Reading is one of my pleasures. If you’re a caregiver, it is important to squeeze in times of refreshment. Holidays, right? Yeah, right. Ha ha ha.
In stolen moments I’m reading a well researched and moving historical fiction called Saratoga Letters. It’s set in the American Revolution and the present, and has captivating characters, suspense, romance and all that good stuff that caregivers sometimes forget exist. (It has action, too, but maybe we have too much of that?)
Yesterday I came to a passage that definitely leaned more toward truth than fiction. It will ring all too familiar if you’re a caregiver:
There was too much work to be done. None of the caregivers took time for rest. Neither would she.
Bleary-eyed surgeons and women bumped into each other as they tended the wounded and ill. Someone brought ale for the staff, but Abigail wasn’t certain who it was. She merely guzzled the offering and returned to her tasks. She forced herself to keep working…
Yes, it’s a military field hospital. But doesn’t it have all the realities in which caregivers are immersed for long seasons?
- Too much to do
- Lack of sleep
- Tiredness leading to mishaps (bumping into others, forgetting appointments, dropping/breaking stuff, burning meals, etc. etc. etc.)
- Losing awareness of others who aren’t the focus of our care
- Food and drink gulped down on the run
- Working when body/mind/heart/spirit want to shut down.
We are very blessed that friends are having us over for Thanksgiving. It is so wonderful to be with people who “get” our son and who are giving us a fun and refreshing evening.
But we know that so many caregivers are going to struggle, because holidays can be a war zone every bit as chaotic as that Revolutionary field hospital.
If you have a chance to check it out, here’s Denise Brown’s helpful Holiday Survival Guide page at caregiving.com. It is a great site all around and we hope that there’s something there that makes your Thanksgiving give to you as you give to others.