Please God, Give Me A Break!

My life is usually hectic, but for the past few weeks, I feel I have been upside-down in a whirlwind and the force of the spinning prevents me from tethering myself to something for a rest. Often, I have said that a shorter sleeping time is perfectly normal and preferred by many. When someone is worried about my sleep deprivation (as they call it!) I ask that they respect my beliefs and to leave me alone. Yet, it is often at that time I know I have pushed too much because I feel physically ill and it is difficult for me to function. At those times I feel nauseous, have an immediate urge to nap, and will not be able to do anything.

You may ask if this has anything to do with my blog that explores and questions the human twilight. Unfortunately, when I do not sleep well, or when I cannot have uninterrupted sleep, eventually, my mind barely functions. Regardless, I keep trying only to find that my fingers do not hit the keys correctly and I need to depend on the spell check to see a list of possible words that I am trying to type. Alternately, my mind wanders and I have a vision-like experience when I saw a human foot and the calf of a leg. When I tried to touch the heel, it suddenly disappears. Sometimes as I type I look up and see a line or a multitude of lines made up of j,k and l’s.  When they seem to go on into infinity I know I should be a sleep, yet time, there isn’t enough time for me.

While I am in this stupor, days can pass without writing a post, whereas, I usually try to start my next post while I am writing the last. I do not want a long lapse between posts because the continuity is broken and I feel it is important to keep writing.

I usually get this way after there has been a significant change in my schedule, particularly when my stress level rises as it did last week. Prior to that I was a little tired, but then my Mother’s doctor strongly suggested we take her to the hospital. Whenever my Mother is in the hospital, I go with her. I mean I stay with her for most of each day and then am there thru the night. Each day the nurse will ask if I want a cot, There was a time, long ago, that I felt sleeping on a cot in the room was a good thing. The alternate is a reclining chair. Quickly, I decided the reclining chair was better. Within the first hour of being on the cot, I was squirming in discomfort and my view was the bottom foot of the room. Each time a nurse or technician came into the room for a procedure I only saw their shoes and the bottom of their slacks. If my assistance was needed (as it often was) rising from the cot was ridiculously, slow. If I tried to place my feet on the floor and then stand, I found the cot to be too low to push up. If I used the cot for support as I pushed my self up the cot folded and crashed to the floor.

To be able to get up easily is important. Usually I assist the staff about every two hours. This last stay in the hospital reminded me that hospitals are not the place to go to if you need to rest. Ironically, that is something nursing does not understand!! Very few nurses are able to evaluate the patient’s need for rest versus their care. This is especially problematic if an elderly person is incontinent. Some will attempt to change their patient every 2 hours, without asking themselves if it is necessary. By the end of the first week, I could see how tired my mother was and I knew, but would not admit that I was sorely in need of rest.

Another problem happens when I am tired and in the hospital, although I don’t want you to think I’m–well–unappreciative of their services, but I do hate being there. Each time there is a long hospitalization I gain weight. I am supposed to be on a diet. I pay a lot of money to be on one, except that I have a tendency to use any excuse to nibble on junk food. Once I start, I do not stop. I become a twenty-four hour “eater” which means it follows me home. Each morning I arrive home for a few hours to catch up on work, pack a food and beverage bag and then at the hospital I buy every type of junk food they have in the vending machine. When my Mother was discharged, I assessed my diet after we arrived home and I decided to switch plans. I need one that will allow me to lose weight at a faster pace and not provide such a wide array of sweets to tempt a binge!

When I have a week like the one I have described I feel it is bad enough for me to worry about my Mother, but I seem to add many more worries and aggravation for myself. I continue thinking about everything that happens to me, my Mother or M, reorganize a list of things I am very behind on at home and realize on top of all this I lose control and make life even more miserable for me. It is at this time that I want to yell, very loudly and very frustrated: “Please God, Give Me A Break”. If I  do this, I must first question where or what are my beliefs, but I know it hard for me to answer because I have quite a time dealing with God, or more correctly mainstream God. I was brought up a Catholic, yet my Mother’s Catholicism is unique in that she has never followed its canons, but rather has her own, very religious way of encountering Catholicism that doesn’t acknowledge Jesus much at all. She only prays and deals with God. No intermediaries for her! During that time I grew up I abided by what I was taught in catechism, but I always questioned how could an all knowing and caring God allow the world to be as destructive as it is.

Maybe that is why, for years I only believed there may be a generic higher power. For sharing and not sticking out like an agnostic or atheist, I explained to people that I felt my higher power was a part of myself–a strength deep inside and that I didn’t have canons to follow, but that it gave me strength and conscious. But as the years passed and particularly after my mother became seriously ill I realized I began praying for her survival and I was using the word God as an entity that I was asking for help in a prayer that was similar to a chant. I asked for favors, pleas or even demanded that my mother receive God’s dispense so she would recover. I then followed the introduction with a Catholic prayer that I repeated endlessly. I questioned what the hell I was doing. Had I actually discarded my facade of beliefs I had formed or had I begun to adopt partly how my mother prayed. Soon I knew that I had gone past that point, I had not copied my Mother, but a belief had begun in desperation and that belief was in God because he had answered those chanted prayers.

Even though, I questioned if  my mother and I were correct in only dealing with the big guy. Then yesterday I was listening to a well-known Christian Clergy who explained that one should only pray to God. If you involve Jesus in your prayers than you must ask him to tell God your needs. If you think you should pray to the Holy Ghost then you need to understand that the Holy Ghost prays for you. With either Christ or the Holy Ghost, you may tell them you have no idea how or what to pray for and they will then relay prayers to God to guide you. It was all very involved and it was too much to digest in a small period of time, but I feel maybe that my Mother and I were praying in the right direction after all!

And so, I sit here each day trying to explore my feeling about growing older, about entering my twilight years and suddenly I realize what is bothering me and how it links to what I write about! I am thankful that I have settled my beliefs in God, but the following is a beginning list of worries I have, that I will need to resolve before I am within my Crepusculum.

  • If I am hospitalized as I grow older who will supervise my care if M is not alive.
  • Even if we currently have wills and medical power of attorneys for each other how do I begin to state all the things you need to state for your degenerative years.
  • How do I find another Power of Attorney for the future if M can’t do it–especially one that will understand how I want my care managed and that I can have some assurance that my wishes are followed.  How do you trust someone that is not part of your immediate bloodline?
  • If I do not get my weight under control, I surely will have extenuating problems to deal with, making every other worry a little more difficult.
  • Learning how to accept the uncertainty of tomorrow.
  • Dealing with the fact that my ability to live independently may change and I will need to be ready for a transition towards total dependence for life care. At its worst, I will not be able to control the escalating fragility of my mind and body. Presently, this major unidirectional modification in life care prompts feelings of being vulnerable to my world and apprehensive of my tomorrow. This hallmark worry cannot go on without having much of it dealt with now.

I must not allow too many days to pass again without considering how to resolve some of my major worries and I do not believe God needs to give me a break if I become more organized. Yes, I need to add a few thoughts in a few more posts!


4 thoughts on “Please God, Give Me A Break!

  1. Oh, Frank,
    What a hard week and weeks you have had…I hate hospital stays and so does my husband. He truly never rests and I never do either. I hate cots. You are so right that you can’t get up out of them when you need to…they are so low to the ground and there is nothing to grab onto…
    I am sure that the nurses turn your mother. That is their protocol so that she doesn’t deveolop bed sores during her stay and make your life more difficult in caring for the sores and for your mother…
    I too pray, but I don’t form it into the correct( according to some) format…it seems that my prayers are a stream of conscienceness…I have to talk to Him about everything so that I can sort things out. I am not an organized person.
    I have mainly my husband and God to discuss things with and this stream of continued thoughts are not focused…it is more of a heart plea that says how “lost” I am on this journey that cancer is taking us…It is God who reminds me that I am not as lost as I feel in the silence of things.
    Frank, you need to care for yourself. Your mother loves you, so. What would she tell you??? I am sure that she would want you to get some rest and take care of yourself because she loves you…
    Yes, we all need a break and most of the time, it is ourselves that needs to grant it…God will always meet us where we are….
    Take care, my friend…you are too valuable to too many….
    Your friend


  2. Frank,

    I have spent some time this morning reading, and crying over, your posts. That you are a special man is quite apparent. That you are a good and loving son seems unquestionable. I second the comment of Shadowlands; “….you need to care for yourself.” Taking care of yourself does not equate to neglecting your mother. It took me some time to learn that lesson. I cared for my mother since the Fall of 2001 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I had to learn to take care of myself in order to better care for her.

    Thank you for your kind encouragement to my first blog.



  3. Frank,
    This post is wonderful. I have been reading it in ‘parts’ as I have had a few things that I’ve had to get done, calls made etcetera.. but I am so enjoying the detail..I am not done reading, mind you, but thought that I needed to let you know how your talk here keeps me interested reading what you are sharing. Before I go look for some dinner, I do want to say that I hope you can get some good sleep — good sleep is really essential, just like water.


  4. Thanks Ema, I have been getting a little more sleep, but need a little more!! Hope all is going well with you and summer may help you even if it just makes you want to sit out in the sun!! Frank


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