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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Contingency Plan If you're "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story.
I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.

The Contingency Plan.

I had slept very little the night before and was certainly feeling it on the morning of April 27th, 2013. Mom had been awake several times during the night.  We had been slowly but steadily cutting back on the narcotics she had been taking; each reduction resulted in a couple nights of very fitful sleep for mom.  The truth is, my lack of sleep had very little to do with the round the clock duties involved in caring for my mother. I was already awake each time she called; I was formulating the contingency plan.

Of course I am always very much aware of mom; I generally am listening to her every move through the baby monitors I have set up in the house, but there was much more on my mind that night.  My thoughts bounced around like a super ball; my emotions were equally as volatile.

Although I was thrilled about my daughter’s wedding in a few hours, I was also a little melancholy about it.  I kept picturing her as a baby; a little girl; a teenager; a beautiful young lady and today a bride.  My mind was displaying images like a slide show; I couldn't shift my attention away from the memories.  The visions of my daughter at various stages of her life warmed my heart; tears leaked from my eyes.

I also had tears in my eyes as I was leaving my mother for the day.  I knew I didn't need to worry; my sister would be there to sit with mom, but I couldn't help it.  Rationally, I know MY WAY isn't the only way, but it’s the way mom's use to; it works.  Unfortunately, I'm not always rational.

I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I am just a wee bit of a control freak; that day was no exception.  I tend to get frustrated when people don’t instinctively know what I need and when I need it; I just expect people to see what needs to be done and do it. Boy that sounds a lot worse in writing than it did in my head; maybe I do need counseling so I can analyze those feelings, huh?

I also have a tendency to over analyze things and try to plan for every possible contingency; I generally have a contingency in place for my contingencies.  It annoys me when others don’t see the need for my playbook; my playbook probably annoys them just as much.  Years ago, while on a family vacation, my younger sister had hit the nail right on the head when she said, “The reason we’re all so relaxed is because we know you’ll do the worrying for us”, or something to that effect.

I thought about my sisters statement a lot that morning as I ran to the pharmacy; the grocery store; the vitamin store and then set about making sure mom had everything she might need while I was away (more than once I had to remind myself I would be gone for less than twelve hours).  Before I left I fixed moms lunch and made sure her medications were set out.  I also set clothes out for mom to wear to the wedding; it wasn't looking promising, but I still hoped she’d be able to attend.

What was looking promising was the weather; it had been risky planning an outdoor affair this time of year in Colorado.  With the sun shining brightly, my daughter and I arrived at the venue right at noon; by four thirty we were ready for show time.

With nothing left to do but wait, I started worrying and wondering about mom.  I thought maybe I should call my sister to make sure everything was OK.  What if they had trouble getting mom in my car?  I hoped they were careful getting her down the stairs.  Then I reminded myself that my daughter was getting married and I needed to focus; mom was OK.  Even if she didn't make it to the wedding, my sister would always make sure mom was OK.

I jumped when my phone rang; I panicked when I saw my sisters’ number register on the caller ID.  “Never mind, I found it”, my sister said as I saw my car pull in.  I looked to the sky and thanked The Lord for bringing my mother to the wedding; for helping her achieve at least this one goal.

With no time to greet them in person (it was time to be seated!), I gave my sister parking instructions, which would allow mom to witness my daughter’s wedding from the car.  I felt elated as I took my seat in the front row and waited for the procession to begin.

My future son-in-law looked stunning in his tuxedo while he waited for his bride with obvious anticipation.

 My other son-in-law (also very handsome) brought a smile to my face as I watched him entertain my grandson until it was time to send him down the aisle.

I was pleased at how good my older daughter looked at almost eight months pregnant; she was a wonderful mother and a beautiful maid of honor.

My son was charming and as good looking as ever; I couldn't be prouder of the young man he had become.

I had a lump in my throat as my husband walked our daughter down the aisle; He was handsome and confident as he gave our princess to her prince and he didn't step on the dress!

As I gazed at the 140+/- family and friends that had gathered to honor this marriage, including my mother, I felt truly blessed; for the first time in months, I felt relaxed.

hadn't really believed my mother would be able to join us and if she did I thought she would probably want someone to take her home right after the “I do’s”; sometimes it’s nice to be wrong!  Although she didn't have the strength to manage the entire evening, mom was able to stay for pictures and she wasn't about to miss the prime rib!

The venue really wasn't handicap accessible, but with concessions from the owner in regards to letting my sister park in a “no parking” zone where mom could see the happy couple from the car and fixing mom a plate before dinner was served so she could take her meds, it had worked out as well as we could have hoped.  My mom was smiling almost as big as my daughter was; they both had accomplished great things that day; they had both reached a milestone.

My daughter was radiant as she married the man of her dreams.

My mother had accomplished the first of several goals she had set after falling ill the year before and for the first time in months felt like adding to her “bucket list”.

Even I had accomplished something some pretty astonishing feats; I had relaxed and enjoyed the evening; I had delegated without micro-managing; I had graciously accepted help without feeling guilty.

Oh, and, by the way, we needed that contingency for the contingency plan!


Anonymous said...

Yep there's always a plan A a plan B a plan C and so on! LOL

A New Me said...

I came by to visit after your comment/invitation. You have quite the meticulous blog entry here. Given what you wrote, I guess that would not come as a surprise, LOL. Thanks for sharing your blog with me, and when I have more time, I would be interested in spending some more here. I also welcome guest bloggers on my blog. It is about living and life, so I cover many things. If there is some perspective you would want to offer as a caregiver, that might be helpful for others to read. If you're interested, just let me know.

healthcare hostages said...

There has to be! lol

healthcare hostages said...

Thanks for visiting! I will definitely take a few minutes to check out your posts. And, yes I would be interested! ;)

A New Me said...

The Republicans, it is said, are up to Plan "E."

Penny McDaniel said...

I give so much credit to caregivers. It takes a lot of time, energy, and love. God bless you as you care for your mother through all of this.

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you Penny. Yes, it does take a lot of time, energy and love and a lot of team work!

Thank you for your blessings and kinds words!

Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

Today I finished reading all your posts. What a great story! I hope there will be more entries. Having been a caretaker, and now having to be taken care of, I can really identify with many aspects of what you have written. It is very difficult to be the micromanager, but even harder to be a micromanager who is being micromanaged! Hope your mother is doing well, and that you and the rest of your family are doing great!

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you for taking the time to read the story. Yes, there will be more entries as I bring the story to the current time.....Life got a little busy on me and some days it's harder to sort my thoughts than others, but rest assured I will continue the story soon!

Both sides of the caretaker fence can be a little muddy I'm sure. Sometimes I wish I would have had mom write some of the story from her perspective!

Have a blessed day!