Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask

Self care has been my foundation ever since my mother moved in with me. I try to begin every day with either a yoga or a t'ai chi chih class followed by a walk on the beach. After that I devote myself to whatever my mom and our household needs. There have been many mornings when my regular scheduled programming has been preempted, but more often than not, I've made it to the gym, if not always to the sand. Since November, the tide has been turning. This past week, and the previous couple of weeks when the man who loves me was in the hospital for his lung cancer surgery, self-care simply had to come second. It's been all right. In fact, due to the support of friends and daughter M, and the man's family, it has actually been smoother than I could have imagined. Self care can take a back seat when others are caring for you.

This evening I'm sitting in the ER with my mom waiting for her to be admitted to the hospital. She was fine this morning, and then she wasn't. Thursday morning we were in the ER too. We were here at the beginning of January. And there were ER trips and hospitalizations in November and December. I've lost track. I had to check this blog when the doctor in the ER this afternoon asked me about her visit on January 7th. You mean the 31st, I said.

I experience a weird surge of relief when my mom gets admitted. The last time I went directly to a fabulous cafe for lunch. And I believe that evening I took myself out to a rather pricey place for dinner. Tonight there will be  no such frivolity with the man at my place recuperating. But I think I'll go home and make popcorn. He'll probably be in bed, but I plan to fan the smell of fresh popcorn up the stairs. If he wakes up,I'll tell him how much I love him. And before I leave here for the night, I'll tell my mom how much I love her. The telling of love is one of the ways I take care of myself.


Elizabeth said...

I am sorry that your mother is having these emergencies, that you are so swamped with care. I admire you for taking good care of yourself, for expressing your gratitude for those who are helping you and for you being you -- so filled with love and grace that it takes the breath away.

N2 said...

Blessings to you and to those for whom you are caring. Best wishes for improved health all around. x0 N2

Ms. Moon said...

I remember the many visits to the ER with my mother. Even when she was living in assisted living. We were the ones who took her. Never easy.
I hope she is resting well now, whether back at home or in the hospital.
And that you are getting what you need, for this moment at least.

A said...

Echoing N2--blessings to you all.

lily cedar said...

It's just hard. Take care woman.