At the end of yesterday’s post, I said there wasn’t likely to be any news for the remainder of the day. Then I called Lisa and asked her to pick me up at the hospital. She called me from the car as she made her way; she was being hit with some rather serious effects from newly prescribed medications and probably shouldn’t have been driving at all. (To hear her tell it, a couple of other drivers would remove the “probably” from the last sentence.)
When Lisa arrived, I walked her into the Emergency Room and asked them to check her over. Medical staff there recognized me and I had to explain that my father was admitted the day before and that this was my wife with a whole different situation. No longer puzzled, they took quick care to get the required attention going. Long story short, Lisa was released about four hours later and is now resting comfortably at home.
Pop, meanwhile, was improving and didn’t really need my presence through the night, as I had planned; a good thing because Lisa’s doctor demanded that I monitor her. In this case, the potential conflict worked itself out.
I am rather even-keeled which makes me an apt manager of stressful situations. I work to keep myself healthy by speed-walking for an hour every other day. This benefits both the body and the mind. I get a little cranky when events force a change to this regimen, but I eventually make up for it. I try to eat healthy foods. Writing is productive, therapeutic and rewarding.
I am but one person, though, and at the age of 57, even I have my limits. I recognized this in the ER yesterday. My adrenaline was racing. I was trying to create solutions where I really had no power to do so. I was getting in the way. So I found a chair in a darkened room, closed my eyes, and breathed slowly and deeply. I may have even fallen asleep for a few moments.
My point should be rather clear: I can be of no help to anyone if I’m unhealthy myself. You know how the flight attendants tell you to pull the oxygen mask to yourself before giving them to children? That’s because you, the responsible adult, can’t help anyone if you’re starving for air. Caregivers must have, as a first priority, their own health and well-being. Your health, your spouse, your children…these must come first. It’s not selfishness; it’s just good sense.