Wednesday, November 17, 2004

caretaker burnout.

i think i might have caretaker burnout. after a week of caretaking. or at least some tiny variant of it.

pausing for a moment and being realistic, of course i don't have caretaker burnout: i'm just mentally fed up and physically exhausted. i need some rest.

i've been trying to make my mom relax, i've been assisting her at the shop, i've been visiting my dad in the hospital.
that doesn't sound like much. but it is.

i have hardly had time for myself in recent days.
i've been at the shop almost non-stop, running errands, organising things, all the while trying to calm my mother down, making her slow down, forcing her to do something in an order that makes sense. she's exhausted and scared and worried, and as a result she has been unable to make even the easiest decisions, like in what order to do things, like what's important in any given moment. at the same time, she has also been freaking out like there's no tomorrow about things that are totally and utterly unimportant. like the shutter i managed to screw up last night.

one of her contacts got lost in her eye last night and (i am not exaggerating here, i wish i was) hours of looking for it didn't turn it up, even though she felt that there was still something in her eye. i offered to drive her to the eye clinic to have it taken out last night, but she declined.
this morning, with her eye red and her still looking for the contact lense, i had to force her step by step to call the eye doc, to make an appointment, to drive there, where he discovered that her contact had torn in half and rolled up and that she would not have been able to get it out alone. at least she thanked me for being right about sending her to the doc.

i've been needing to use that step-by-step approach with her with everything these past day. with eating. with planning her day. with whatever.

it pains me to see her this freaked out. i can understand why she is that way, hell, i get just like that way too often as well.
at the same time, however, i just want to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her.
truth be told, i've been doing just that and have not exactly been getting through.

my dad is quite well right now, slowly starting to take in info on his operation and i've been feeding him more info, trying to ease his fears, doing breathing exercises with him.

it's some bizarre kind of role reversal, all of this, and i hate, hate, hate that aspect of it.

i want my life back.
i was out clothes shopping for an hour yesterday, and that was refreshing and relaxing and fun, even though that weight loss has left me rather unsure about what size of clothes i need and about what actually *fits*.
i walked through the rainy park today, in between banking and dropping off books, taking some photos, and that was relaxing, too.

i've been wanting to drive to essen (less than an hour away) for some yoga, but that's been impossible so far. being an hour away seems like too much. i had planned on driving to the nearby mall today to shop for some pjs for my dad, but that fell through when i had to work at the shop over noon.
i won't even start talking about all the studying i haven't been doing.

i just need a little bit of time for myself, a few hours of working out, some high quality food, some good company, a few phone calls, and then i'll be revived again, and able to be in full on caring mode again.

actually, even as i've been writing this, my mood has been lifting. it ain't all black, after all. it will all be well.
this is needed right now, me being here, doing this silly step-by-step taking thing with my mom, talking to my dad about his operation, working at the shop.

things can only get better, right?
yes, right.