ago, and my role as her caregiver started with an occasional offer of assistance, “Here, Mom, let me help you with that,” and progressed to a cry of despair, “I can’t do this anymore.” (more…)

Why Do Old People Smell Bad?

My 7-year-old grandson Mattias frequently makes comments or asks questions that get him published in his dad’s writings or at least posted on Facebook. This is the most recent one.

“Dad, how come, when people get older, they smell a little bit worse?” (more…)

Just a Dream

I dreamed about Mom and Dad last night. I do that quite a bit lately. I guess it’s my subconscious working through the grief of Dad’s death and the nagging guilt that caregivers feel about this decision or that situation that could have been resolved differently or handled better. When I woke up at 4:30, the dream was clear, and I mentally composed a brilliant blog post around it. I should have gotten up and written it then or at least (more…)

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