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Holding it together


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I have been trying to decide whether or not to blog about this, because I know what I saw can hit close to home with many of our members here. The thing is, it has been like a shadow of sadness on me since it happened Tuesday, and I hope by blogging it, I can let it go.

 

I realize that I have been putting in more time at work (I just started going back full time) and the extra day of work happenes to have started at the same time school starts (which ALWAYS means we are short staffed for a while because alot of our staff is leaving for school and the kids coming here for school always take a few weeks to settle in before looking for a job), and we have an ALL YOU CAN EAT promotion going, which means everyone and their brother comes in to eat. I was in the home stretch of an 8 day run between days off, so I realize I was overly tired/emotional.

 

So here's whats on my mind.

 

Tuesday night I had 2 young men who were dining run up to me in the lobby and tell me an elderly man fell outside, and he had yet to get up. All three of us went outside to help the man and see if he was okay. By the time we reached him, another man (I am asuming the older man's son) was walking him back towards the parking lot. I asked the son if he was alright, if he needed anything, what I could do. The man just wanted to get him to the car and get a napkin so he could blot the man's scrape on his arm. I offered again to get him something, but the man declined and seemed to just want to leave. He also seemed impatient with the elderly man, as the elderly man seemed to be oblivious to what was going on.

 

I looked at the elderly man, and he had a smile on his face. This was not a happy smile. This was a "I don't know whats going on" smile. His elastic-waisted pants had slipped down some, and his "Depends" (for lack of the technical term due to exhaustion) was showing. I could see the he was bleeding a bit on his arm.

 

And he was not aware of any of this.

 

I walked away, feeling very saddened. As I was heading back, I scouted the ground and sidewalk to see if their were any tripping hazzards that might have caused the fall. I found nothing, but as I was looking, I saw two drops of blood on the sidewalk. This was all I needed to get the tears welling up in my eyes. I went immediately into the bathroom and tried to gather myself. Work did not have time for me to have a breakdown, so I kept pushing it back down, knowing anything as simple as a Hallmark commercial would send me over the edge.

 

I found the two men in the dining room and thanked them for jumping up and helping this man, and I gave them each a gift certificate for a free appetizer or dessert.

 

I don't know why this hit me SO HARD. I have delt with elerly accidents before, but for whatever reason, this one was different. The look in his eyes. The image of him falling plays like a tape recording in my mind that I can't turn off, and I didn't even actually SEE it happen. It's just what my mind IMAGINES happened. I almost wish I HAD seen it, because I wonder if what I imagine is worse.

 

I think about all our members here being a caregiver to their parents, and seeing the once strong person that they loved their whole life being taken "away" in such a cruel way. I think all of us on this site have experienced at least a bit of this- having something taken away- be it regarding a parent or not.

 

Thanks and thoughts to all you caregivers for the love and support you give, and to the survivors who never give up.

 

Kristen

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Happens to me too. I have been a caring person, dealing with older folk in a government job, then as a hospital visitor, then caring for my elderly parents and now my husband.

If I witness a mishap , as you did, it stirs up so many emotions. And I can lose my composure and let my emotions loose. It is like a mental flashback, probably caused by the fact that we as caregivers, never really get to de-brief from all our grief. We don't have time for that LONG talk when there is so much to do for the one we care for, who has so many more problems than we do???

If it gets a frequent occurrence see if you need some counselling. The grief of this world is a BIG load to carry.

Sue.

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Kristen... pash.gifpash.gif hugs to you it is definately hard to see someone injured. sometimes it is hard to read the response, maybe the son was frightened, hopefully he was just wanting to get his dad home and was upset that he had hoped for a nice dinner with him and then a fall. It is hard and such a helpless feeling watching someone decline.

 

you are carrying a large load on your shoulders and have much empathy now, being overtired and overworked just puts us closer to the "edge". Please try to take a little time for yourself...even if listening to your favorite CD on the way to work...

Best wishes to you, and god bless you for your "heart"

Bonnie

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Kristen,

 

I think when we care for others, and are just barely keeping ourselves together emotionally doing it, it's easy to internalize a situation like this. It's like we're looking at our own futures and wondering if our care recipients will be the next to fall on the sidewalk and/or be wearing Depends. I don't do this much anymore that Don is five plus years out, but every so often a similar situation will broadside me into a melancholy moment like this one did with you. It just comes with the territory, I think.

 

Jean

 

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