Tuesday, 14 April 2009

रेड तुएस्दय -Red Confessions

This sari belonged to my younger
sister Namrita, she gave it to me.
Its hand-woven cotton.
We call it hand loom textile.
Its about 25 years old.
Namrita called this morning and talked with mama and me for a long time. She has an Internet connection on her Nokia, but is trying to
get her PC hooked up.
I bought this water melon from the
market today.
My adopted sis, Sonia advised me to always
ask the fruit wala to cut open the melon
and show the inside flesh to make sure its red and juicy.
Otherwise you are left with an unripe, useless one.
I like watermelon with a little salt and pepper sprinkled on it.
Black salt is even better.

Made a bottle of ketchup.
Thank you praying for us friends.
My mother is some better, but has lost her
appetite and this is where the confession part
of this post comes in.
I don 't know about other caregivers
but when my care-givees (charges)
don 't eat properly I get the
caregiver 's frustration virus.
I see my mother so weak and pathetic, when she refuses nutrition I
frustrated, impatient and angry too.
I feel like a rusted thorn bush.
A kicked and bruised tin can lying in
a mud puddle.
Can anybody relate to this?
I need help with my
caregiver 's guilt.
I feel like I have screwed up everything.
I feel distressed and dismayed.

14 Fertilize my soul:

Kathryn said...

Amrita - you look so beautiful in your sari. Lovely pic.

It has been a long time since i was caregiver to someone like your mom, but i understand some of your frustration.

In our country, often folks want a pill or a "quick fix" to make them better, even if the pill or fast answer isn't the best. Even if it ultimately makes them worse.

And they won't listen to a better way, they only want the faster. This is not like what you're experiencing. You are dealing with it directly & much more painfully. But your words resonate with my impatience & anger. And they are so poetic. ". . . bruised tin can lying in a mud puddle." Wonderful marriage of words.

You remain in my prayers. :)

Sita said...

I think that any mother with fussy eaters, esp. when they are sick, can relate to your 'frustration', Amrita...is it not awesome that our God is the God of more than second chances? Give it all to Him...He is always strong where we are weak...

You do look lovely in your sari...Sunder's wife, Shyamala, always wears such beautiful ones here...anyway..have a wonderful day..the Son will rise again!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Amrita! Stop beating yourself up right this minute!

What you feel is natural! I can very much relate. My husband is elderly. When he gets ill, he will not eat properly, nor drink. I try to get him things I know he usually loves. When he refuses them, I get torn up inside, too. And I get desperate-feeling, angry, scared. They need to eat and drink to get better! Even a spoonful, but they won't eat it, they won't drink it!!!

I get mean. I say, "DRINK A SWALLOW OF IT, right now, CURSE CURSE!!!"

Then, when I finally have to take him to the hospital because I just cannot handle him, the doctors will turn to me angrily and shout, "Why didn't you get this man some liquid??? He's dehydrated! Don't you know how dangerous that is!"

I will weep tears of absolute fury and shame! Sometimes, because of confusion, he will say, "She didn't bring me anything! I was so thirsty!" Oh, I look like such a fool!!!

So you and I can be rusted, crushed tin cans together in a dirty puddle!!! Let's throw a dirty sock in the puddle, too -- that's how I feel!

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
I guess I now something about being caregiver too, to my dad, my Mom and to my daughter.
Sometimes it feels the more you give, the less you get.
That's not true. When people are ill,in pain and in a low mood, they are not likely to express gratitude.
They are worn by being helpless and exhausted by their condition.
They are not able to be empathic to the caregiver.
I think you should take this in to consideration.
I know you are ill yourself with your arthritis.
Aren't there any who can serve as a stand in for you for a week or so. That would give you the opportunity to take care of yourself, and recover a bit.
If you become totally exhausted there will be two care-needers.
That will not help anyone.

I'll be praying for the both of you.
From Felisol

Anonymous said...

You've asked me about this since reading my blog and I hope I have conveyed this message to you in the past as now: No one is a plethora of optimism all the time with caregiving. Frustrations and anger do play a part and any honest carer will tell you that. No one has impeccable self-control. The day before my Dad died I was feeding him some ice cream, he seemed to be enjoying it so much, and then he abruptly stopped. I tried to convince him to eat more of it because I thought it would "help him" to eat a bit more. He gave me a look like I was the Gestapo, so I took a break and went home for a bit. Did I want to? No, my silly brain was telling me "if he'd only eat more, he'd build some strength, etc.." It is done of love, but it is frustrating, to both parties. The time to push a little and the time to let go, no one does it properly at every turn. ~Mary

Annie K said...

I think a lot of the frustrations comes from feeling helpless for the person.

I am sure you are doing a wonderful job and your mother knows how much you love and care for her. She is very lucky to have you for a daughter.

And I am praying for you and your mom. ;)

Gerry said...

I think you should have faith in the human body's capacity to heal, and that it takes longer when you are older. I lost my appetite for about 4 days and since it has always been so healthy that was a long time for me. But it eventually came roaring back. My caregiver patience was mainly distrupted by addiction, like Pierre decided to drink until his death. He was already on high morphine, so I finally said I was going to sign off being his caregiver if I had to put up with him drunk, too. Although he did smoke until he could no longer hold the cigarette. The hospice nurse asked him if he wanted to sign a contract about drinking so he could keep me as a caregiver. He knew he could not smoke in hospice, just outside, so he elected to stay with me as a caregiver and smoke and give up drinking! But your mom sounds as though she is not giving you any behavior problems. It could be worse! I also made a decision to send you my 'Quotionary" since I never have used it once! Next month, so that should give you a mment of cheer. Gerry

Jana said...

I will pray that you find Peace in this difficult situation. It isn't easy seeing a loved one sick. Don't feel helpless and angry with yourself. You have given what you can. Pray to God to take the situation in his hands. I really hope you find the Peace of God. It is yours for the asking. Ask for his help right now. You need Him.

Pat said...

First of all, you look lovely in your Sari.
Now on to the frustration. When I cared for my mother, I often felt the same way. I would shop every day and take her food that I thought would spark her appetite. I made dishes that I knew she especially loved. I would plead for her to take one more bite. She couldn't, she was too sick, but all I could see was someone that I loved slipping away and I couldn't stop it. I felt like a failure in my care for her, and often it showed itself as anger. I know exactaly how you feel. All you can do is keep providing, offering and loving. I will keep you both in prayer.

Kathryn said...

Amrita, you are lovely in that sari. I love the color on you!

Praying for you and for your mom. It's tough being a caregiver. But, your mother is blessed because you care so much and so well. :-)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Amrita :)

Your feeling of desperation is understandable because of your great love for your mother and you want her to eat and get well. Since your mother is old and sick it is difficult to understand what is going on inside her body and mind. Don't despair. God will help you. Trust in him. I will pray for your mother and for you.

Your saree is gorgeous. Considering the fact it is 25 years old, it is well preserved and looks stunning on you. The ketchup looks good and delicious.

I suppose you selected the color red starting with your saree and then ketchup to take us slowly to the subject of anger, frustration, despair that is welling inside you. Excellent!

God will take care of you mother and heal her. Don't worry. My prayers are with you and you mother.
Joseph :)

Kimmie said...

Hi Amrita;

I can imagine it is very difficult caring for someone who is refusing to eat. Worry must set in and much frustration, when you KNOW that eating would alleviate many of the 'problems.'

You are a good daughter and a wonderful caretaker. Praying for you.

My kids and I just began to study India in our homeschooling. I told them I had a friend in India and they are so excited. They are happy that you are a Christian!

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

David said...

I am beginning to know the meaning of this care giver false guilt, through many cycles of life.
Never come down on yourself, for your attitude is now directing for both of you. Be strong, be positive and be assured that your mother is in God's hands.

Amrita said...

My dear friends I cannot tell you how much i was touched and moved by your words. Every one of them made me cry and I had to take breaks in beteen reading them.

Praise God my mother appetite is gradually picking up.I told Mummy how people from all over the world are praying for her.

I felt so afraid and lonely last night when I was composing this post that I poured my heart out

My church people and my sisters are also very understanding. But still sometimes I feel all alone on the battle ground.

Thank you for lending a shoulder to cry on.
A friend whose father is in a coma since the past 4 months called to ask how we were. This is dear blog friend,who is a doctor has taken a long 4 month leave from work to care for her father.She has a special needs daughter too.

At the end of the day I can only count my blessings and be grateful to God.
Now I will write today 's post to give my progress report.