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All We Really Have Control Over Are These

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2023 11:40 pm

All We Really Have Control Over Are These

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 1, 2023 11:40 pm

From Sept 30's broadcast. 

We covered quite a bit of ground in this episode. 

  1. Caregivers and Control (or the lack thereof)
  2. Caregivers and Content (what do we feel our minds with?)
  3. Caregiver and Comportment (would you trust your loved one to a physician who comported themselves like some of our elected officials have recently? 

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Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

What do you say to a caregiver?

How do you help a caregiver? I was talking to this billing agent at the doctor's office and said, how are you feeling? And she said, oh great It's Friday. And before I could catch myself, I said Friday means nothing to me. Every day is Monday. And I felt kind of ashamed of that and I'm sorry for that, but I realized that whole principle of every day is Monday. What that means for us as caregivers, we know that this is going to be a challenging day. And I wrote these one-minute chapters.

You literally could read them in one minute. And I'm really proud of this book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers, When Every Day Feels Like Monday. It's filled with bedrock principles that we as caregivers can lean on, that we can depend upon to get us to safety, where we can catch our breath, take a knee if we have to, and reorient our thinking and the weight that we carry on our shoulders. If you don't know what to say to a caregiver, don't worry about it.

I do. Give them this book. Welcome to Hope of the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million Americans right now are doing this. Are you one of them? Well, if so, you're in the right place.

This program is designed to strengthen and equip the family caregiver to stay healthy and strong while taking care of someone who is not. What does that look like? How does that flesh out?

Paint a picture of it. Well, that's what we do on this show. All of that and more. And I speak fluent caregiver, and I've learned this over a lifetime. I've lived in the caregiver world for a very long time, and I understand the core needs that we as caregivers have. I've spoken to thousands of caregivers.

I have been doing this program now for well over a dozen years. I've stared at this mountain for a very long time and come to understand the plight of the family caregivers. Every caregiver suffers from what I call the three I's. Every one of us. These three things plague every one of us. Without exception, we lose our independence, we become isolated, and we lose our identity. And in the process to regain those things, a lot of stuff can happen because sometimes we try to regain them on our own strength. We try to demand it, try to force an issue. And when we force an issue or try to force an issue, we become at times unreasonable. Sometimes we don't realize it, but we are because we're drowning.

And drowning people are not reasonable people. They are gasping for air. So many of us as caregivers are gasping for air. Are you gasping for air? If so, what does that look like? That's a great metaphor, but it doesn't make much sense if we don't drill down and say, okay, what does that look like to you?

And I will give you a painful illustration of what it looks like to me, or has looked like to me in the past. One of those things was we came home from a doctor's visit. And by the way, I cringe when I say this, but you know what? It's the truth.

And there's no point in me doing a radio program for caregivers if I'm not going to lay it out to what the core issue is for us as caregivers. But we came home from a doctor's visit. This is a lifetime ago. I mean, this has been well over 20 years ago, maybe 25.

I don't know. It kind of grows in a blur, but it was a long time ago. Pre-9-11.

Well before that. Our kids were somewhat small at the time, and we got home about 5.30 or 6. It's late at night. Gracie's in her wheelchair at the time, and we've got to start dinner. We had been at the doctor's office all day.

I made arrangement for extended care with the kids and picked them up, got them home from school, come into the house. It's just we're exhausted. It's been an emotional day. It's been exhausting physically, and we got to start dinner.

And Gracie, from her wheelchair, very humbly asked, would you like for me to help with dinner? And because I was gasping for air, and because I was unreasonable, and because I was quite truthfully just a jerk, I remember slamming a kitchen cabinet door, and said, no, I've got to be in control of something. Now I say that with no small amount of cringe and embarrassment and shame and guilt, but I did it. And I say that for one purpose only, not to wallow in my mistakes and failure. That would take too long.

I'd have to have 24-hour coverage of that to be able just to recount those. But to say to you, my fellow caregivers, I understand. I truly do. And that desire for us to be in control of something, because it feels like it is just spiraling out of control.

And it does, and it is. But the real issue is, we are not in control really of anything, except our own thoughts, our own words, and our own deeds. That's it. I have thrown everything I have. My wallet, my creativity, my mind, my sweat, my blood, my talent, everything I have, I have thrown at this situation with Gracie. And I don't think I've even made a dent in it.

I haven't slowed it down. And I had to come to an understanding that this is not my purpose. To slow it down, to correct it, to fix it, to put it back on track, or to be in control of something. My purpose is to glorify God in it. My purpose is to be steadfast in it. My purpose is to learn to be at peace in it. And trusting God through this. Not cajoling God, or pleading with Him, or bargaining with Him to get me out of it.

Because He hadn't gotten me out of it. I'm still here. I'm still doing it. Every day.

And I take hours off to go ride a horse, but that's about it. Now, I'm not sitting there bemoaning this, or somehow asking for sympathy, because I'm not. I have a very productive, wonderful life that I've learned to be creative in this with it. Because I've learned to accept what is right in front of me.

But see, that's the challenge I learned as a caregiver, is that I didn't want to accept reality. That this is our life. This is the way it is. And this is the way it's going to be. And most likely, it's not going to change.

Except to get probably more difficult. And I can do nothing about that. But I can change. I can change. I can grow stronger. I can become healthier. I can trust God deeper. I can be calmer. I can be content.

And once that paradigm in my mind shifted, that that was possible for me, everything else started tacking to that. I can write better music as a caregiver. I can write a book as a caregiver. I've written four. I can write for major media outlets. I've written hundreds of op-eds and commentaries for Fox News, the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing, USA Today, AARP, Guideposts.

And the list just keeps going. I've done all of that as a caregiver. But I didn't do any of it until I learned that I can be content with where I am. Not one of those things happened until I learned to settle myself down. And trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not onto my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths.

That's when it changed. I've earned a second degree black belt as a caregiver. I've written songs. I've produced two records.

I have done hundreds of interviews on television and radio and other things. But not one thing, not one of those things happened until I learned to stop slamming the kitchen cabinet door and saying I've got to be in control of something. That's my message for you in this opening monologue that this is what I've learned. Does this resonate with you?

Does this connect at all with you? Do you see yourself in this? Do you see yourself railing against what is right in front of you that you have no power over? Do you see yourself despairing that way?

If so, you're in the right place. Because that's the reality for so many caregivers across not only this country but across the world. That is the reality of the human condition. We hate what we see at times and we either rage against it or we'll despair against it. But scripture invites us to accept and trust in the midst of it. What do you think about that?

What are your thoughts on that? This has been my journey. You may say, well, Peter, you just don't understand my journey.

Well, maybe I don't. But I've got a pretty good idea of the challenges that a caregiver faces. You do this for almost 40 years and you kind of wrap your mind around that. And I just will tell you that nothing changed for me until I was willing to accept that I could change nothing. Until I surrendered my heart to the one who could change it.

And then watch what happens. That's when I learned what is truly hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. How are you feeling today?

You feel healthy? Let me talk about that for just a moment. I was actually having this conversation the other day with my father who listens to this program every week.

Thank you for that, dad, by the way. And we were talking about as we get older. One of the things that we're struggling with as a country is that we're living longer. Our bodies are living longer, but our minds are not. And that's why you have so much going on in the caregiving world with people taking care of those with dementia. What we used to call senility, but now we know it is different. And then you also have Alzheimer's. Now Alzheimer's and dementia are different. You can have dementia without having Alzheimer's. But you can't have Alzheimer's without dementia. If someone has Parkinson's, they may have dementia. So there are lots of different ways to acquire dementia. But the bottom line is that as we get older, a lot of people will go through things of not being able to remember or process, whatever. How do you plan for that? How do you deal with that?

And I was thinking about this. There is no cure for Alzheimer's at this point. I know they're working on it. There's no cure for these kinds of things. There's no cure for aging.

You know, none of us are getting out of this thing alive. And the mortality rate in this country is still 100%. And you can certainly live a healthier lifestyle. You can do things that keep your brain engaged.

Lots of puzzles, Sudoku, whatever it is you like to do to keep your mind stimulated. All of those things help ward that off and protect against it. But there's something I want to posit to you all today that maybe you haven't considered. And this is not a cure.

This is simply a way to prepare for what may come. What is the one thing that never returns void? It's the Word of God. And so if your mind is filled with Scripture and the Word of God, will that return void?

According to Scripture, it won't. I have seen so many cases where people were agitated by dementia. They couldn't remember certain things. But then if you start quoting Scripture to them, all of a sudden they're able to recall things, say things.

Their lips move even though they're staring listlessly out the window. I've seen that happen with hymns that contain the Word of God in it. There's no one that can guarantee that we'll get out of this life without experiencing some type of dementia or mental impairment.

There's no guarantee of any of that. But what happens if you are consumed with the Word of God? That word of I hid in my heart that I may not sit against thee.

Here's another, Hebrews 4-12. For the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.

It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Isaiah 48, the grass withers and the flowers fail. But the Word of our God endures forever. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24, 35. Psalm 119, 114.

You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in your Word. We can just go on and on about the Word of God. I'm not saying that if you memorize Scripture you will not get dementia or any type of sickness, mental impairment, cognitive impairment.

No. But what Scripture says is that the Word of God cannot fail. The Word of God does not return void. The Word of God pierces more than anything else. The Word of God, when everything else fades and withers, it withstands. So why would we not want to fill our lives with something that is eternal and not subject to the brokenness of this world, to the diseases of this world? We are fallible.

Why would we not want to consume ourselves with something that is infallible? I remember the first time I saw this displayed when I was in a nursing home and I was playing the piano for a kind of a, it wasn't really a church service. It was after church and a friend of mine had asked me to go over there and I was playing and we were playing some hymns. And then they recited the Lord's Prayer and there was a lady, I can still see her in my mind, there was a lady looking out the window drooling.

Looking listfully. I mean there was no activity in her eyes. And yet I watched her mouthing the words of the Lord's Prayer.

And I was struck by that. I have seen people on their deathbed move their mouth with hymns. I have many people that have used my CD, Songs for the Caregiver, to listen to round the clock in hospice.

And I knew of one lady who wrote me and said her husband had Alzheimer's. And every time he felt himself getting agitated he would ask for my music. Not my music, Peter Rosenberg, he called it his music. He said where's my music, where's my music? And she would put on my CD and then he would just sit there in the chair and listen to me play.

And she said it would calm him down. And I've seen this over and over and over. And that's why I love these hymns so much is because they have such staying power. I'm curious for example of what song that you would want at your funeral. And more often than not most people are going to say some type of hymn. And because most people don't know a lot of hymns they'll say the two they know which is Amazing Grace and It is Well. And I've played that at a lot of funerals and I'm trying to get people to expand their knowledge base of the hymns.

I know for me, let me go over to the caregiver keyboard here. And I don't mean this to be morbid, I just love these hymns so much. I want this to be a statement of my life.

Listen to this one. Do you know what this is? Angels descend with songs again And earth repeat the loud Amen The tune is Duke Street but the lyric is Jesus shall reign. And that last verse was let every creature rise and bring honors peculiar to our king. Or actually I think it's peculiar honors to our king. Angels descend with songs again and earth repeat the loud Amen. Written by the incomparable Isaac Watts. But I love that hymn and I mean you've heard that on a big pipe organ and with people singing it full throated.

Man there's nothing like it. And again these things in of themselves don't stave off Alzheimer's or dementia or anything else. But it does anchor our spirits. Our spirits are eternal. Our bodies are not. Our bodies are corruptible. As Paul says you put off this corruptible shell, this flesh in exchange for that which is incorruptible. And because we're in Christ we are incorruptible in our spirits because of Christ.

Not because of us, because of Christ. But our bodies will fail. Our minds will fail. Our ability to reason may fail us.

But his word never does. So would it not make sense that we with intentionality fill our mind today even in this fallible corruptible body. To fill it with that which cannot ever fade away. With that which can never fail.

With that which is incorruptible. So I would encourage you to memorize scripture. Scripture encourages you to memorize scripture. Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee. Scripture encourages us to do that. And I would encourage you also to spend some time with the great hymns of the faith. Music can leave an imprint on our brain like nothing else can.

It's extraordinary. Ask anybody that's in any type of neuroscience and dealing with the elderly, dealing with dementia, dealing with neurology. And they'll tell you the amazing abilities of music. It penetrates where other things don't. And so when you marry something which is eternal, which is the word of God.

With something that penetrates beyond what medical science can even identify. Well that just makes sense to prepare ourselves for that. So listen to hymns. Listen to scripture. Read it, memorize it, study it. And I would just for a moment to you pastors out there who have a music minister that works for you.

Whether it's part-time, full-time, volunteer, whatever. Encourage them to do the hymns and to do them well. The hymns were written particularly with the ones with four-part harmony. They were written structurally so sound.

Most of them, not all of them of course, but so much of them were written structurally so sound. Western music is based on this four-part harmony that you see in the hymnal. A lot of what we do in western music. When I play at the church where I serve as a music minister, a lot of times I'll just drop out at the piano and just let everybody sing a cappella. I don't know how much time you've spent around people who sing in four-part harmony. And I'm not talking about barbershop quartets. Not that there's anything wrong with that. That's just not my thing. But I'm talking about when you have a congregation singing in harmony.

When your congregation sings and there's the bass line and the tenor line and the alto line and the soprano line and then more if they can. It's extraordinary. It is truly extraordinary to hear.

And it leaves an indelible mark on your soul, on your heart. And I would suggest to you on your mind. So as the world freaks out about what do we do?

We've got to take more gingko beloko or whatever it is called. You've got to take all these things to improve your memory. You've got to do this, work sudoku and all these kinds of things. That's great. Fine. Do it.

Whatever you and your doctor work out or whatever you think you need to do. But I would highly recommend that you memorize the word of God. And I recommend to you pastors and you music ministers out there. Please introduce these hymns to the next generation. Spend some time with them.

And feel free to arrange them. Play them differently. Add in some new chords. Slow them down. Listen to the text. Let the text speak to you and then let the music flow from there. I promise you, your congregation will never, ever be the same when you do this. You church musicians, drop out every now and then and just let the congregation sing a capella. These bodies of ours, these minds of ours will fail.

But the word of God never does. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. That is from my CD, Songs for the Caregiver. That is me on the keyboard and Mike Castile on the flugelhorn. And I always love listening to him play. The flugelhorn is the trumpet.

For those of you who don't know, it's got a wider bell so it gives you that more mellow sound to it. You know, you remember Chuck Mangione back in the 70s had that big hit of his. Ba da da, ba da da da, you know that.

And that was on a flugelhorn. And anyway, so Mike played that on my CD and I loved that. I just loved it.

And it was a lot of fun to do that. It's just Jesus loves me. Again, one of those indelible hymns. And while I'm on the subject before I move on to something else, I want to also tell you about my father. My father has been a minister since he was in his 20s. And he has known his entire ministry.

He's almost 89 years old. He has been absolutely filling his life with the Word of God. I cannot remember a time when he was not reading to himself and to us of scripture. And if I ever went to him for anything or if he yanked me into his office to go over some things he was concerned about.

Believe me, there were lots of those times. He would always have his Bible right there. And he would draw on a Waffle House napkin. You know, things of scripture to give to us.

I mean, all my brothers and my sister contain the same thing. And so here he is now almost 89 years old and it still dominates his life. He's filled with scripture. And so I can't say enough about the power of the Word of God.

So when you marry that with the scriptures and music it's just... Well, some of you heard me tell this story before and I think it bears repeating. When Gracie came out of surgery after giving up her remaining leg. And it was just one of those moments, flashbulb moments in my life. Where I'm watching this woman, this young woman, come out of surgery.

This is back in 95. Now both legs are gone. One leg is healed up. The other one's got a bandage and all this stuff on it.

I shared this, I think, just about a month ago. And she's halfway sedated. But her hands are lifted to heaven and she's singing the doxology. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Well, Gracie's singing that. She's halfway sedated. She just came out of surgery. She just lost her remaining leg.

She wasn't really conscious. And yet she's singing that. Don't tell me that your spirit is not transformed by the Word of God and by these great hymns of the faith. And so I would, again, suggest to you that it is worthy. Actually, I'm going to go so far as to say it is absolutely imperative. That's a split infinitive, I think. Did I do that?

You grammar police tell me. But it is crucial. How about that? Crucial.

Just land on crucial. That we bury the Word of God into our heart. So, thank you, Dad and Mom, by the way, of setting that example.

All right, moving on. Real quick. I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal last week by columnist Peggy Noonan. And it's called The Senator's Shorts and America's Decline.

If you get a chance, go out and take a look at this article. The Senator's Shorts and America's Decline. And she really goes after the poor behavior, the comportment. This is a word that you don't hear very often anymore.

Comportment. And she says, We are in a crisis of political comportment. We're witnessing the rise of the class-less. Our politicians are becoming degenerate. This has been happening for a while but gets worse as the country coarsens. We are defining deviancy ever downward.

And we want to be respected but no longer think we need to be respectable. And she's referencing Senator Fetterman's attire in the U.S. Senate. And the behavior of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert in the theater she was in with her date at the time. And then we can go down the list.

It's not like we have to search wide to find poor behavior from our elected officials. By the way, it's worthy of your time to read this article because she speaks of it as far beyond that. How people bear themselves has implications greater than we know. It's not about sartorial choice, about the way we dress, just looking pretty. It's not about just dressing up. It's about who we need you to be. She's talking about the elected officials and who you asked to be when you first ran. So they comport themselves poorly once they get in office.

They put on a nice show and do that. Now what does that have to do with us as caregivers? Well, I believe that comportment for us as caregivers is extremely important. How we handle ourselves around the professionals that we deal with.

And how we do that will affect on how they engage with us and how we're able to better care for our loved ones. I visited Gracie's cardiologist this week with her. Remember we had the surgery we were supposed to have. We're going to have it, but she had to go see the cardiologist first. She does have an issue. They're going to address it. We're going to get it hopefully wrapped up here in about another 10 days. And then her surgery can resume, but they do need to take care of something and so they will.

And all of these things are in the purview of fixable. But this is the first time I met this guy. And this guy, when I met him, I think he is about the same age as our oldest son.

So it's kind of tough when I say Dr. Dukey Hauser. You know, I mean these doctors are getting younger by the day. I mean I was, you've got to remember when I came on the scene here with Gracie, I was 22. I was 22 years old and interacting with her surgeons. And that's, you know, I was a little wet behind the ears and very nervous about dealing with them.

And now I have children older than some of these doctors that I'm dealing with. Now I live in Montana. And in Montana we're not known out here for dressing up.

I mean there's a lot of cowboy boots and so forth. But you know, I have taken a different stance. When I go see doctors and the professionals at Gracie that I have to deal with, I don't go in sloppy. And I wore a jacket the other day. You know, I don't go in there in a three-piece suit. But I certainly don't go in there looking slovenly. I comport myself differently. I handle myself differently.

I go in there prepared to meet with this guy. I'm a good deal older than this young man. But I respect his office. And I respect the knowledge that he has and the hard work that he's put in to earn the title that he has. And I treat him as such. But I notice that when I show respect and conduct myself with respect, that he treats me with respect. And he does.

And he did. And I've seen this across the board with Gracie's medical providers over the years that she's had, whether it doesn't matter if it's an x-ray tech all the way up to a neurosurgeon. Self-respect means something. And I'm going to ask you as a caregiver, do you have self-respect? Do you respect yourself not only as a caregiver, just as a human being? Do you comport yourself well? Do you walk with dignity? We've got a senator that shows up in the U.S. Senate and treats it like it's a bowling alley. Or worse, actually treats it worse than that. Like it's just some dive bar and dresses like a slob. We've got a congresswoman that goes out and, well, you saw what happened. And I can just go down the list.

Whether it's through our language or the way we dress, the way we walk. I can tell you, my dad, in addition to being a minister, he was also 30-something years in the Navy. He retired as a captain in the Navy. And let me just kind of give you an idea that when a captain in the Navy has five sons and one daughter. My sister's the baby now. She's an exception to all of this because she was spoiled rotten.

Oh, she's just wonderful. But if we scuffed our feet when we walked, we could expect a pop behind the ear. If we had unruly hair, you know, shirts untucked or looked sloppy, we would hear about it quickly. And dad has this gift, which Gracie will affirm that I inherited. Is that I would watch him come home from his job as pastor and leave his office. And he would come and he sometimes would stop by, we'd hit a little garden there.

And he'd go out there and do some weeding and come into the house. He's still in his suit. He would brush off his fingers and he would be still clean and pristine in his suit.

It was amazing to watch him. And I will tell you with no small amount of glee that I've inherited that. I don't attract the dirt, you know, no matter what I'm doing. I would always be able to kind of stay somewhat presentable. Gracie does not have this gift, by the way.

She'll be the first to tell you. But I always admire that about dad is that he conducted himself with great dignity and respect and treated others the same way. And so when we see our elected officials not doing that, and I can't help but think about, okay, as caregivers, are we doing that? Do we conduct ourselves with dignity and respect? Do we treat others with respect who are caring for our loved ones? Are we respectful for their time? Do we dress appropriately when we show up to a meeting?

It's a business meeting. Do we handle it as such? Do we look slovenly?

Do we, you know, show up wearing a Van Halen t-shirt? Those things that matter, if I would never go to a doctor's appointment dressed the way John Fetterman does, I would never dress the way John Fetterman does. And there's no reason why he has to, other than an intentional desire to lower the standards of our culture, which, you know, if we go any lower, we'll be down at the cellar.

But there's no reason why he has to be this way other than just pure classless. And the same thing with congresswomen who are behaving in a way they would not want their mother to know kind of thing. We're all guilty of stuff, but do we strive to be better? Do we strive to raise the bar? And as a caregiver, I can tell you that if I do not raise the bar for myself, then it has an adverse effect on Gracie.

Because if I'm not treated with respect, how does that information flow and everything else go towards her? The clock got away from me, so I'm going to take a quick break. We'll continue this when we come back. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Don't go away. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

We are so glad that you are with us. I was talking about this article that I saw from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, and I would really recommend you reading it. The Senator Shorts and America's Decline. And there's a quote in there that I think applies directly to us as caregivers.

And that is, hold on, let me get this here. We want to be respected, but no longer think we need to be respectable. And I think as caregivers, we have an even higher responsibility to be respectable because there are two people counting on us.

Ourselves and someone we love. And if we are...listen to what Peggy Noonan says about this. And she said, here are reasons John Fetterman and all Senators should dress like an adult. It shows respect for colleagues and implies you see them as embarked on the serious business of the nation in which you wish to join them. It shows respect for the institution. And it shows a mature acceptance of your role, suggesting service. You are a public servant and it reflects an inner discipline. It's not always easy or convenient to dress like a grown up. You've got to get the suit from the cleaners, the shoes from the cobbler.

The effort means you bothered, you took the time, you went to the trouble. It reflects an inner modesty. Yeah, we'd like to be in sneaks and shorts, but you admit that what you'd like isn't the most important thing. It shows that thoughts of your own comfort aren't number one in your hierarchy of concerns.

But she goes on to talk about why, as a Senator, he should dress better. And I'm saying a lot of those reasons apply to us as caregivers. Do you respect the amount of education that the doctor treating your loved one has withstood and endured and the success that they've achieved, the hard work, the grades that had to be earned and the time that they have, the knowledge base, what they have to do?

If you show that, you know, your meeting with that doctor is going to go a lot differently. If you come in there with this entitlement mentality of somehow you're the center of the universe kind of thing or you're sloven or you don't have any respect or anything like that, imagine how the meeting's going to go. One of the things that I set out to do with my fellow caregivers was to help develop self-esteem in caregivers because so many of us feel beaten down. So many of us look at our failures. So many of us see ourselves as just glorified orderlies at times, that we're trying to make somebody else happy and we can't and we just feel miserable. We beat ourselves up all the time. I've heard it all.

I've felt it all. But the point of self-esteem is not to think more highly of yourself. That's not the point. It's to value oneself. To value your contribution, your place, your role, the office you hold. That's why I'm taking the time on this today and referencing this wonderful article about Peggy Noonan because I want to put it in the caregiver world.

John Fetterman and I think the Senate has voted now to, they unanimously voted to reinstate the dress code, which is kind of weird because Chuck Schumer now voted to get something that he created. And you wonder why we're 30-something trillion dollars in debt and have open borders and everything else. But that's an aside. I'm not going to get into that mess. I want to drill down into this whole issue of self-esteem because the caregivers I've talked to are sadly deficient in that. They are beaten down, they are struggling, they are feeling guilty, they feel ashamed, they feel embarrassed, they feel frustrated, resentful, all those kinds of things. Why?

Why? Partly because I don't know that anybody's ever communicated to them the value of what they do. Not just to other people, not just to their loved ones, but to God himself. And I think it starts with Scripture. It always starts with Scripture.

What does Jesus say? There's no greater love that a man lay down his life for a friend. Do you not connect those dots to being a caregiver? That so many of us push aside dreams, desires, wants, you know, things that we would like to pursue in our life, financially, professionally, all these things in order to care for someone who is chronically impaired, who is vulnerable. And so I think it starts with that.

I think it starts with valuing the role that you have. Clearly John Fetterman does not value the office of Senate. I mean, I cannot imagine going into the Senate chamber. And I've toured the Capitol. I went to the old Senate chamber, they have it roped off, and you can't go in there.

It's, you know, kind of a museum type thing. But you're not allowed into the Senate chamber on any kind of tours like that unless you have special access, whatever. I've been to the House of Representatives.

I was at the State of the Union. I cannot imagine going into any of those facilities without the deepest respect for the institution. I remember walking on the campus at West Point when my son was there, and I was awestruck by this place just for its sheer presence in history and our nation who studied there. The fact that my son got to go there was just beyond. I stood in the chapel there at West Point where, in the movie The Long Gray Line, they announced that America was at war after December 7th and all of the cadets stand up in unison. And then they leapt to their feet to serve their country.

And now they're holding gay weddings in that chapel. Do you see a pattern of disrespect of institutions that is permeating? Well, does it go all the way down to us as individuals?

Yes, it does. I have no power over what's going on in our country other than I can vote and I can make my voice known, but I have no power to change these things. But as an individual, as a caregiver, I do over how I comport myself. Do I respect what I bring to the table as Gracie's caregiver, as her husband, as her friend? Do I respect that?

Yeah, I do. I didn't always understand my role, and I thought that I was there basically to fight with insurance companies, and I was there to do this and this and this, and I was just there to clean up messes and everything else. That's not the role that I have as a caregiver, and that's not the role that you have as a caregiver. As caregivers, we are representing the very hands of Christ in caring for our loved one. We are honoring parents. We are honoring spouses. We are caring for children. We are taking care of those who cannot care for themselves.

And this does not go unnoticed in the kingdom of God. I have breakfast every Saturday morning with my father-in-law. He comes down the hill from where he lives, and I make a big breakfast of grits and eggs and homemade biscuits. Yes, I can make homemade biscuits, and they're very good.

Thank you very much. And we have a big Southern breakfast, and we have this six or seven months out of the year that he's out here. He'll go back to Florida in November, but we enjoy our time, and we discuss all kinds of things. And invariably, the discussion comes back to Gracie and the challenges she has, and he recognizes what I carry on my shoulders.

And I made a comment to him the other day. I said, you know, I have a responsibility to answer for how I care for her, to comport myself in a way that is respectful. And I have to answer not only to you as her father, but I also have to answer to God for how I care for her.

That's a game changer. That is not me just flailing around trying to be a caregiver and getting beaten down. That is me recognizing that I have a responsibility as a steward to care for this woman and then answer to God for the way I do it. It's not just the task of caregiving, because the tasks are going to be kind of messy. The job is messy. The role is important.

The office, if you will, the office of caregiver. That's what I'm talking about. That's what we esteem. That's what we value. That this has value. While functioning in that office, we may have to do unpleasant tasks.

There may be very difficult days, and there usually are. But the office itself commands respect. Can you imagine if the senators, congressmen, and all the elected officials in this country had that level of understanding of their office? That they are there as stewards of this great nation, and they have to answer to the owners of this nation, which are the people of this nation. They don't feel like they have to answer to it. That's why they act the way they do.

Once you understand that you have to give an account, it's a game changer. It changes everything in how you deal with life as a caregiver, to realize that you've been charged with an awesome responsibility of caring for another human being. Can you imagine showing up to meet with your surgeon, or your spouse's surgeon, or your child's doctor, and they look like John Fetterman.

They dress like that. Showing up to surgery with your spouse, and meeting the anesthesiologist who you just saw on the news a couple weeks ago, out behaving like Congressman Lauren Boebert. Would you want to go ahead with the surgery? Would you trust their judgment? If we expect the people who give the care to us and our loved ones to comport themselves in a respectful manner, why would we not do the same as caregivers?

I would not want my wife's doctors to look at me and be concerned and wonder, is Peter up to this? Can he do this? Can he take care of this woman? Does he even understand what I'm talking about? Look at him. You know, he comes in here looking like he just left a biker gang.

You can dress up like a biker anytime you want, but if you're going to go to your doctor's office, if you want to be taken seriously, and you take this seriously, and you take your role in this seriously, comport yourself in a way that reflects that. Take a hard look. Do you?

Do you do that? Do people look at you and say, this is a man who takes this seriously? This is a woman who truly gets this and understands how important this is. Every bit of this starts with self-esteem, self-respect, respecting the office. And in the office you hold, whereas John Fetterman, Lauren Boebert, Bill Clinton, and a host of others may not respect their office as elected officials, I respect the office I hold as Gracie's caregiver, and I respect the office you hold as your loved one's caregiver.

And it has kingdom implications. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com Healthy caregivers make better caregivers, and part of being healthy is understanding the value of the role of caregiver. Thank you for spending the time with me today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-02 03:09:21 / 2023-10-02 03:27:53 / 19

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