Have you ever experienced a moment where you say something to someone where they sort of acknowledge it, then someone else says the exact same thing, and that same person is completely mesmerized by their words? Welcome to my world.
My mother called yesterday, complaining of dizziness. She informed me that she couldn’t get up from her chair, for fear of falling. Keep in mind, that I have been urging her to have a caregiver come on the weekends, but I am met with a ton of resistance, so I have dropped it. Instantly, I am annoyed. Annoyed that my mother doesn’t cooperate. Annoyed that she is solely dependent on me, and right now, I am limited. If I didn’t have Brian partnering with me on her care, I would be screwed. So, my spouse changed his plans for the day, and we ventured over to her house.
I settled on her couch as she told me to call her doctor because she is sure she had an ear infection. She went through a litany of stuff that was wrong with her and I said, “It’s your blood sugar. You don’t eat enough and so, your body is responding to that.” Of course, she balked at that. Then my spouse said the exact same thing. You would have thought Jesus had just entered the room. Cue my exaggerated eye-roll. He brought her some orange juice and encouraged her to drink all of it. As if he had just raised someone from the dead, she looks at Brian and says, “Brian, you are so right. I think that has been the problem. I feel so much better”. Really? My spouse gives me the look which expressed his desire for me to not open my mouth and reiterate that I had been saying this for weeks. I complied…..this time.
Brian fixed her breakfast and coffee. While she eats, I drop the bomb of telling her that I am going to get a caregiver for the weekend. She says to me,”We really should have planned better. If I had known how serious your surgery was going to be, we could have avoided this situation.” If this were a cartoon, this would be the moment where one of the character’s head would explode. We have had several conversations. In hindsight, I should have just bitten the bullet and gotten a weekend caregiver, but I do try to let her have a say in her own life. Lesson learned.
I am so grateful that I have a spouse who helps me balance out my reactions. Left to my own devises, I would have lost my shit with her. Between, trying to heal and dealing with her needs, I am exhausted. But, I know that this opportunity to care for her is simply a lesson in cultivating this relationship. She is fearful and I need to be more empathetic. Honestly, I am fearful too because I know I can’t care for her and heal at the same time. She simply requires more help than we can offer, and the most loving thing I can do is embrace both our fears, and be part of the solution. Oh, and Brian will now be my spokesperson since she thinks he hung the moon. It’s survival of the fittest, and I have to adopt some tricks, otherwise I will be that cartoon character with the exploding head.