Tired. Just tired.

My mother-in-law has now been in the hospital for nine days.  She is supposed to be getting out today. They were going to transport her by ambulance so we came on back to get her clean clothes back to the nursing home. It’s now after 6:00 p.m. and she still isn’t on the road! We should be getting used to this. We’re not really.

I woke up this morning and the first thing I said was, “No. I’m not getting out of bed.” That didn’t last very long. It wasn’t long before I was up and working on laundry so we could start another day of going to hospitals and nursing homes. I would kill for a chance to stay in bed for a day and sleep. I actually got to do that last Friday but I couldn’t stop coughing or hold my head up so that one doesn’t really count. Today I realized that I am just tired.

I used to think that being tired was something that happened after a long day or after walking three miles. I now know that type of tired is a piece of cake.  The kind of tired that we deal with now is so much more.  We find ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually tired. That is tired on a whole new level.

It really doesn’t help that I’ve been dealing with an upper respiratory infection while running back and forth to the hospital. I have no energy to begin with and then this makes it ridiculous. I’m actually so tired that I’m sitting here staring at a blinking cursor wishing words would magically appear without me having to even think about them.

Today we decided to stop by the salon at the nursing home where my parents are at. I figured out that it has been more than a year since the last time I got my hair cut. So we both decided to get a trim. Yes, we now get our hair cut at a nursing home. Though I have to say that Angel did an awesome job. It feels so much better with less hair. She was telling us about her time as a caregiver for her mother. It felt so good to talk to someone who gets it.

What the world doesn’t realize is how much of a toll it takes on you to be a caregiver. We may not physically take care of any of the parents but they rely on us for everything. We take them to the doctor, get them supplies, check on their houses, take care of their finances, make medical decisions, research doctors and facilities, make sure they eat, be their advocate for everything, spend time with them, and worry about them. I’m sure there are quite a few more things we do that I missed here. To sum it up, we do a lot!

I would love to have a break but I don’t see that coming any time soon. I will take being tired all the time as opposed to the alternative.  I keep hearing about these people who drop off their parents at the nursing home and just don’t go back. Angel told me about how one lady there at the place where my parents live has been there for six years and her children have seen her one time.  They don’t send care packets, don’t check on her, and definitely don’t visit. She helps the lady out by getting her a new outfit once a year out of her own money. I will run myself into the ground before I ever let something like that happen to our parents.

Now I find myself wanting to find a way to set up a fund that helps those in nursing homes who have no one.  I know that will be us one day since we never had children. It’s just sad to know there are people with multiple children but they stay up there all alone. These people raised us. I know that not everyone had a great childhood or maybe didn’t get along with their parents but that’s no reason to leave them abandoned. If you no longer have your parents, adopt one! Go to a local nursing home and ask if there is anyone that needs someone. One day this will be us.

The hospital just called and my mother-in-law is about to enter her chariot. Time to get her settled back in. We’ll have to put off being tired for another day. Have a good one.

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