Friday, June 5, 2020

Caregiving through a Pandemic, Riots, and the End of Times.

I sat down today to edit photos and work on some stuff for our local chamber of commerce, but here came PaPa Tom and he wanted to eat pizza and talk about why we do not watch the news.  This is a daily conversation in our house, so much I have threatened to take the cords off the television and the batteries from the remotes - I know it is intense.

Several weeks ago when Covid19 first started being talked about repeatedly on the major news outlets we learned just how bad the news media can be.  It was the first day that school was cancelled for the pandemic and my daughter calls me and says "Mom, PaPa Tom is in the floor and can't get up."  I did some talking and coaxing over the phone - enough to learn he had chosen to get in the floor, but didn't have the strength to get up - either by choice or by exhaustion, that I may never know.  I left work drove home and found them sitting in the floor together talking, but he could not get up.  I helped him up, sent him to get dressed, and then we were off to the doctor to have "ailment" evaluated.

I knew what his "ailment" was, just the night before him and I had discussions regarding how urgently he needed to plan his funeral, because he was dying from Covid19.  When we arrived at the doctor they ushered him back to the room and I chatted with our doctor - small town blessing, we are on a first name relationship with our amazing medical professionals here - and we discussed that he had been watching way too much news and thought he was dying.  She acknowledged that could cause problems in ones health and headed to evaluate his condition.  Turns out he was healthy and needed to watch less of the mainstream media and news outlets.

We have "moved on" from the pandemic and moved to the riots (disclosure, I am not racist, I do not agree with what happened to Mr. Floyd, I also do not agree with the rioters) and now we have buildings being destroyed and threats being made.  This is all unsettling for anyone watching the news, but more for someone who has limited ability to defend themselves - it is heartbreaking!

About a week into the pandemic, I started adapting to how to be a caregiver through all this, I am not an expert (medical professional), but I am living and doing hands on during this time.  We made rules, new habits, and changed routines to help us keep our sanity.

  1.   We do not watch the news.  We do not watch CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS.  We watch very little FOX news, while it is less bias and less outrageous, it is still raw images of what is going on - we can't handle that. 
  2.   We do watch press conferences.  When we want to know something.  We like to hear things firsthand.  We limit how many press conferences we watch as it can still be a bit too much. 
  3.   We listen to podcast.  We are big fans of Rick & Bubba  and  Phil Robertson.  We look for inspiring stories from trusted sources.  We do occasionally download past broadcast of Paul Harvey, because Paul is a timeless classic. 
  4. We go to limited places.  We go to safe places - the local garden shop, the park, and we just returned to church two weeks ago.   PaPa Tom is not going to big box stores - we don't normally take him to those stores anyways, it is just not a place he likes to hang out. 
  5. We warned people that normally talk to him on what not to talk about. It sounded drastic and controlling the first time I made a Facebook post telling people "you may not talk about President Trump, Governor Parson, or the Coronavirus."    I knew though people outside of my home did not see the impacts their conversations had on him.  
  6. We stayed connected.   Facetime as much as I hate it, is a wonderful thing.  He regularly facetimes his other son, he does Zoom Bible Study, and he talked on the phone to his friends regularly. This is good for his heart.  
While I never changed my cleaning habits, what we ate, nor did I add any vitamins - what we did change was our mental focus.  We tried to focus on good things, happy thoughts, and knowing that no matter what happened today, Jesus had our tomorrow.     

(PaPa Tom is my husband's father, he came to live with our family just weeks after his wife passed away.) 

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