so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy. Psalm 123:2
It may be that you are yearning for God’s mercy. You are the main caregiver for a mother, a father or someone else who is suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s. How can you make the suffering less? How do you remain patient? Where is your energy going to come from?
I worked 12 hour days at a Children’s hospital during the time my mother lived in our home. On the days I worked, my husband (whose office was in our home) would be taking care of my mom. A stroke had caused her dementia, and Parkinson’s caused many other issues. She had pain from severe arthritis in her feet so that even a short distance was difficult to walk. She became unable to care for herself at all, she needed help with every task. To top it off she started suffering repeated bladder infections. I would be exhausted after finally reaching my car after my 12 hour day- with another 12 hour day looming. My husband would usually call while I was on the shuttle ride, or as I was getting into my car. Normally, it was to check in with me, but several times it was to ask me to meet him in a hospital emergency room where he had brought mom. Dread would wash over me, knowing what the next several hours would hold. This was a terrible experience for her. Mom was unable to answer questions from the doctors or nurses and would become frightened. She had no idea what day it was, what year, her name even. The only question she ever answered correctly was that she knew she was in a hospital, again. She would become upset and confused as they wheeled her from one test to another. We always knew what was wrong- she had yet another bladder infection. It didn’t matter what we knew, the doctors insisted she needed every test they could think of. It was very aggravating. She always lost a little of herself with every single ER or hospital admission. So many times I longed for God’s mercy for my mom. I didn’t always recognize the mercy when it came.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124 8
King David was often running from enemies. No matter what happened in his life he knew without a doubt that God was the one to go to. He was the one to pray to when in need or sorrow. Whether in grief or in need of repentance. God was faithful to David’s need. He will be faithful to you as well. There are many times of difficulty and confusion- grief and sorrow when taking care of one who is unable to care for themselves. There will be days that you will be beyond exhausted, yet still actively taking care of a special need your loved one has. David always praised the Lord, even before the answer to his prayer became evident. Even when our answer to prayer was not yet evident we knew from whom help would come. Our help came from God, the one who loved us so much that he sent his son to live among us. He held us up and gave us the energy needed when we had none of our own. God will provide the energy and the hope you need as well. He will bless you with strength and hope and patience. May he guide and support you as you care for your loved one.