Action/reaction. Cause and effect. Can we really control anything? There are all the things we are supposed to do to stay safe and healthy. To keep things running in our modern world of cars, computers, gadgets and appliances (all which have filters if they involve water or air in any way).
The worst things to control involve other people. People you are supposed to be there for in their time of need, physical or mental.
I can't shake the feeling that my dad would have had a different outcome with a different caregiver. Don't get me wrong. Everyone owes a death. I did my best and maybe his came later than it would have in other circumstances. But you make all these tiny decisions even though you are essentially helpless in the world of doctors and treatments. You try to encourage behaviors, look up drugs, get the right professionals. You help make decisions.
With FFP's health I always feel inept as well. After all the surgeries and such he has come down with a stomach ailment. Complaining of cramping and nausea he took himself to the doctor, got drugs, tests. He feels awful. I feel helpless.
And through it all I have been trying to keep things going. Changing light bulbs, getting cars serviced, paying bills, getting Dad's stuff and affairs in order. It runs away from me.
When FFP is ailing (and this happened during stints babysitting Dad at home and hospital and doctor's offices), I sometimes give myself a vacation from all other duties and just sit and read and eat and don't exercise and just be there to fetch things while entertaining myself reading or with my iPhone or iPod.
And, of course, this brings up the question of when caregivers get sick. How do they manage to postpone the sniffles, the sneezes, their own stomach ailments, their own major complications? Last year at this time a friend was at the hospital every day as his wife fought deadly complications of H1N1. Now he fights cancer. Should we be trying to harness this delay of symptoms so that, even if we have something terrible, we can delay the onset because someone else is sick?
Plus...does anyone else think that the routers, computers, phones, Internet access, cars, TVs, appliances, etc. really have a mind of their own and will only work when you, the caregiver, hold your mouth just right and delay getting that cold or allergy attack?
Sorry about this silly ramble, but it just amazes me that we can seemingly control so many things. And yet. Not.
[Photo taken in Vegas at fancy shopping.]