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The day has finally come that you were hoping for. Your loved one has come home! You have been waiting and preparing for this day for while…or so it seems. Now it is here and you are starting to get cold feet. The “what-if’s” start in.
- What-if I have an emergency I can’t handle?
- What-if he stops breathing?
- What-if he has another___?
- What-if…and the list goes on…especially at night!
All you can do is be as prepared as possible. You know the number of 9-1-1. Just make sure you have your phone handy. Add the number of your doctor’s office into your phone as well as any other necessary phone numbers. Taking time to look them up is a nuisance if you need them. If there is a common emergency aligned with your loved one’s condition, find out how to be prepared for it. Then go about your life as normally as you can.Work to develop a calm attitude. A stressful attitude is contagious. Click To Tweet
Develop a calm attitude. Stress is contagious. Everyone in your home will pick it up.
- Bring him home and work to develop a calm attitude. A stressful attitude is contagious. It spreads to everyone in the house…especially the person who is sick. That will not create a good situation for either of you.
- There may be times when you will need to stop and take some slow deep breaths to calm yourself down as you ask GOD to help you. There is no perfect way to manage life with a chronic or complicated medical condition. You learn to cope so you both can live comfortably with it. Try to keep things as simple as possible.
- You can’t have a hospital setting in your home. You can offer a place that is as clean as possible. It will probably not have nearly the germs a hospital has! It won’t be perfect. It is home. But in the long run, you have come to the conclusion this is the best arrangement for him/her for now. (I use “him” for simplicity.) Six months, 1 or 2 years from now? Your decision may be different. For now, this is a good decision.
- Don’t ever say, “I have no choice.” You always have a choice. Make sure you think through what the choices are so you are totally aware of the choices you are making. It will help your attitude and will avoid some of the feelings of helplessness and victimhood you would be tempted to feel if you weren’t aware that you had a choice. There are pros and cons with every choice. You may not always like the choices you have, but you still have choices within those parameters. Along with the big choices, you can choose your attitude for each day. Will it be one of joyfully serving GOD and your loved one or of choosing to serve yourself?
- Develop a routine for medications and treatments that works best for what he needs and for what you can manage. We love those plastic containers that you put a week’s supply of pills in. Ron has the kind that split up morning and evening pills. I have the kind that I fill for the day (also a week at a time.) As we need our pills for the day, we take them out. It is easy to tell at a glance if we took our pills for any given day. By setting up your pills a week in advance, you have warning when you pills run low and can get refills before you are completely out of medications.
- Have the list of medications handy either on your phone/in your notebook/on a piece of paper that you have with you. This will always be available to you when you go to see the doctor or if you are in the ER. (I have mine on the phone in my purse.)
- Have one place to put all you doctor and therapy appointments. Often in the early days, you will have more of these to keep track of. If you don’t know how to manage the app on your phone for appointments, ask a friend to help you figure it out. It will be worth its weight in gold. Once an appointment is in the app, if it gets changed, all you have to do is change the date or time, you don’t have to change the whole thing. It’s great! If you want it to have an alarm on it, you can do that. It’s great!
These early days at home will be tiring as you settle in. Take people up on their offers to bring in food or whatever it is that you need the most help with. You will be tired from the hospital and the change to home will also be tiring. Personally, I totally underestimated how tiring this process was going to be.
Within a few weeks, unless there are complications, you will probably be settled into something of a routine. 21 repetitions of a new habit will establish it. A routine will help both of you in many ways. It doesn’t have to be rigid, but getting into a regular time of getting up, going to bed, eating, etc. will help both of you. We had a lot of trouble with that for a good while. We worked at it, but it was very hard to come by. For many of you it won’t be difficult at all. It is a great goal and will help all of you. This is especially helpful for neurological patients or those who struggle with their memory.
This is all for today. We’ll get to the routine next time.
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2 ESV
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
Psalm 18:31-32 ESV
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV