Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting to the Bottom

Last week was a difficult week. I received three different phone calls from my mother in law, saying she was in pain. In the past, these phone calls meant it was time to go to the hospital because something was wrong, but now we work to manage the pain. Now, I ask questions to get to the bottom of it and this is not easy as she is getting more and more confused. I inquire if she has told a nurse, when was the last time she had pain medicine, and does she feel like she wants to pull her hair out too which means there is some anxiety as well. These phone calls take me through a wave of emotions, and having three in a week put me over the edge by Monday morning.

The emotions begin with first a sense of panic, that I HAVE to get her out of pain. Second, I have sadness that she is in pain. Third, I wonder how long is this going to go on? Fourth, frustration because there seems to be a breakdown somewhere as to why this is happening, on a simpler level in regard to the pain and on a deeper level, cancer. But the system is not perfect, nor am I. Sunday morning while attending church I felt the emotions sitting on my chest ready to come out but when and where? To someone or by myself? what do I do with the kids? And how does George feel about all of this and I KNOW he doesn't process things the same as me. After church, I wrote a post to a closed group that I belong to on FB and vented and the tears started to fall, some relief was coming. Monday, I talked to two different close friends in and around taking my kids to VBS and I cried and they listened without judgement and it was cathartic.

By the end of the day, I was drained, and utterly empty. I don't like the way this feels either but it is better than trying to push the feelings down. I am experiencing them head on. As the Hospice worker says, some people take the rest of their lives to learn to live with uncomfortableness. And it is slowly becoming easier to allow the feelings out and knowing it is okay to be overwhelmed and then exhausted. There is nothing wrong with me for having feelings. Today I feel tired but cleansed, ready for the next wave. I have taken three calls from the nursing home while trying to type this but this is good because we are getting to the bottom of the breakdown. And it is a good thing to get to the bottom of a breakdown...

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