As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?
What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.
If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.
Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to caregiverlegal.com. Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.
It turns purple. It says, pick a plan. It'll give you some options.
If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver, here on American Family Radio.
This is Peter Rosenberg, and this is the program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing? How are you holding up?
What's going on with you? Now, we're going into this most wonderful time of the year as the song says, are you ready for it? This time of year could be a bit challenging for us as caregivers. We have the added responsibility of trying to make everything festive or try to make sure we capture the nostalgia of Christmases gone by. You know, nostalgia is not everything it used to be.
You could write that down and use that one. That's funny. That's right there is comedy gold.
That is first-rate comedy right there. Nostalgia is not everything it used to be. I get that way at Christmas time where you feel like you've got to do everything to capture all the traditions and so forth, and we're going to talk about that. But I also had experience on Black Friday. How many of you all got up early to go shopping on Black Friday? You know, I cannot imagine waiting in line to get into Walmart or anyplace else, but I did have to go someplace shopping on Friday. You remember a couple of years ago, I did a thing with Jim Foxworthy that you might be a caregiver if, you know, we had a bunch of those things like if you have a professional carpet cleaner on retainer, you're probably a caregiver, that kind of stuff. Well, I sent him a new one over the Thanksgiving weekend on Black Friday. I happened to be at the medical supply store, so if you go shopping at a medical supply store on Black Friday, you're probably going to be a caregiver.
But I had to go there. I mean, just stuff I had to get, some stuff that you just cannot get at the local dollar store or grocery store or whatever. I didn't notice that they had any type of big sales to speak of, but I did see some things I want to put in stockings.
You get a sphagnometer, you get Tegaderm packages. Those are great stocking stuffers if you need something like that. So if your Christmas tree stand is a bedpan, you're probably a caregiver. So I, anyway, I thought that was kind of funny. Are you ready for the Christmas season? How do you feel about this?
I want to, I want to ask you a couple of questions. Do you feel like you have to manufacture joy? Does that weigh on you? Do you feel like you have to act a certain way because it's this time of year and everybody else or whatever? I remember one time, there were years ago, I was at the grocery store at the Christmas season and the traffic was just wearing me out.
This is back in Nashville. And the traffic was just wearing me out. I was back and forth to hospitals. I was tired. I was frustrated and everybody's in there just, you know, all the clutter of Christmas shopping and everything else. And I literally said under my breath, bah humbug. I mean, that's embarrassing, but I did it. And I realized that I had to make some changes that I can still celebrate not only the joy of the season, but the joy year round, but I can't manufacture it. I can't squint my eyes really tight and become joyful.
And I bet you can't either. You know, we get this sense of, we got to be this way. We're supposed to be this. We need to be doing this.
We should be doing this. Well, that's that obligation that I talk about a lot. We get into that fog of caregivers, fear, obligation, and guilt. And that obligation is what drives that. You, you, you feel obligated to do it. And I, and I got to ask you, how far away from resentment are you when you feel obligated?
Not that far, are you? So let's, let's back away from the obligation trap and start talking about stewardship instead of what we have at our hands to do. We are stewards of, but we're not obligated to do it. So you're not obligated to make all the Christmas decorations perfect. You're not obligated to create every past Christmas experience for someone else at your own expense.
If it works out to do it, great, but you can always do something new. You know, the whole point of Christmas is not the commercialization. You've heard this before, but for us as caregivers, we get so wrapped up into the nostalgia of it and to the guilt. And if we don't do this, then mama won't be happy or somebody won't be happy.
But what about you? What about your joy? What's something that you hold dear at Christmas? And by the way, feel free to go out to the website and let me know, just sit in a little, there's a form there.
Just send me or go to our Facebook group. Cause I'm going to be asking this of all the people in our Facebook group at Hope for the Caregiver and talk about what is meaningful to you at Christmas. Is there a particular Christmas song that you like? Is there a particular Christmas hymn that you like? What is your idea of a Christmas dinner? What is your idea of a special Christmas snack that you allow yourself to have at Christmas or that brings back fond memories for you? What's the smell in the house that you like? Do you like to have gingerbread cookies, for example? Do you like to have spruce, pine, fire crackling, whatever? What are things that stir your heart? Those are important things. Okay.
You don't have to manufacture a Christmas spirit. You don't have to go out and pretend, find those things that you do like. And it may be just between you and yourself. Okay.
Maybe nobody else knows. Maybe it's just you that you like that. And you're going to do it because it has value and meaning to you. You know, there's nothing better for me than a cold winter night out here in Montana than a cup of, you know, a mug of hot apple cider with the cinnamon stick in it. Or a crock pot full of great soup. Or the smell of freshly cut limbs that you put into the house for, you know, decorations and garnishes and stuff. Things like that. The sights and smells of Christmas.
All of the above. They're important to have. Because it does something for your heart. We go out and cut our own tree down. And we'll go out into the forest and I'll make some thermoses filled with hot chocolate and help Gracie get into one of the machines that we have that can go in snow. We'll ride out there together. This year we're going to get to take our grandchildren with us. So I have lots of little thermoses of hot chocolate. We'll go out for a ride and take a chainsaw and we'll go find a tree. And we'll sing songs while we do it. But sometimes you have to make Christmas memories in a hospital or in a rehab center or alone. And I understand that. Gracie and I have lived that life as well. There's no wrong way to celebrate this.
As you recognize that the point of this is not to put more responsibilities on you as a caregiver. So it's everybody else's Christmas experience at your expense. The point is to celebrate what it actually means. Emmanuel. The name Emmanuel. God with us. And the comfort that comes to those of us who have had to stand alone in a hospital corridor while everyone else around you is making spirits bright and celebrating that isolation, that loneliness.
And anybody who's been a caregiver for any amount of time will understand that isolation and that loneliness. But this is where the gospel meets you because he is with you. He came to be with you so that you're never alone even in those lonely places. Even in the valley of the shadow of death. He says, I fear no evil for thou art with me.
And sometimes the valley of the shadow of death looks an awful lot like a hospital corridor, doesn't it? But he said he's going to be with you. And I'm taking him at his word. And so as you prepare for the Christmas season, as you find yourself in this, don't put this pressure on you to be something that you're not or to make it all special for everyone else. But you're just a wreck inside.
Find those places. And it may be something very small that stirs your heart. That Christmas hymn that you want to hear. Play it. Play it.
And if you want me to play it before Christmas, you've got to send me a note and I'll be glad to play it for you. Those are things that make it special for us as caregivers. A meal that you really like.
A hot beverage that you really like. We'll talk more about this when we come back from the break. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back.
Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. We're so glad that you are with us. Merry Christmas. God rest ye merry gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay. Oh tidings of comfort and joy. Do we feel like that at Christmas time? Do we feel like tidings of comfort and joy? Or do we feel like it's something we have to endure, that we just have to get through? From one caregiver to another, I suggest to you that we can indeed have comfort and joy.
And I'm bringing you tidings of that right now. And it's because of the redemptive work of Christ that anchors us beyond all the things that we're seeing. That we're having to deal with the unpleasant task that we have to do.
The challenges, the stress, all those kinds of things. Yes, I see them. I live them.
I understand them. And I have for a lifetime. But what I'm telling you, what sustains me, not just at Christmas, but year-round, is those tidings of comfort and joy that are available to you and me right now in the midst of this. Even if nothing else changes, we can change in the midst of this. And a friend of mine gave me a quote recently and I thought I'd share it with you. It's a very good quote.
You might want to write this down. The struggle is in the resistance, not the acceptance. The struggle is in the resistance, not the acceptance. When we resist accepting what is true, that's where the struggle comes in.
That's where the stress and the angst. And I've talked to enough caregivers and I'm doing this from my own personal experience. I can tell you that struggling against accepting has been a huge flashpoint for me. And accepting what is going on doesn't mean you're agreeing with it as far as your caregiving journeys.
It means that you're acknowledging that it's true. Doesn't mean you have to like it. But this is what it is. And we don't have to fight against that of something we wish wasn't that way. Yeah, we do, but we're not striving to recreate something. I think this is what happens at Christmas. Oh, this may be mom's last Christmas or this may be dad's last Christmas and we got to do this, we got to do this. No, we don't.
We don't got to do anything. But we are invited to be in the moment for this. The whole purpose of a holiday celebrating Christ's birth was that God did what He said He was going to do against all odds, against all of hell pushing back against Him.
And He did it. So when Mary delivered this child on Christmas Eve, which was most likely probably in April, that's a different conversation. But we mark this day to celebrate. But when Mary brought this child into the world, the host of heaven came out to sing glory to God in the highest, that had never happened before. Go look it up in Scripture, that had not happened before.
But come out and celebrate and sing in this manner. And it hasn't happened since. And what was the reason for that? Well, Christ had come. God became incarnate.
He did what He said He was going to do. He accomplished the promise He gave way back in Genesis 3. And against all the odds of the onslaught of hell against Cain killing Abel, all the way down to Herod chasing after infants, after Jesus was born. But God did what He said He was going to do. Oh tidings of comfort and joy. This is what anchors us as characters in the Bible. This is what anchors us as caregivers in those moments when we feel so out of control. We feel so despondent or panic driven almost. Be honest.
You don't have to, you know, go live with this information. But just be honest with me. How many of you all have ever felt a sense of a panic attack or just heavy oppression or resentment during Christmas? That it's just, oh, just one more thing. How many of you ever felt that way? What do you do about it? Do you just get through it? You just make the most of it? Or is there something you could celebrate right now in this moment? Maybe it's just the time we're having together on this program.
Maybe that's all we can do. Maybe it's just being able to have a quiet meal, be alone with your thoughts. But I'm asking you to take a little bit of a leap of faith that you don't have to look at this as a burden. And it doesn't have to be done in a certain way that meets up with other people's standards.
It could work for you in whatever way it needs to work for you. You know, I grew up having the traditional Christmas dinner, you know, turkey and dressing, all this stuff. Just basically Thanksgiving remade over with a few more pies and other cookies. But when I started coming out here to Montana for Christmas with Gracie and our boys, we decided to do something different. And we would have big steak dinners, big Montana steak dinners. And we developed our own traditions of what Christmas dinner looked like to us.
My sister came out here one year and she's from South Carolina and she and her family and they created a whole menu of stuff like shrimp and grits and things like that for Christmas dinner. Now some of y'all may turn your nose up at that, but those of you who are truly saved will not. Oh, I'm just kidding. I don't want to get any letters about that. That's just a joke. That's humor.
That's just a joke. But being from the South, I love shrimp and grits. And we had a great Christmas dinner of shrimp and grits. So you don't have to bow at the altar of tradition and nostalgia. What we do is we recognize this is a time to celebrate that God is with us, that He will never abandon us. And can you accept that?
The struggle is in the resistance, not the acceptance. Accepting that brings that level of peace and that tranquility, that serenity, that calmness to our heart to realize that He is indeed Lord of all. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders.
Isaiah said that 700 years before the birth of Christ. All of these things, the government shall be upon His shoulder. In other words, He's responsible for working this out. And you can trust Him until He does. You can trust Him while He's doing it, until He does it, after He's done it. You can trust Him with it.
This is who He is. And so I wanted to kind of hopefully, and I'll spend some more time on the program with this, but I wanted to take some time just to shore up your heart a little bit as you go into this season that can be difficult for so many. Now for some of you, it's no big deal.
You're saying, Peter, what are you talking about? Okay, God bless you. I'm grateful that you have that. But for many of us as caregivers, this season can be a very difficult one, a very stressful one financially, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. There's so, oftentimes the baggage that comes with the holiday season of regret, and then of course it doesn't help that, you know, all the shows on television are sappy about it and want to try to make you cry and everything else, but I would redirect you to something different, which is scripture. For unto us, a son is given. I love that from Handel's Messiah. Let me go to the caregiver keyboard here.
Caregiver keyboard here. For unto us, a child is born. Unto us, a son is given. I've just always loved this piece, and I've had the privilege in my life of singing the Messiah.
I think I may have shared this with you guys. I started off singing it when I was a boy, and I was singing soprano with it. Then as my voice changed, I went from soprano to alto to tenor to bass. So I've sung all four parts in my life and never get tired of it. And particularly, I love this one. There's of course the Hallelujah Chorus everybody loves, but I also love Worthy is the Lamb. At the end when it comes in, blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him be unto him.
I love that. But this one is so melodically beautiful, and it's a great one for us as caregivers to remember during this season. For unto us, a child is born, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And then the orchestra and the choir burst forth, and his name shall be called Wonderful.
Counselor, you hear the strings just really going at it. The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Think about what that really means to us. And the government shall be upon his shoulder. What does government mean? It's the ruling authority that protects and maintains justice. All the injustices that you and I see, all the injustices around this world.
The government, the ruling authority to write all that is on him. Not on us. It's on him that takes all that burden off of you and me. And we can trust him as this wonderful piece of music illustrates. For unto us, a child is born. That's what all of this means. And this is the hope. This is the promise. And we trust him until we see the fruits of that promise. Take a listen to this as we go out to the break.
We'll be back in a minute. This is Peter Rosenberg. This is hope for the caregiver. But listen to this from Handel's Messiah. The Prince of Peace. Unto us, a child is born. Unto us, a child is born. Unto us, the Son is King. And the government, the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be fallen.
One who comes along. The mighty God. The everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace. The everlasting Father.
The Prince of Peace. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. I've never come back before while playing my home bumper music here at the Caregiver Keyboard, but this is Christmas time and I love Christmas music. As a pianist, the music is so enjoyable to play.
The spectacular melodies, the text, and I love to add a bunch of, you know, different kinds of chords with them, and plus I love listening to Gracie sing them, so maybe we can impose on her to sing for this program. She's not able to wear one of her legs right now, her prosthetic legs, because she had surgery on it just last week. This was her 84th. I didn't tell a lot of you guys about that, but we had to go down to Denver to do something on her left leg.
It's going to be okay. She just can't wear it for a couple more days, but we'll get her to hopefully sing a Christmas song before the season ends. She loves Christmas music as much as I do, and her version of Mary Did You Know, she's never recorded it. She's just performed it many times, and it still gives me chills when I hear her sing it. It's just extraordinary, and I just love her voice, and so hopefully we can get her back here on the program so she can sing for us. And there's time, if you want me to play something for you, just feel free to go out to our website, hopeforthecaregiver.com.
There's a little form you send in, and just tell me a Christmas song you want me to play. I'll do the best I can. I can't promise, but I'll do the best I can to play them for you.
I love them. I don't have the best set up here with the keyboard I have. It's not the best keyboard.
I want to get a better one that has better sounds for it. Maybe that's something I can work on for next year. But I do the best I can with the keyboard I have here, and we'll just play it. Because I love these old Christmas hymns, and the gospel is so pervasive through them, and I want you to have the best Christmas possible as a caregiver. So as we enter into this month, this season, this is our time for you and me as caregivers, just to kind of hang out and talk about the things that affect us, but anchor ourselves in scripture so that we're not floundering, so that we're not pulled into the weeds at any given point.
There's a lot of extra drama this time of year, so I want to kind of shore you up as much as I possibly can. This is how I do it, and the more I listen to these wonderful hymns and these great songs, and think on these things, the more I can enjoy this time of year, and the chaos doesn't come and the chaos doesn't get to me quite as much. I do like the snow at Christmas time.
Some people don't, but I do, and Gracie certainly does. Oh my goodness, she loves snow so much, and she gets mad because sometimes I have a friend, a neighbor down the road. Well, he's about a mile and a half down the road. We don't have close neighbors out here, but he'll come up and plow the driveway, and Gracie doesn't want the driveway disturbed. She doesn't want anything plowed. She likes it just completely fresh and covered and beautiful, and I was like, baby, I got to get out.
I mean, I got to drive down the mountain. I don't want to mess it up either, but she takes it personally. If you mess up her snow, she takes it personally. So I do the best I can to leave it unspoiled because it's a spiritual thing with her. She loves to see this blanket of snow that covers up everything and makes it just beautiful, just white as snow. I share that with her because for her, well, for both of us, it represents the promise that he made, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. And every time we see that, we're reminded that his grace covers a multitude of sins, and it has this pristine-ness about it that our hearts, it makes our hearts yearn for that.
I mean, there's something spiritual that happened, at least with Gracie and me. And we've been in situations where we've gone back up into the high country on snowmobiles when she could ride, and we get way up top and we turn off the engines, and it was so quiet you could hear the snow falling. You ever been around quiet, that intense? I get that periodically out here, and we're backed up to the National Forest, so we don't have any neighbors behind us. So we can get to places where it's quiet. We don't have a lot of traffic out here. In the wintertime, we're going to have a lot of traffic out here, in the wintertime particularly. Summertime you do because you've got a lot of dune buggies wanting to go up the forest and so forth. But in the wintertime, during the week particularly, there's not much going on. The snowmobiles come out on the weekends, but I was walking up to my in-law's house the other day up the road, going out or driving up the road.
I didn't cut through the pasture because it was a foot and a half of snow and I didn't feel like slogging through that. So I went up the road, but there were no birds or no bugs or no cars, there's no planes, no wind, and it was just dead quiet outside. It's the weirdest thing to be outside and it to be that quiet. And I am so grateful that I get to hear that out here, that silence, to hear silence.
And it's been very settling to my soul. I didn't realize how frenetic I was when we lived in Nashville. Man, it seems like I was hearing a siren going off all the time, traffic. There's always sound and it's hard to get away and just be alone with your thoughts if we lived kind of near a place where the airplanes went over where we were.
So you would hear that. There's always something going on. But I'm grateful that God has provided a place for me to be quiet at times and just go outside and just hear the silence.
And to some people, it's a little bit unnerving. It's dark outside at night out here where we live. And we went to dinner the other night.
We drove, we couldn't go back east because of the surgery, so Gracie couldn't wear her legs. So we went to Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant that we like very much over at Big Sky. And as the crow flies, it's only about 60 miles, but you can't get there in a straight line from here. You have to go down around the mountain and then back up. So it was a two and a half hour drive one way to dinner.
But it was really great dinner. But it's in part of the drive we're going through Yellowstone Park. And I don't know that we saw a dozen cars either way, you know, going or coming. I mean, it was sparsely, that road was sparsely populated. Most people go the northern route and come down that way. But we went the southern route where you go through more wilderness. We saw bighorn sheep, we saw elk, we saw moose, we saw deer.
And just a beautiful ride. But coming back at night, it was dark. And you're going through parts of wilderness and there's nothing there but the woods. There's no street lights or houses or anything else.
So either side of the road, it's dark. And it was that way for some time. And that's pretty normal out here.
And I can see where some people may get a little bit unnerved by that. But for us, it's become just normal. And there's something very, very special to us about having that darkness and the quiet and the peace and the solitude. You know, I've been isolated for many years as a caregiver.
And Gracie certainly has been in her disability and her pain. But solitude is something different. Solitude is a place where we can go and refresh and retank.
And I'm hoping that you can find that as well, wherever you are. Some people don't want to come out to the frozen tundra like we're in, where our snow is measured in feet. And it can get pretty chilly out here. But for us, this solitude has been a healing time for us.
I don't think either Gracie or myself realized just what level of stress and the toll on our body that these decades of disability and caregiving have done to us. And it's when we came out here and we slowed down our lives dramatically, just cut our overhead, reduced our lives to keep it as simple as possible. And when I go outside at night and the stars are so close, it seems like I could just reach up and touch them. There's a reason they call it Big Sky Country out here in Montana. We started coming out here for Christmas back in 95 when our boys were little. And we maintained the tradition virtually every year until they were grown and even beyond that. Our oldest and his wife and three children are going to come out here for Christmas this year and be with us. And we're going to have a great time. Our youngest is going to be with my parents back in South Carolina.
He'll come out in January. But this place has always been a retreat for our little family to heal the solitude, the pristine snow, the bigness, the open air, the big skies at night. All of that has been a place of refuge for us. What is that refuge for you? Where is that place of safety for you where you feel that you can catch your breath? Can you find that place now?
Are you able to? We know what it's like to not be able to do that, to spend holidays in the hospital or in, you know, recovering from surgeries or whatever, all the things involved in our lengthy journey. We understand that. But I do believe that if we look for it, there are places of refuge for us wherever we are. Ultimately, that refuge is in the Word of God. That's why I keep pointing myself and you to it because there are going to be times when we can't be in pristine places, that we can't be in places of beauty and quiet and restfulness, that we're going to be in uncomfortable places. But even in those places, God never leaves us. And His presence gives us that refuge in spite of whatever's going on around us. That's the promise we have in Scripture. And I want and I want to hold on to that.
I want you to hold on to that. During this time of busyness and family and shopping and all these kinds of things, do you find that refuge? Do you find that place where you can just be quiet? You can hear the stillness.
What is it Scripture says? Be still and know that I am God. Being still is one of the best choices we can make.
We take time for stillness so we don't have to make time for illness. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. Glad to have you with us.
Hopeforthecaregiver.com. That is digging way back into the groove yard. Amy Grant from her 1984 Christmas record. And I remember playing that record over and over and over and over. It's a great record. I've always felt like Amy evidently cornered the market on Christmas music in the Christian world because she has done so many great Christmas things and her Christmas stuff that she does in Nashville. It's just spectacular. So we'll try to play a lot more Christmas music for this entire Christmas season. I love Christmas music. I just love it.
And I'm going to have Gracie join us for at least one program, maybe more. We've talked about God with us throughout this program as we set the table here for going into the Christmas season, this Advent time. And I wanted to end with a little bit of a cautionary note today, if you will indulge me, because I think this is something that so many of us struggle with as caregivers.
And I want to reference a conversation I had with someone recently, and they just threw their hands up. They were so exasperated because they have a relative that has a lengthy history of mental health issues. And this individual has wreaked a good bit of havoc and cost a great deal of money to this family. A longtime psychiatrist worked with this relative, but the psychiatrist did not do the family any favors.
This went on for a long period of time, I mean decades, and evidently just kept perpetuating certain things, doing more medication stuff, whatever. The family wanted to have this person declared incompetent some years ago to be able to put her in an institution so that it would minimize the kind of damage that she can create, which evidently is fairly significant. But the psychiatrist wouldn't let them do it. And I asked why. And the reply was, well, the psychiatrist felt it would be too traumatic on her to be declared incompetent, be institutionalized. Which, you know, I mean, I could see that. But my question naturally went to, okay, how long before your trauma surpasses the possible trauma suggested by the psychiatrist?
And I was met with silence. Because that's a question that is, it needs to be asked and it really needs to be addressed, but it's often not. And I think that friends and family and even medical providers often underestimate the trauma incurred by family caregivers. Now, we all know these, I mean, caregiving stress can lead to, you know, health issues like high blood pressure. How many of us have high blood pressure? How many of us health issues like high blood pressure?
How many of us have high blood pressure? Depression, alcoholism, binge eating, all of those kinds of things. But it doesn't stop there. The caregiving stress also attacks the wallets, the careers, the relationships, and even emotional and physical abuse can come through this journey of caregiving. So, I got to ask you, how many care plans for the chronically impaired presume upon the labor of the family caregiver? Presume upon us taking trauma?
Presume upon us taking the arrows? Presume upon us being depleted? How many of those care plans presume that?
There's an implied, there's an implied, hey, the family's going to take care of this. Did you know that every year there's more than 500 billion, and that's what they be, $500 billion worth of unpaid labor for family caregivers in this country? 500 billion annually. That's roughly the equivalent of our trade deficit with China. And you see how that's working out. Caregivers have a trade deficit with this country.
We provide an enormous amount of labor and services without pay, often without training. And we do it, and there's a presumption that, well, we don't want this patient to be such and such. Like this friend of ours with a mentally ill family member.
I mean, significant mental illness. And nobody wants to make the hard call on her because, well, it'll be too traumatic for her. And it may be, it may be, but she's not the only one taking trauma. She's not the only one taking the arrows. The family is having to scramble on a regular basis against a disease that is not terminal, but havoc wreaking, if you will.
The carnage is significant evidently. You know, think about responsible physicians who would undoubtedly recognize a morbidly obese caregiver. I've seen that. I remember I was at the heart doctor with my mother-in-law about a year and a half ago. My father-in-law and my mother-in-law were there. We took her over there to Bozeman and getting a checkup. And I was looking at the counter and there was a very frail woman in a wheelchair. I mean, she looked very emaciated and frail, elderly woman. And the woman who identified herself as her daughter to the counter was pushing the wheelchair and she was morbidly obese. I'm not talking about a little chunky. I'm talking about morbidly obese.
How is that a good thing? And how could a responsible physician not see that and recognize that the patient is in jeopardy because the caregiver is in jeopardy. The caregiver is horrifically unhealthy. And that patient then is at risk because the caregiver is an at-risk individual.
So we can see that physically. But can you notice that with emotional distress, emotional wear and tear, emotional trauma, if you will. After our discussion, this woman purpose, the family members got a new psychiatrist, which sounds like it's a good plan. And I suggested maybe have a conversation with that psychiatrist to let the psychiatrist know, hey, there's more than one individual being traumatized in this situation. And she's purposed to do that. And I'm eager to see how that works out, you know, but I think it just drives the point home that although it's often overlooked, the trauma to the caregiver always affects at least two lives.
Now, you think about that. If something happens to me, don't you think Gracie suffers because of it? I mean, with whatever it is, if I'm having a bad cold, if I get the flu, how does that affect her? Now, I don't get sick very often. And I don't have any significant health issues.
I've told you about my foot and I'm working on that. But, you know, I don't have chronic respiratory issues or things such as that. And I stay very healthy, but I'm very purposed in that. But think about the challenges to her when I get the flu or anything else. I've had COVID. I didn't have any symptoms, but I had it. I had a quarantine, but, you know, what is quarantine for a caregiver?
I'm here all the time anyway. So, I mean, she got real sick with COVID, but I didn't. But think about what happens to her if I do. What happens to your loved one if you do? If you are so traumatized, how are you going to be able to care for someone else?
Caregiving trauma always affects at least two lives. So, as you go through this Christmas season, understand that the stress levels are higher. The demands are higher.
The pressure is higher. Everything is escalated, except the days. The days are short.
It gets dark early. But everything is escalated. You're going to get an increase in trauma in your caregiving journey. This time of year, just expect it.
Okay? You don't have to live in fear about it, but just expect it and make accommodations for it to minimize that. Don't put yourself in situations where everything is crammed up on top of you. Don't take on more than you can do. Settle yourself down. Make some space for yourself. Remember what my doctor told me about my foot because of what's going on with my excessive number of birthdays and my arch falling. That's what he said is my excessive number of birthdays. I need a little extra support and a little extra space.
Okay? And I'm asking for you to consider the same thing for yourself during this Christmas season and then make this a habit around the year. Give yourself a little extra support, whatever that looks like, and that little extra support can look like different things. Sometimes it means not trying to save 25 cents by taking more trauma on for yourself. If you've got to spend a little extra money to give yourself a little extra space, maybe this is a good investment in that. Maybe you are the good investment because that's what you're doing.
You're investing in yourself so that you can stay stronger and healthy as you care for someone who is not. A little extra space. Allow more time with traffic. Allow more time with doctor's appointments. Allow more time with gift wrapping.
Whatever it is that you got to do, cooking, all those things are going to take up a lot of time and it's going to put you into a crunch mode. And so give yourself that extra space. And the last thing is grace. Give yourself a lot of grace.
You and your loved one, but particularly right now I'm just focused on you. Give yourself a lot of grace. That's the whole point of this season anyway, is to recognize that God in His graciousness, in His unimaginable grace, condescended to us to be with us through this.
And He took all the trauma of sin on our behalf so that we could be with Him. Never forget that. As you go through this, there will be moments when it will just get really gnarly. Okay? So hang on to that.
Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll see you next time. So this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic and we met them over 11 years ago. And they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth.
And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me and it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.
And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.
And that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. Obviously she's been an amputee for over 30 years.
So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry. Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this, they want to do it.
And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.
We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be and we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-05 07:07:23 / 2022-12-05 07:25:29 / 18