"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Thursday, August 1, 2013

CAREGIVER? ME?

* Whoa... 2 book reviews in a row! This was/is a different and difficult choice of a book to read and review, so I must preface this book review with 3 explanations to be fair to the author and her book or topic (however if you don't care just scroll down to the book and my actual review starts there):

1) I am not a caregiver currently, although my recent news and circumstances from back home in MN, may or should make me one, I am not, nor have I ever been one for either of my parents, or even in these later years, for my spouse, as he's aging, with his diabetes (which gratefully he has kept under control for some 20 yrs. and does not even need to use insulin) and now with this discovery that he is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's; he would not want me as his caregiver and more or less has told me so (and he's not even a stubborn Swede or Irishmen like my father, he's pure Mexican).

2) I am not the caregiver, gifted kind of person, nor do I possess the characteristics of one. I have the heart but not the patience and wisdom to do well. I am not of the care giver personality or type, or better said, I have a hard enough time taking care of myself. With that said, I am not using this as an excuse or a crutch, because if the rubber hit the road, I could and would. There was an urgent time in my life when I was a caregiver for my precious daughter (though adopted, she became my daughter from this experience, through and through, since I needed to learn to care for her while bedridden as she regained her capacities to do for herself.She was a tough fighter and withstood a great deal of pain and my inadequacies as a health provider, but I was more than willing to learn and put aside my own lack for her gain.) For a short time, I was a semi care-giver of my youngest brother with love and support as he battled AIDS. 

3) Most chronic or terminal illnesses, need a REAL caregiver. Alzheimer's is no exception. I am learning all I can, but once again, from a distance. These battles with health are worsened by stress. I am an easily stressed person and I'm sure I cause much stress to others. My lack, as I mentioned above, does not excuse me or justify me for being away... I just am and have arranged for others much better able; qualified and tenderly able to care to do what I probable cannot. I do battle against my own problems and those of loved ones best on my knees, giving it to God. God knows and knew long before this news, how this would and will play out and my part.

I am reading all I can on Alzheimer and now this book, made available through Booksneeze, so I had to choose it ... just from the title alone... "Caregiver? Me?" ... as if this title was designed to fit me ... I knew that whatever was shared I may need. I was determined to take advantage of this book now and read through it as if I had a deadline: God's timing. Just the right book for just the right time. I don't often choose a book from BookSneeze for such an important aspect for my personal journey, however, God has His way of putting in front of me, just what I need when I need it. For such a time as this ... (sigh) God is so good and all encompassing, mindful of every detail beyond what our own minds can fathom.

I have also read some blogs of some dear bloggers, who have also had to watch this disease rob their parent's life of so much, so I was able to eavesdrop on their experience and glean from them. But no matter how much one reads or prepares, there is nothing that compares to living and doing whatever it takes. 


Yet this is not my parent, but someone who was suppose to be my life partner, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" under the best plan of God's. Mine was not. Only a Sovereign God can resolve or make better a relationship and a health situation may be one of the ways He chooses to do this! Totally in God's hands, whether I'm there or not, whether I'm a caregiver, wife, friend, or support ... God will use people and situations for His good! I trust that this is another one for 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;…" Romans 8:28

His purpose, plan and completion ... So I quickly chose this one to quickly read and review for today, knowing that it will be hitting close to home and great for future reference, ... in honor of the one I love, with HOPE for him, FAITH for our journey with God's help, and LOVE that makes all things seemingly impossible - possible.
***
by Lynda Bush

"A Caregiver? Me?" by Lynda Bush struck me right away personally with the question asked in the title, yet Lynda's shared journey is also a precious tribute to her lifelong mate as she lovingly documents their journey and his care, with a warning in the forward, that they handled his terminal illness with a "bizarre sense of humor," so that is exactly how she has chosen to write this, so if you lack their sense of humor, stop reading before you start (which I almost did and considered choosing a different book since for me, and perhaps others, this is far too serious a topic to grasp and to be taken lightly). Then I realized that this means of coping is scripturally sound (Proverbs 17:22) ... and therapeutically recommended, so I ventured ahead to read it.  Also there are many lessons learned, with the first one being for me, how indeed that humor helps blunt the anguish, heartache, pain and sadness one confronts as they embark upon this most difficult part of their journey together ending in a goodbye (but, of course, as believers, we hope, it's "until we meet again" beyond this side of eternity). A quote from another book that I decided I'd need, becomes a reality through what Lynda Bush teaches me here, "From early on, I made up my mind to do 3 things: I wasn't going to raise my voice, I wasn't going to argue, and I was going to keep my sense of humor any way I could," and now I value this in a new way, knowing the importance in keeping and doing this from Lynda's example.

There are eleven chapters in this book that cover everything from helpful tips for the caregiver, family and friends, to preparing legally, to preparing for the funeral, talking about death, facing the final weeks, even misconceptions about hospice services. Lynda Bush offers comfort and hope as she answers many questions that perhaps I would not even think I may need or ask. However, in some cases, I wish that she had elaborated more with specifics.

Although I read this in the Kindle ebook format, the image on the front of the cover of this book drew me in and definitely is as endearing as the quote from Virgil: "No day shall erase you from the memory of time" and the love in which Lynda Bush shares from their experience and journey. Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? This one captured my heart and me with respect, love and the decision to give it a try anyways. And I'm so glad that I did, because I intend to use this as a handy guide and reference in my journey, thankful to have read how someone else paved the way when they were not so sure about being a caregiver or how and even where to start.

Lynda's down to earth and also heavenly bound, knowing that each of our journeys are or will be unique. Lynda Bush has used this enormous challenge of being a caregiver to her terminally ill husband, from cancer into a useful guide for others, yet as she wrote, "a gift to her late husband, who not only taught me how to live well but how to die well." which truly is a great legacy and exactly what she has done in this brief, easy to read, short manual of "Caregiver? Me?" I know I will go back to her practical suggestions again and appreciate that Lynda included a wonderful part of taking care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one. This was not a book filled with Biblical scriptures yet spiritual in its content and is loaded with great advice. I can't say I loved this book, since dealing with death is such a bitter pill to swallow and face, yet this author has compassionately and practically dealt well with a rather difficult but timely topic: caregiving! After all, giving care is exactly what Jesus has called us to do for one another in love and then cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us! 

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher WestBow Press through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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