My exercise yesterday? A giant leap of faith!

Monday, April 18, 2011

What follows below is something I just posted on the Caregivers' team daily chat board. I am still so uncertain as to whether I did the right or wrong thing, keep telling myself I need this, I need time out for myself if I'm to be able to be there for Dad as I need to be. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether or not I have done the right thing...

..Yesterday I took a giant leap of faith, as a result of the constant reminders from my friends of my promise, and at the suggestion of my doctor - I agreed to take 5 days away in early June to fly with two friends (one the niece of the other) to the Gold Coast and have a complete break, go do the theme parks, hopefully catch up with my daughter, grandson and granddaughter one day, and just relax and be 'me' again for a while. This trip originally was scheduled for my birthday October 2009, but Mum was admitted to hospital as her health failed (cancer) so the others took my 'birthday trip', brought back photos and gifts for me. Last year we planned it again, were about to book, and Dad became unwell in the nursing home, and my friends' father was hospitalized with complications from his cancer treatment.
Yesterday, after speaking with nursing home staff, we did it - we booked our trip. Sure, Dad is slowly deteriorating and my friends' father/grandfather is too, but we all NEED to take a break and just relax for a while.
Hoping and praying everything is going to be ok, but I am prepared to fly home at a moment's notice, as are my friends, should something happen. As nursing staff said yesterday, Dad could still be hanging on to life as he is now in 6, 9, 12 months from now. They encouraged me to go while I am able, rather than waiting longer and having more chance of his health deteriorating.
Still trying to convince myself I am doing the right thing - know it mentally, just doubtful emotionally.

...Please, be honest. Am I doing the right thing?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    HI hon,,,we've talked on and off through this time. I want you to please step back for a moment. I want to please imagine to ask urself this question "If Dad were in a place where he could really tell me what he'd want me to do, what would HE want me to do?" and you KNOW the answer,,,,he'd WANT you to ENJOY yourelf. NO Loving parent wants their child to go through this stress day after day after day. If you hadn't b4 this asked ur Dad about this, I have. My Dad and I are very, very close and he has lovelingly told me this. So please hon,,,since you can come back in moments notice, GO and LAUGH and ENJOY !!!!! There's been enough saddness already and more to come.
    3672 days ago
    Every body needs rest for themselves. You should not feel guilty for taking a time out! Your Father, he's being looked after in the Nursing home so you have nothing to worry about. G*D knows you need a break. Take it while you can. DONT ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself even if it is going some distance away to do that. YOU deserve to take care of yourself first, and then you will be able to better take care of whoever needs you! But your health and happiness should come first (not being selfish ) but when you alway put someone else before your own health and happiness makes oen weak and regretful. YOU need to think about your own well being. All caretakers need a break! Becasue ti can stress you out. YOU need to get your own strength back! So go and enjoy yourself and have fun! LIFE must go on!Susan
    3673 days ago
  • SILLYHP1953
    Being a caregiver (part-time, full-time, paid, family, whatever) has got to be one of the most draining of all jobs. I've come to know you a little through sp, thank goodness, and there's no doubt in my mind how much you love your dad and how much you've been there for him. But without taking care of yourself you won't be any good to anyone else. ENJOY YOUR TRIP!!!
    3680 days ago
    I think you are being very wise.

    It is very easy to push ourselves over our limits in these very emotionally charged situations, been there, got the t-shirt, and it isn't pretty.

    It's so much better if you can pace yourself and recognise your needs as well as those of everyone else that you love. From an outsiders point of view you are being very hard on yourself, why? Nobody could be caring for your dad in a more devoted way than you are xxxxx.

    It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

    Lena Horne

    emoticon emoticon
    3681 days ago
    I agree take the break and go, relax and have fun. emoticon
    3681 days ago
  • DEE107
    you are doing what I would do the best you can do hugs
    3681 days ago
    Let me share my personal experience with you. I had to travel 600 miles from my home when it was time for my mother to decide to stop medical treatment (dialysis) and go into a hospice facility. I spent two weeks with her, but my room at a friend's house had to be given up for another member of my friend's family. I told my husband to drive back to pick me up because the hospice staff thought mother's death would come at any moment. Well, she lasted 3 days beyond the time I left. Saying good-by to her was the hardest thing I ever did. But by that time she was comatose and I can only hope she understood what I said and how much I loved her. My sister lived in the same town, but when mother's time came, sis was at work. The same thing happened 5 months later with my dad. I visited with him (not knowing his time was so close) and 3 days later he had a massive coronary in the hospital. My sister had just left his room to go pick up my nephew at school. But, oh, the gift of all the beautiful memories I got!

    So, my advice is GO! Enjoy your trip! There is no guarantee, even if you stayed with your dad 24/7, that you wouldn't be in the restroom or getting something to eat when the angels come for him. Let him know how much you love him, go on your trip to rejuvenate yourself, and just know you are doing the right thing. You will have so many beautiful memories of the time you DO spend with him!

    Sending you many emoticon !
    3682 days ago
    You need to go. You've given up a lot these last years, so it's time for you! Don't feel guilty! The vacation will do you a world of good!
    3682 days ago
  • SWELL10
    Absolutely!!! You need to have time for yourself and you need to take time to enjoy life. You are a blessing to sacrifice your freedom to care for your parent, but you must also take care of yourself and that means having down time. Go on the trip and enjoy yourself! emoticon
    3682 days ago
  • LEXIE63
    Honey, you really need a break! You have been your Dad's sole caregiver (nursing staff notwithstanding) for a long time, and you have dropped everything for him every time he has needed you. But we all have a limit to our coping ability, which is best replenished through acquiring a little 'me time'. You deserve proper 'me time' and the best way to get it is to put some distance between you and your responsibilities for a few days.

    I say Go For It! It will do you the world of good.
    Lex xxx
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    3682 days ago
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