I think therefore I am? – Chosen One

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

There’s usually one person in the family who is the go-to person when it comes to anything to do with death and dying. They are the one that everyone else relies upon when times get tough. They are the one who is called when a life is at risk. They are the one that everyone else counts on to get them through tough situations. They are there to liaise with the medical teams. They will drop everything to attend to the needs of the unwell person, even if it means their own needs do not get attended to for some time. They are the one who copes on behalf of everyone else. They will translate the bad news into more acceptable language.

They didn’t get a choice in these matters. Everyone else just turns towards them. They end up being a key conduit of information, from the family to the healthcare team. They will also relay information from the healthcare team to the rest of the family. The bad news may be broken to them in the first instance and they will broadcast the message in a way that their family will understand.

It’s difficult being that person. You are so busy taking care of everyone else, that you don’t leave much in the tank for yourself. You keep on doing your assigned roles. Someone has to do it. When everyone else is busy grieving and crying, someone has to call the Funeral Director. Someone has to organise the service, the funeral booklets, what songs to play, and what speeches are to be presented. No time to grieve when there is so much to do. That can wait until everyone else is taken care of.

Sound familiar?

Guest Post – Naomi’s Notes – Mamma Mia

Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

It was getting harder to manage working full time during the day and caring for my mother.  The routine was I would wash her in the morning and give her breakfast and her medication then leave her a drink in a thermos cup with something for morning tea.  

My sister would call in to see her before she went to work at 10 am. My other brothers and sisters were supposed to phone her during the day when I was at work.   I would come home for lunch, give her lunch I prepared the night before, give her medication and a drink and leave something for afternoon tea before heading back to work.  I finished at 5pm but sometimes couldn’t get away till 5.30pm as I worked at the District Court and sometimes the Court sat late.

The routine worked for a while but as she started to decline I noticed little things.   I would come home for lunch and her morning tea hadn’t been touched.  When I asked her why she hadn’t eaten the orange I left her, she was embarrassed and replied, “I tried and tried but I couldn’t peel it” and she couldn’t unscrew the lid of the drink.  I felt terrible that she wasn’t able to access it.  It coincided with her telling me she was lonely when I went to work, it was a long day for her.   I looked at her beautiful face and I knew she was not one to complain but this was important to her.    Something had to change. 

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Guest Post – Naomi’s Notes – Mama

Photo by dominik hofbauer on Unsplash

Today was shower day. In preparation, I lit the fire and made the room nice and warm,  laid out her clothes so they would be nice and cosy to get into, just like my mother had done countless times over the years for all her children.

After showering, I raced her down the hallway in her wheelchair into the warm room and proceeded to dress her and blow dry her hair.  She was unable to transfer other than to put her arms around my waist and hold onto me as I put her into her favourite chair.

“Well,  now you have to pay me,” I announced.

She looked at me suspiciously until  I said the cost of the shower was two kisses.

She smiled and gave me five kisses and said,  “Oh I have overpaid you.”

“Don’t worry,” I replied, “I have change.”  I kissed her cheek three times;  She laughed just like she used to laugh and then I made her a hot cup of tea.  After the tea she fell asleep in her chair.  She looked exhausted from the effort of showering and slept for an hour.

When people came to visit she would try and sit up and talk with them but after a while she was just so exhausted.  Her kidney function was getting worse.

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