Thursday, April 25, 2013

The power of kindness...

I find it interesting that even though I never signed on the dotted line or sold my soul to the devil, I cannot legally walk away from being a caretaker.  There is no reason good enough or acceptable for the abandonment of this position.  And, I suppose, that is a good law.  I know that there are many unscrupulous people who would abandon their parents in a heart beat if served their own selfishness.  But, I am not one of those people.
Yesterday, I wrote that I am done. Unfortunately, the insurance company is holding my life in the palms of their hands.  They have the power to decide how much I will give.  They decide how far my family must bend before completely breaking.  They decide how low I will go. They are too powerful.

So, first thing this morning, I showed up at the ER and, basically, threw myself on their mercy.  I  begged them to help me, help Mom.  I told them that I could not do this anymore.  And that I could not care for her any longer.  The only way that they would be able to place her in a nursing home was if there was something wrong physically that would require a hospitalization for 3 days.  Simple.  But, other than Alzheimer's and some bruises from falling, my mother has a healthy body for a 78 year old.  So, admitting her was taken off the table almost immediately.  And, I lost it.  I don't think I have ever felt so desperate and helpless in my life.  I was devastated. 

The hospital, however, did not send me on my way.  Everyone that I came in contact with offered me support.  Several people who were not assigned to us, stopped by just to offer kind words and encouragement.    When I would express any type of regret for taking a bed from a sick person or time from another patient, I was told that this was my turn for help.  They understood that I had reached my limit and they offered a hand of compassion and kindness.  The social worker worked non-stop for many hours trying to find a solution.  She arranged for the owners of several privately owned facilities to come talk to me and explain my options.

Tomorrow, we are going to go tour a facility.  And, whether we end up placing Mom there, or not, I know I have just a little more strength to keep going.  It is amazing what a helping hand offered with genuine kindness can do to energize an exhausted soul.


  1. Oh, Nancy. I wish I were there to help in any way I could. I love you so much. Consider yourself hugged.

  2. And I hugged you right back.