Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Understanding

My dear friend, Lisa, hosts a weekly blog challenge for caregivers and anyone else that wants to chime in. This week the word prompt is:


Understanding

Understanding is a big word. A word that I struggle with. I don't know that I understand. Anything! Sometimes!

While my cousin was here last week, and Richard was doing so poorly, we didn't understand. Well, really it was my cousin who didn't understand. He thought I should call an ambulance and take Richard to the hospital. I told him that we were not going to do that anymore. That we are going to keep him home and take care of him right here. Then he thought I should at least call the Hospice nurse. I didn't feel like I needed to do that. What was she going to do? And I was comfortable with where we were. And then my brother came. And he said "this just isn't good" and I started to second guess myself. I felt like I wasn't understanding what it was I was supposed to be doing.

Do you know what I did? I got out the books that both Richard and I filled out before his stroke in 2011. The title of the booklet is Honoring Your Wishes. It is a personal planner with pages to fill in the historical information, a page for favorites, a page for spirituality, and a page for final requests and wishes. Here is where I found my understanding. Here is where Richard told me exactly what he wanted. I found peace with this understanding. He wants to be free of pain. Even if that means that by taking the pain medications it might shorten his life. He knew that back then. And he told me what he wanted. And it is right there in black and white for all to see. I know what he wants. And I will honor his wishes. Even if it isn't what the rest of the world understands. It's not their death. It is Richard's. And I understand exactly what he wants.

Now hop on over to My Sweet Peanut and link up with her One Word Wednesday blog challenge. That's what I am going to do.....

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Stay strong in your power, in your situation. Inspirational xx

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    1. Thank you Lisa. Sometimes it is the 'staying strong' that is so hard. When others question me or roll their eyes or say 'oh my' then I start to question myself. I need to learn to stop doing this and know that I am honoring what Richard's wishes were when we made this plan

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  2. I love that you went back and looked what Richard had to say about his final days back in 2011. That would definitely help to put things into perspective and be able to tell people why you are doing what you are doing. I'll have to look into that book, it sounds like something we should all do for our final days/wishes.

    betty

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    1. There are ones that you can find on-line to record you 'final wishes'. We got ours from the Hospice that was caring for the residents in the nursing home where I was working at the time. It is call Honoring your Wishes.....but I have seen similar ones on-line.

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  3. Exactly. Richard's wishes and your comfort level are all that matter now. It is easy for others to Monday morning quarterback when they have not walked in your shoes. They mean well but they have no understanding.

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    1. You are right Wendy. And every journey is different. What one person goes through with a dying loved one won't be the same as what someone else will go through. Thank you for always being here for me!!

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  4. I wish we had done more of that with mom. I lived so far away (1600 miles) when she started to exhibit the signs of Alzheimer's and I was focused on getting her to go to the doctor to get diagnosed and get started on medication. We did a little bit of this when her husband passed, but not enough. I don't have much family, so thankfully no one comes and stays - because when someone who isn't living this offers their 'suggestions' I have trouble being as kind as I like to be!!! You are the expert. You are the person he trusts. And you are right to honor his wishes. Wendy is right - they mean well, but only you can understand!

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    1. Having family is a good thing most of the time. There are those times however :) Thank you Lisa for being one of my understanding friends

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  5. It's good that you guys filled out those booklets. Because of that you can have peace in your heart that you are doing the right thing and exactly what your husband wants. I wish you peace.

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    1. You are right Jeanette. I am glad that I have the booklet.....

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  6. I should see if I can get the booklets for my parents (and myself) so we can have the necessary conversations. Having it written out and specified makes so much sense.

    Hugs!

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    1. Look for some on-line Allison. Type in the search bar : final wishes, final wishes workbooks....etc. You will find things that will fit. If you can't I would be more than happy to make copies of our booklet and email it to you and you can copy and print them out....(I have a blank one yet)

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  7. Dear Paula ... I wouldn't have understood before my mother had her stroke ... so I totally understand what you're saying here 'outsiders' whomever they are ... family, friends etc cannot seem to put themselves into the position of the patient, or their nearest and dearest ..... it is something I struggled with when my mother was alive .... and still come across it now. It is so frustrating to deal with ... the outsider seems to think they know ... yet you're there dealing with your beloved and know all the ramifications ... understanding: such a good word - I wish more people would think! Great post .. with thoughts - Hilary

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    1. You are so right Hilary. I thought I understood all there was to understand about death and dying and caregiving. Because I am, afterall, a nurse. But until I began this journey with my husband I didn't have a clue what people go through with someone they have loved for so long and are closer to than any other person in the world. I hope that you will never have to understand

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