Angels In Service

By Rev. Diannia Baty

There are a lot of people in this world who are called in service to become a caregiver to someone in need. People step up to the plate either because of family needs or to be of service to another. It makes no difference if you are a volunteer or not, care giving is a tough job on all fronts. It is emotionally upsetting, physically exhausting and financially draining even in the best of circumstances.

The scenarios are different but the bottom line is when there is someone who needs care someone somewhere has to step in and help.

This article is primarily for those who are taking care of someone who is either, elderly, terminally ill, or is helpless in some fashion. It makes no difference if they are sweet natured or mean tempered. You are an unsung hero.

Some years ago I made the decision to take care of my mother who was failing fast. Her addiction to anything that smacked of painkillers, valium or muscle relaxers had reached a peak. Her health from years of this abuse had gone downhill and had affected her heart and liver function. Her house was falling apart and my siblings were creating distance with her. She was not an easy person to be around. I sold my business and packed up everything to go to her and was planning to live out my life in Texas. This was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. She was not very nice to me. In fact, she was mean and hurtful.

Long story short, I went through a lot just to get the doctors to detox her. Her health was so bad I think they were concerned that she wouldn’t survive detox. She did and I discovered that I had created a monster. I was the one that doled out her medications and took her to her numerous appointments. I was the one that sat through emergency room visit after emergency room visit. Her heart was weak and failing. There were so many things wrong with her that she was a walking medical textbook. She had a clear mind due to the detox and now that she was thinking clearer she took out her frustrations on me.

She decided that she didn’t need me anymore and the things that she did to get rid of me caused me great pain. I now know why someone goes to the store and is never heard from again. It was hard for me to believe that the mother that I loved so much could be so horrible to me. She did everything she could to malign and discredit me.

My siblings were no help to me at all. Out of sight, out of mind was pretty much how they handled the situation. I don’t really blame them for that and I have forgiven them for not being there for me.

This was so isolating to me. I felt that I was on my own and I pretty much was. The stress came close to killing me. I suffered an eye hemorrhage, heart palpitations and stomach issues while I was with her. I went to her doctor for these ailments and she told me it was stress related. She advised me to put my mother in a nursing home and run for my life. She was very aware of how my mother related to the world. She told me it could kill me. I still hung in there. There were no caregiver support groups in the area.

Many people are concentrating on the person who needs care but not the caregiver. I am telling you that is an extremely tough job.

If you are a caregiver find a support group and go to the meetings. If there isn’t one in your area, start one. If your brother or sister or dad or whoever is taking care of someone, offer help. Take over for a day or even a few hours. You have no idea how much this could mean to them. Call often and see what you can do but do something. Don’t abandon them.

During this time in my life I talked to God a lot to make it through another day. I wept with frustration, anger, sadness and a feeling of hopelessness.

If your health is failing because you are overwhelmed with someone’s care think about an alternative plan. Many families have broken apart because of these issues. The point is that the person in question gets care, no matter what organization or person gives it.

Don’t sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that good ole ___________has taken over ____________’s care and now you can get on with your life. Fill in the blanks.

I have talked to my creator about this care giving issue. I received guidance to remind everyone to support and love the supporter. Lift them up and show compassion.

My hats off to all of you who have stepped up to the plate but remember you need care too!

To all of those who are supporting the care givers of this world…kudos to you! I also want to remind everyone that someday you may need care too! We are all God’s creations and would do well to remember that! Don’t just think that you should help out and forget it.

Do something.


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