Saturday, February 3, 2007

Caregiver Stress

I woke to a beautiful day. The wind was blowing long strands of clouds across the horizon. The sun was just peeking up and had painted the bare spots a golden glowing orange. Once the sun rose fully I could see that the over night storm had sprinkled icing sugar snow on top of all of the branches. The wind picked up and sent swirls of snow flying away from the trees. Little whirlwinds of this icing sugar flew across the lake as the winds pushed the snow away. It was as if a giant was lying down on the frozen ice and trying to clean off the snow-covered lake.

We took a walkabout and laughed as we tried to fight the double digit minus temperatures, and the wind as it blew us about. The trees rained snow as the wind kept up. Soon, the snowmobiles came out to go back and forth over the frozen lake. I hope it is frozen, as we lost a couple of men in the water last week! They were traveling to a job site across the water. It is a good thing they weren’t tourists as that is bad for industry around here!

We took a break from dad today. I went into town and spoke to Carol, whose mother has been incredibly ill for seven years. Carol has such an incredible wise woman spirit. I love visiting her and her shop. She told me that she often wrote a journal during busy times and her mother’s hospitalizations. It is a great way to keep track of the progress of a disease. Often one cannot remember what a doctor says. Times are busy and the brain gets over loaded with too much information. She wishes us well and that positive energy I take with me. I do not think that many people realize how much they contribute to the great energy and spirit they contribute that helps me through the day.

Stress is a difficult thing for caregivers. It is important to take breaks. There are agencies that provide both respite care and relief. Most caregivers are women and often have other family responsibilities. I have published an research paper on this. Created when I was doing my M.A. in counselling, a group assignment.

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