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Hope for the Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2018 3:27 pm

Hope for the Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 17, 2018 3:27 pm

Hope for the Caregiver on American Family Radio 11/17/2018.

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Peter Rosenberger hosts a radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, Tennessee, on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book is “7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them.” Follow @hope4caregiver.

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MUSIC Good morning from Nashville, Tennessee. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. We are live on American Family Radio bringing you more than three decades of experience.

I am Peter Rosenberger. How are you feeling? This is a show for caregivers to answer the question of how they are feeling, how they are doing, what they are struggling with, and how we can help and get them to a place of safety, and how we can help the caregiver become a healthier individual. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. 888-589-8840 is the show call-in number, and you can be a part of the show.

We'd love to have you with us. Very grateful, as always, to American Family Radio for recognizing that the family caregiver is an at-risk individual. If the caregiver goes down, what happens to that loved one, that impaired loved one who's dealing with all kinds of different things? The scenarios are endless as far as the struggles, but the resources of the family caregiver are not endless, and that's who we are on a mission to help strengthen and help get them to a place of safety where they can catch their breath, take a knee, and then develop healthier strategies to live and understand that God's strength and provision and grace are available right in the midst of this. Now, we've expanded the conversation. A lot of people think, caregivers, oh, we're going to talk about nursing homes.

No, we're not. I've been a caregiver since I was 22 years old through a medical nightmare. My wife has now had 80-plus surgeries, both legs amputated, well over $10 million, and the list just keeps on going and going and going. My brother has a daughter with cerebral palsy. She's 30 years old. She's basically like taking care of an 18-month-old. She can't walk. She's completely confined to a wheelchair and so forth, and she's 30, and she's been this way her whole life.

There's no nursing home involved in this. We've also expanded the conversation to addiction issues. If you have somebody with an impairment and you're standing between them, an even worse disaster, you're the caregiver. So you're looking at somebody with an addiction issue. That's a chronic disease. There's no cure. There's recovery, and it's a lot of work, but some people choose not to go down that path. But there's always a caregiver in their orbit.

Opioids, alcohol, doesn't matter. Alzheimer's, autism, go down the list. If there's an impairment, there's a caregiver somewhere in the orbit. How do we help those individuals?

What does it look like? What's the vocabulary of helping a family caregiver? These are things that we deal with. These are things that we do, and we are so glad that you're with them today on American Family Radio. I do want to give a big shout out across the country. Right now, people are listening in and they're thinking, are you kidding me? There's a show for caregivers?

And I said, no, I'm not kidding you. This is what we do. And if we don't do it, who's going to? Where are you going to go to find help with this thing? Caregivers are isolated. By definition, we're isolated. It's one of the seven caregiver landmines in my new book.

And we talk about it. It's called Seven Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them. And isolation is one of those. And you can get that book anywhere you want, across the country, in bookstores, wherever, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, doesn't matter.

It just came out last week. And isolation cripples caregivers. We're on a mission here with American Family Radio and this show, Hope for the Caregiver, to penetrate into that isolation so that caregivers know that they're not alone, that there is help, there is hope.

Also, I want to give a, if you'll indulge me for just a moment. Thirty-five years ago, tomorrow, my wife was driving towards Arkansas to meet a friend. She was a freshman in college and she had a horrible wreck. The car slammed into a concrete abutment, flipped over into a ravine and caught on fire.

Ten truckers stopped to put out the fire. They rushed down there. They called for help. And they stayed with her until help arrived. And they used all their fire extinguishers to put out the fire. It was a pretty gruesome wreck.

One resident later counted at the hospital 200 breaks that we can count. I didn't know her at the time. I met her a couple years later when she returned back to college.

She had a severe limp and a lot of scars, particularly on lower legs, which she eventually lost. But I just want to share with you what those truckers did. And you can read more about this story at our website.

I put this blog post out today at standingwithhope.com. But there are a lot of truckers that listen to this station. And they're out there right now on the road. If you'll just indulge me for a moment, folks, I want to say to these truckers, thank you.

Because some of them have stopped at wrecks. And you never know the story of what's going to happen. But they didn't go down that ravine and see this horrible mess and start judging my wife or saying anything to her. She was just a 17-year-old girl. They just said, we're here. They found out her name. They kept her awake. She was able to slur out her name coming in and out of consciousness. And some of them were crying as they were doing it. And some of them got nauseous because her body was so contorted in this wreck, multiple compound fractures and the whole thing.

It was pretty gruesome. And these truckers kept saying over and over, help's on the way. We're going to get you to safety. It's going to be OK. Stay with us. Stay with us. It's going to be OK. We're here. We're here.

We're here. And the paramedics got there. They were able to get her out of the car and get her to the hospital. And the long journey of recovery began.

35 years later, all these surgeries, all this stuff, we launched a prosthetic limb outreach. When she gave up her legs, she wanted to reach her fellow amputees. So there are people walking in Africa right now because Gracie trusted God with this horrible loss. This show exists in no small part to her trust in God with this and the impact it's had on me. And all of it can be traced with the fingerprints of those truckers who saved her life, who put out the fire, who called for help, and who gave words of encouragement in the midst of it. That's what this show is about.

We can't fix what's going on. And we're certainly not going to come in there and judge and say, what in the world were you thinking? Why were you doing this? Why were you doing this?

That happens a lot with people. When we get into these terrible wrecks of sin, we rush to judgment, but not rush to ministry. The truckers didn't worry about how she got there. They just wanted to make sure she got to safety. That's what this show is about. We're not going to dissect how you got in this place. We're just going to help you get to safety and get professionals involved and get you on a path to recovery as a caregiver.

Because if you go down, what happens to your loved one? And ultimately, I'm not qualified any more than anybody else is to be able to fix any of these things. You can't fix what I deal with. I can't fix what you deal with.

That's not what this is about. But we can strengthen each other along the way. We can minister to each other along the way.

We can point to the one who can work through these things and redeem these things and work through a path of recovery with us. That we can do. And we can develop healthy strategies of moving away from bad places.

We can rush to cars that are on fire with fire extinguishers. We can do that. And that's what we're going to do together. And I need you to do it for me as much as you need me to do it for you.

And that's how we do it. And that is hope for the caregiver. It's that conviction that we as caregivers can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, a more joyful life as we care for one another and as we care for someone we love who has an impairment of some kind. We're going to be back in just a moment and take your calls. 888-589-8840.

888-589-8840. This is Hope for the Caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberger and I'm glad you're with us. We're on American Family Radio and family is the middle name of American Family Radio and the family caregiver is the person we're going after. Thank you for being part of this.

We'll be right back. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger and in 1983, I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated.

I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me but over time, my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish Standing with Hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people.

On a regular basis, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's standingwithhope.com. I'm Gracie and I am standing with hope. Welcome back to the show for caregivers about caregivers hosted by caregiver.

This is Hope for the Caregiver, the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberg. You're bringing you three decades of experience. That's not one decade.

That's not two decades. That's three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not and we are glad you're with us. 888-589-8840. 888-589-8840. Let me go quickly here because I don't want to lose her.

I know she's got to run and go be a caregiver but this is Rebecca in Mississippi. Rebecca, good morning. How are you feeling? Hi. I'm doing well. How are you doing? Well, you know for a man of my age and limited abilities, I'm doing all right, Rebecca.

When I hear your story, it almost makes mine fail in comparison. No, no. You don't get to do that, Rebecca.

The only reason I share my resume is to set the table here of why we're doing this because if I've learned to see God's provision in what I'm dealing with and I want you to feel encouraged that you can see Him in what you're dealing with. Okay? So don't minimize yours.

Gracie doesn't allow people to minimize their pain when next to hers and I don't want to do the same thing. We want you to all, we want us to all come together and trust that you know what? If they're trusting God in that, then that's going to give me the courage to trust God in my stuff. Okay?

That's right and how does... That's one of the rules we have on the show. You never minimize your pain. How does one get through it without God's help is my question. I don't know because I haven't done it without God's help.

Me either. So what's going on with you? My husband had a stroke January, this January would be four years ago and he had a good job.

I had a good job. Life was good and that all changed just in one day. So I'm going to try to get through this without crying. By the way, you don't have to get through this without crying. One of the things we also want to do is we want to let caregivers know that it's okay to weep but we're going to try to weep healthy tears. Too many caregivers and see if this tracks with you, I've been there myself, we weep tears of rage and despair. We're going to weep but let's see if we can weep healthy tears and come together and grieve in a healthy manner instead of just with our fists clenched and just despair. So if you've got to cry, you've got to cry.

It's all right. I don't despair much. I'm a pretty strong individual but I have to have someone to take care of my husband because I'm not physically able to do that. He's a big man and he's paralyzed on his right side so he basically cannot do anything for himself. Everything has to be done for him. He can feed himself but that's about it. Anyway, I have caregivers during the day while I work and I tell people that I could live comfortably on what I have to pay them but he was a very good provider.

He took very good care of me but he was not a good planner and so he had some savings but it's going down fast. So I'm continuing to work. I'm 75 and I'm in good health. When is the last time you saw your doctor Rebecca? I get checkups. I get yearly checkups. That's good. That's one of the first steps we do is help get each other to the doctor to make sure that we're healthy.

Do you have a plan if something happens to you? You know and that's one of the things that I'm concerned about at this point. He has children and I have children.

We have no children together but those children, his children are nowhere to be found. They come about twice a year to see him for an hour or two and that's it. How far away do they live? They live not that far away. One is an hour, another is four hours and another is five hours. They're not close close but you know my thoughts are you know at least they could call.

At least. Well what about at some point it may be a good idea to have a family meeting because if something happens to you, I mean you're one sprained ankle away from this thing turning into a Greek tragedy. If something happens to you, what's the plan? You may not be able to enforce that plan.

You may not be able to even write that plan but it might be a time to sit down with somebody professionally to help you lay out okay what are the next steps we need to do? Maybe it's a situation where you call your pastor and you sit down with your pastor and say look we got to come up with a plan here and how to enlist these people who are not helping. They're not involved and let them know that there's some responsibility they have and if they choose not to do the responsibility that that's their decision.

You can't make somebody do the right thing but what you can do is lay out what the need is and assign roles and if they choose not to take those roles then you know that you got to do a work around around them and you don't sit there and just get all resentful about it. You just recognize okay this is what it is. Now there are consequences to that but if you sit down with a pastor, some type of mental health counselor, social worker, somebody who could possibly bring an objectivity to this and help you lay out a strategic plan of what this looks like because at some point Rebecca you're 75 years old. I don't know that you're going to get much healthier as you get older. Let me say that delicately.

I mean you're right. I mean how many years do I have left? Working years do I have? Well and not just working years. How many caregiving years do you have left?

Because the stress on you as a caregiver is no small thing and so I would recommend that highly that you sit down with somebody and develop some kind of strategic plan. My book is called Seven Caregiver Landmines and one of the landmines is thinking that this is all up to you and so I want that book. I'm going to get that book. Rebecca I'm embarrassed to say it's so easy to read. You can read it in the bathroom. I know because that's where I wrote it and no I'm just kidding.

I didn't write it there Rebecca but I wrote it as kind of a field manual and I put out blogs and all kinds of stuff for this very reason because it's very disorienting and you don't know what to do and you kind of just coast along thinking okay we're just going to get through this. We're going to white knuckle it but you can't and so are you involved in a church? Absolutely. How's your relationship with your pastor? Good. Do you think he's a pretty sharp fella?

Yeah he's older also. I was just thinking when you were talking about that I wondered how much but there is a social worker on board that I believe I would talk to her. I believe she would offer more insight than my pastor would at this time. I think she would and I would highly recommend that. Social workers are some of my favorite people in the whole world and they have their finger on the pulse of what's available.

Take advantage of that okay. Ask if you can just sit down with her for 30-45 minutes and just kind of start from there. Get the book first so that you'll have the vocabulary of what you're looking for and then you can sit down with her and you've got a plan. By the way the book is less than $8. This is just a little field manual I did for caregivers so that they know what they're about and it's seven caregiver landmines and how you can avoid them and it's real simple. I'm not just meaning to plug a book but it's right there. Seven caregiver landmines and how you can avoid them. It's really there to put in your pocket, in your purse or whatever and just say okay look here's what I'm hitting today. I hit these things all the time. I wrote the book for myself Rebecca because I got to read my own book. I got to listen to my own show.

I have caregiver amnesia and I'll forget everything I learned yesterday and I have to go back and relearn it again today. That's how we do it. We just keep it everywhere. Anywhere books are sold Amazon, Barnes and Noble and any bookstore that you want. If they don't have it yet, it just came out this week, then they can order it. It's also available on a Kindle version as well. I'm actually working on an audio version of it. My other book I did do an audio version of that one on Amazon Audible. Then I've got blog stuff that I put out there. My podcast is free.

It's out at hopeforthecaregiver.com. There's so many different things out there. I put out there for this very reason because it can get very disorienting. You know this. Listen, I've got a bunch of calls that are coming in I got to run to. Rebecca, will you keep listening to the show?

Thank you so much. Well, keep listening, okay? You're the reason I do the show. I'm at work now. The only reason I know about your program is that I work every other Saturday and I came across it. Now, I always look forward to listening to it, but I have to get out and go to work now.

Well, you go to work. We look forward to having you on the show. Thank you, and I'm going to run on, okay? Thanks. All right. Bye-bye.

Bill in Indiana. Good morning. How are you feeling? I'm feeling pretty good. Good morning. Well, what's going on with you?

Well, I'm trying to make this as short as possible. I'm going to be 52 next month. My dad, who is 75, he and I have had a tumultuous relationship my whole entire life. I was pretty young when I would have been diagnosed as what everybody calls OCD now. It was in response to his alcoholism and the way he treated my mom and that kind of stuff. I found that I'm not the only person that deals with trying to be perfect so that you don't get yelled at. It's been this way, like I said, my whole entire life. About a year ago, I had decided I was done dealing with him. I just couldn't take it anymore from him calling me at work and being drunk.

It was crazy. Listen. Do you want me to hold on? I do, and do you mind?

No, no problem at all. We've got to take a quick hard break. We'll be right back. Don't go because this is an incredibly important topic, so don't go away, okay? Okay, I won't.

All right. This is Peter Rosenberg. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. Whatever impairment you're standing between, it doesn't have to be Alzheimer's.

It could be alcoholism. If you're standing between that, the worst disaster, you're the caregiver. You're why we do the show. 888-589-8840.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to the show for Caregivers About... Caregivers hosted by a caregiver. This is Hope for the Caregiver on American Family Radio. I am Peter Rosenberger bringing you three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not.

888-589-8840 is the number if you want to be a part of the show. We're talking with Bill who has grown up in the home of an alcoholic father who is... Now you're having to care for him. Is that right, Bill?

Yeah. He... Just one little other little bit of the story. About a year ago, I just finally decided after the calls at work and him being in a drunken state and the things he would say and accuse me of, I said, that's it.

I'm done. I talked to him just a couple of times. Then this last July, he fell and hit his head, but he was completely inebriated when he fell. When he went into the hospital, they ran him through... I can't think of the medicine they gave him to help him through the withdrawals and everything. When he came out of it, he can't swallow very well.

The swallowing mechanism is not working and stuff that he swallows gets into his lungs, so he's had a PEG tube. I had really prayed. I've got a fantastic wife, a great church. I had prayed, maybe I need to stay with dad. When he finally got to come home from the nursing home, he was in the hospital and the nursing home, I see, from the middle of July till about the middle of October.

It's still dealing. It's his house. It's almost like I'm nine years old again. He can take care of himself somewhat, but he's scared to be by himself.

There is so much stuff that has happened in life, and I'm always afraid to confront him about it because it's like I said, it's like I'm nine years old, 10 years old, and I just was looking for anything, advice, a book, something to help me get enough over this fear to talk to him and say, hey, you know the reason you've driven your two wives away and your family away is because of the Jekyll and Hyde dealing with your alcoholism. We need to call it what it is, and I just can't take being berated anymore, I guess is the sure way to say it. Let's start right there.

That's our starting point. The first step is to get you away from being nine years old. You're 52, so you're not nine years old, and you are not in any way bound to this man's disease and his behavior.

Unfortunately, that's what this disease does. It disorients you and makes you think that you are, so we want to help you detach from that as best as possible, and there are places you can go for that. I would highly recommend you go into an Al-Anon meeting. Are you familiar with Al-Anon? I just have heard of it, and that's all I've ever heard.

I would recommend going. Don't go there with any expectations other than there's a group of people who are dealing with the same stuff that meet anonymity, and they deal with the same things that you're dealing with with a family member who has an addiction issue, and you're going to hear your story come out of somebody else's mouth, and that's where you start because the principles that you can learn on that will help you detach from your father's disease. You can't shame your father or argue your father or reason with your father into recovery. He's got to do that himself.

What you can do is learn for you to live more healthily in this, and that's the goal. You didn't cause this. You can't fix it. That's where your powers stop at the end of what you can do, and all you can do is be in control of Bill, not in control of your father or his recovery or his demise. He may not make it, Bill, but you have to.

You've got a family that's counting on you to not be nine years old to be 52 years old. Your father's made his choices. He's got his life.

He's got his thing going on. He's in a place now where people are starting to see what has happened to him. He may not make it, but you have to, and those are hard words. Those are hard words, Bill, and I don't mean them to be anything other than what they are because it's blunt force truth, but sometimes that's what we as caregivers need in the midst of our craziness is that blunt force truth. You have spent a lifetime being a slave to your father's disease, and it will affect you for the rest of your life and your children, so this is your time now to step in to this and say, you know what? No more.

No more. I'm going to go on a path of recovery for myself no matter what happens to my father. I'll do the best I can to care for him, but I am not obligated to fix him, to save him. He has a savior. Look, I'll tell you what. Here's what I do. Look down at your hands.

If you don't see nail prints, this ain't yours to fix. You know, he has a savior. You ain't that savior, and that's your starting point to realize, okay, what is my responsibility? Honoring your father does not mean honoring his disease. You can honor your father without honoring his disease, and it's hard because it looks like it's the same person, but it is not. Underneath all this dysfunction is your dad, the man you want to honor, and you can, but you do not have to honor alcoholism. What you have to do is back away from that so that you can be healthy no matter what he's doing. When you go home to your wife and your kids after being with your dad, they don't need to have a nine-year-old walk in the house.

Right. Yeah, my wife is fantastic. She's been so supportive. She's always been supportive of this, and she knows how hard it's been.

This last few months have been really hard trying to figure out where I draw the line, and I guess that'd be maybe the second part of this question is as far as just confronting him and saying, you know, Dad, here's the deal. Here's this whole situation. Is that something that should come? I mean, should that come from me? Yeah, it can, but not right now.

Not right now. Okay. You're not in a place where you have the vocabulary or the strength to do that on your own.

You can get there, and that's why working a good recovery program for yourself is going to help. That's why you go to Al-Anon. They usually have meetings. They have meetings everywhere.

You just go on their website. They're everywhere, and it's the best hour you'll ever spend, and it's not necessarily because your dad's an alcoholic that you're going because you can go to Al-Anon for anything. You know, you just go. If you're dealing with something you can't control and you're struggling with it, that's the place because that's what the whole point is, is to learn how to come to grips with this. Sit down with your pastor. Sit down with a counselor.

I would recommend getting a counselor involved with you at this point, Bill, and just sitting down and laying this out because that's what they do. There are lots of resources out there that you can go to that will strengthen you and give you the vocabulary of doing this. You don't have the tool belt right now.

It'd be basically like you going out there and trying to build something only with a screwdriver. You just don't have the vocabulary. But you know what? We're all going to pull together with you and help you get the vocabulary, and you can do this, and your family will have the vocabulary, and they'll know how to minister to you and know what's going on with you, and your wife will be able to better understand what's going on with you and why that 9-year-old kid seems to emerge all the time in the face of this, and your children will the same way.

There is a recovery path for you on this. Now, it's work, but you're not afraid of work, and it's good work. It's good work, Bill. It's a way of you reclaiming that which was stolen from you by this terrible disease. This disease has more than one victim, and you can move through this, and this is what God can and will do through your life when you're trusted with this.

It's going to mean you're learning a different set of skills and words and so forth, and that's okay. But this thing, it will disorient you. It will take you down in some dark places, and you've already been there. You're not responsible for your dad's destruction.

You're just not. He's a grown man who's made his own grown man decisions, and at some point, you're going to see where God's even interested in helping him get to a place of recovery too. God hasn't abandoned him, but with alcoholics, you've got to step away from this and let them spiral out of control until they get to the point where they want help more than they want alcohol.

And you also have to understand this, Bill. Alcohol is not his problem. That's his idea of medication. Whatever's going on in him, he's numbing that with alcohol, and now the alcohol is taking over, but even if he stops drinking today, even if he gets sobered up and never drinks another drop for the rest of his life, he's still got to deal with the inner turmoil of what was going on in his life that led him to that place. So this is a long, long, long journey that he may or may not be able to make now that he's in physical bad situation here. So your challenge is to detach from this, not sever it, just detach, so that you are focused on the healthiest bill that you can be. That's the goal. And for you and your family that this thing stops now, for your children's sake, for your wife's sake, for your sake. Does that help?

It certainly does. And there's been many times I felt like I'm just in a whirlwind of not knowing what to do because I know there's no way to talk to him without getting upset. And I thought when I was driving in and heard your show, I thought, you know, he's going to have some kind of an idea of what I should do next because I can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. Well, Bill, this is why you're why I do the show. And I'm preaching to myself here because let me tell you something real quick, and I know you got to go, but I can't argue with my wife's amputation.

The legs are gone. I can't argue with that. I can't reason that. I have to accept it. That doesn't mean I have to like it. You just have to accept it. Acceptance is not agreement. It's just acceptance. Okay. This is the reality.

The reality is your father's an alcoholic and he has taken everybody he's that's in his orbit into a bad place with him. That's acceptance. We don't have to like it.

We don't have to agree with, but we do have to accept it in order for us to be able to say, okay, here it is what it is. Now let's get to a place of safety. He may not make it, but you have to. Bill, please keep listening to the show and feel free to call in anytime. All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. You're quite welcome, Bill. Thank you so much.

888-589-8840. This is hope for the caregiver. And this is part of what we do here is understand that this is not about nursing homes, folks. This is not about learning how to care give. I'm not here to tell anybody how to care give. I'm here to help point my fellow caregivers and myself to a place of safety where we can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, a more joyful life no matter what's going on around us.

That's the whole point. 888-589-8840. We'll be right back with more of your calls.

This is Peter Rosenberg. This is hope for the caregiver. And we're glad you're with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger and in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me.

But over time my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with hope. For more than a dozen years we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. On a regular basis we purchase and ship equipment and supplies.

And with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's standingwithhope.com.

I'm Gracie and I am standing with hope. Welcome back to the show For Caregivers About Caregivers hosted by a caregiver. This is Hope for the caregiver on American Family Radio 888-589-8840. I am Peter Rosenberger bringing you more than 30 years of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not.

We're gonna try to quickly squeeze in as many calls as possible for the end of the hour here. Dane in Alabama is a caregiver husband. Dane, good morning. How are you feeling? Well, sir, I'm feeling fine this morning. Wait a minute, wait a minute.

It says Dane in Alabama is a caregiver husband. You're not a husband. Oh, no. My name is Diane and I... Diane, I'm sorry. There was a typo on that. I apologize for that. It's all right.

It just happens all the time. Nothing. All right. Tell me what's going on with you. Sir, I'm calling to tell you thank you. Thank you. I'm calling you to tell you thank you to your wife, for your ministry, your program. I've been through the caregiving thing and everything you're saying to these people on the radio today is absolutely true.

I've experienced it, you know, with my loss, with my husband's life, with the generational alcoholism and drug abuse. And, you know, I just want to say thank you, sir. Well, you're very welcome.

Thank you. What's going on with you? Well, I mean, I'm just, I'm 61 years old. I lost my husband when I was 60. It was quite different.

I'd been married since I was 14 years old. He had, he died with alcoholic dementia. He had cirrhosis and he was always a strong man and controlled. And when he started losing his mind, my daughter and I, you know, it was very different for us to see that. And it was very different for us to see him, you know, not recognize us and all the crazy things that they do when they can go through all of that. But we lost him and we lost him in peace. We thank God for that. I really feel like that he has gone on. We've got a son that's gone on as well.

So they are united. Most of his family is there. We didn't have any help taking care of him. It was, I had to take a leave of absence from work. My daughter, you know, she helped me as she could, but she was a younger person. But I got through it and I got through it with the care of hospice.

Thank God. I had taken my husband to the hospital and we came home after a week, 10 days, and one hour later hospice calls me and I'm thinking, well, wait a minute, I know what hospice means and why are you calling me? The medical professionals dealing with my husband never told me. The counselors we were seeing never prepared us for his death.

We did not know that. And it was a struggle 24 seven because I did this basically all alone. And the advice you tell these people, go, uh, go and get you some time. I felt like I lost my life. I lost my life and I wanted my life back. I got my life back, but at a cost. Are you, what are you doing now? Are you back at work? Oh yes, sir.

I went back to work after my husband's death. Are you, uh, are you engaged in the church? Oh yes, sir.

If I wasn't born again and the believer and help of the father, son and Holy ghost, I'd be most miserable, sir. Now, are you, um, are you building a life now independent of all that, that you're, you're doing things that are fun. Are you, are you having a good time with things? Are you, what, what activities do you like to do Diane?

Well, I just do what I can do one second at a time, sir, which is mainly work and on the weekends, uh, doing the things that I have to do and attending church right now. My daughter, she confessed to me after her father's death that she had an opiate drug addiction thing. So we've had to deal with that for the, you know, since his death. And right now she is away in a program getting the help that she needs. She has become born again. Thank God she will be coming home soon. She's got a life to rebuild at that point.

So we're, we're not out of the woods by any means. What are you doing next project and mission? What are you doing for yourself as your daughter's going through her own recovery program? What are you doing?

Are you developing any kind of a recovery program for yourself? You're getting some counseling and all that to deal with her. You can't just pray her through this. I mean, she's gonna, you're going to have to do some work as well.

Well, you're right. What do you suggest? Well, like I told the last caller, there are recovery programs for people who are in addiction issues, uh, with their family members. And so I would recommend starting with a counselor with yourself. Just, just go get some counseling with yourself. Sit down with a trained licensed mental health counselor and look at going to a support group of some kind of opioid addiction, family members and so forth like Alan on or like some others. And that would, because your daughter's going to go through all kinds of different stuff.

Okay. And you've been through this now with two family members. You had a husband that with an addiction issue, now you've got a daughter with it. And at some point you gotta, you gotta take a step back and realize, Diane, that this thing has affected you. And it's affected you in ways that you may not even realize. Well, you're exactly right, sir, because there's days when I, uh, I just am overwhelmed with tiredness and I know it's because it's all in my mind, even though it, I might have taken it for a few minutes. It's still controlling my mind and my body.

And it will. And your mind will feel like a squirrel cage that sometimes it's going to feel like you're just on a, on some kind of a hamster wheel at all times because it's just racing. That very thing in my mind, sir, but this has been a while ago, but yes, I was on that little wheel and there was not a thing I could do, but just go right on around and around on that wheel.

And I was so tired and weary of that. I tell you what, Diane, slow down. You're still on the wheel.

Well, you're right, sir. You're still on the wheel and we're going, we're going to help walk you back a little bit. So you could slow down, just slow down. Cause if you don't take time for stillness, you're going to have to make time for illness and y'all write that down.

Y'all write that down. That's pretty, that's pretty profound what I just said. Well, you know, you're right because my body has told me, Diane, you better stop before I stop you. And I have, I've actually set myself down, laid myself down on my couch and not going to think. I want you to, I want you to slow down in your vocabulary too.

You're speaking really, really fast. And the reason, and no, no, don't apologize. You never apologize for it. You just, we're just going to, this is just you and I over a cup of coffee here. Okay. It doesn't matter that there are tens of thousands of people listening, Diane.

It's just you and me. But we're going to sit down and have a cup of coffee. We're going to learn how to speak slower. We're going to learn how to, how to calm ourselves down. Right now your mouth is racing faster than your spirit is.

And we want to try to get those two in sync. Well, no, no, it's okay. Don't apologize for it. And don't, don't, don't, don't, don't worry about all that. Let's just slow down and let's just breathe.

And that will keep them in perfect peace. Who's mine to stay on the, you know that scripture, don't you? Well, yes I do, sir. And if it was for his peace and all of these trials that I go through, I don't know where or how I could make it. I can't make it without him.

He's my only hope and he has been for a long time. I understand. I understand. But every time you start to talk, do you know, you realize you go through this long litany of things here. And I want you to just slow down, just slow down. It's okay. And because sometimes we go so fast because when we slow down, the grief comes in such waves that we'll break down and we'll start crying.

And then we don't know how to deal with that. And so what I I'm letting you know that this is a place where you can just slow down. You can just relax. Uh, do you ever get on iTunes or Amazon or whatever? I got a CD called Songs for the Caregiver and I did it specifically for caregivers, uh, that you can go out and download it. And, and it's just, it's calming. I play the piano.

Gracie sings about half the songs and Gracie's a no kidding singer. And I guess I do all right on the piano. And, uh, but it's something that you'll find that's very calming to you because I think right now, the most thing you, it sounds like you, you're, you're needing right now is that just a place of calmness because you're so taught, uh, and, and, and, and every time you start to speak, you just go down these long, um, wordy things here and you're speaking so fast. And I know that's because your mouth is engaged more than your spirit is and that there's nothing to be ashamed about that. That's part of that.

That's how we know we're caregivers is when we do things like that. And so let's back you up a little bit. Let's slow you down and let you be at peace and the tears will come Diane, but we're going to do it in a way that it's not going to overwhelm you. Yeah.

Okay. Well, you know, I, I, when my son was killed and that was part of my husband's problem too. Um, I, you know, people ask me, well, when are you going to stop crying?

And, you know, I, I, my heart was so broken until I thought I was just going to die, but I cry. I learned to tell those people, look, I will cry till I'm finished crying. Well, that's a stupid question for them to ask. When are they going to stop breathing?

We all of creation is groaning right now, waiting for Jesus to come back and make this right. So that's a stupid question for people to ask. When are you going to stop crying after your son dies? That's it. You can't fix that kind of stupid. You know, there is no pill for that people.

People ask that kind of stupid question. You stop crying when you get in the presence of Jesus in eternity. In the meantime, we're all going to be groaning as the Holy Spirit groans, sharing in his sufferings, recognize this broken world is what it is.

We grieve, but we don't grieve as those who have no hope. True. Okay. Listen, I'm going to, I'm going to jump really quickly here to see if I can squeeze in one more call here.

But Diane, would you keep listening to the show? I'm going to, sir, but I thank you because you are right. And I just thank you for your ministry, sir. Thank you for being a part of what we're doing and God bless you.

And I'm going to jump real quick. Thank you. All right.

Eric in Minnesota, we only got like a minute and I'm so sorry. I don't mean to shortchange you at all, but tell me what's going on with you. Well, this may shed some light on some things. Bill, Bill kind of gave me a little inspiration and you talked with Bill about some things and it reminded me of my alcoholic father growing up. I took care of him for 33 years. We grew up poor.

Agent Orange got him. I woke up when I was 10 years old and he couldn't walk well through life. I've been through two marriages and along the way on my third marriage, I have become the very thing.

He was the alcoholic father. Now, through a certain series of events, I am 21 days sober and going to AA, I go to celebrate recovery at Cornerstone Church. I talk with my church counselor and I'm getting help for these things and stuff like that.

And I'm so thankful to the Lord that slapped this stubborn boy in the face and working my way back to my wife. Just wondering if you had any other books. I do.

Books that I can read. We're going to have to make it quick because we're coming at the end of the hour, but I do have something I want to say. First off, good job. Congratulations.

You are on the way. Now, the second thing is ask your wife, would she be willing to consider some type of recovery program for herself because she's in your orbit. And this sort of thing has a way of affecting everybody around you. So look at your family and say, look, I got a problem.

I'm getting help from my problem, but I know that I've affected you all and I'm imploring you to look at a recovery program for yourself and get counseling to learn to deal with my illness and how it's affected this family because I want us to all be healthy together. Okay. Would you do that for me? Absolutely. Absolutely. All right. All right. Listen, we got to jump. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Go see hopeforthecaregiver.com if you want more information. We're glad you're with us. Thank you so much. We'll see you next week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 21:51:20 / 2024-01-21 22:10:56 / 20

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