Today’s story comes from the heart. It could be about anyone who is watching a parent go through a tough time.
There comes that cold and grey December day when you find yourself sitting in a hospital room across from the woman who gave you birth and are reminded once again about the temporary nature of life. A simple plate of food becomes a monumental challenge. The hands struggle to hold the fork and getting the food to cooperate is the most exasperating thing. These same hands once cut your food into small enough pieces for you to master. She encouraged you not to give up and promised that with time and practice, you would get better. But as you struggle, The spoon seems like a better choice. Then the fingers. Just don’t quit. You’re almost there.
After sixty three years of life, you now find yourself cutting the meatloaf into bites tiny enough to manage. The circle of life.
How will I be able to say goodbye? Then the sun shines through the dense grey clouds and she smiles at the warmth. It only lasts a minute and then it’s gone. But it is a beautiful smile.
To anyone going through the struggle of watching a loved one in pain, I would only offer that there is always hope and always helping resources. Elsewhere on theleansubmariner, we have pages and links for caregivers and for seniors. I would encourage you to seek those resources if you need them.
I would also encourage you to be truthful to yourself at every stage of the journey. There is no sin in admitting that sometimes bad things happen. There is no shame in telling the caregivers that the person’s walk is much slower and unsteady. It’s even a good thing to reveal the subtle changes since many times those little changes are precursors to bigger things. If the doctors only get your overly optimistic and often unrealistic view of the person’s real issues, how can they ever help develop a coping strategy or a way to mitigate the destruction?
Denial is nothing more than delaying critical analysis and care. To me, that is at best selfish and at worst …