Life as a Carer

Life of a Carer is lonely

Life as a Carer often involves being a ‘parental’ figure. Often the person being cared for does not have an accurate view of his or her condition. This is a hard part of the Carer’s job. Being the one who assesses what is needed for every hospital appointment, how to travel there safely and what medications might be missed/needed during the time away from home. And if the person being cared for is on supplemental oxygen, will the cylinder have enough oxygen to last until the return home?

Carers often have the unenviable role of ‘nurse’, and – there’s more…

Carers often have to learn…

Carer learning
  • About the disease, its treatment and management
  • About the medications prescribed including what they are for, any special instructions and potential side effects
    • Sometimes these put the Carer into the role of ‘antagonist’ to the person they are trying to support, often the person they love.

The Carer needs…

  • Skills to help manage the fatigue, pain, frustration and isolation that people with chronic disease often get – as well as their own.
  • To be able to communicate effectively with health professionals by answering questions accurately, asking your own questions and making sure you understand the information provided to you. (If possible, talk about the information needed with the person you are caring for and write the questions down… and take them with you.)

Contact with other Carers. 

This can be by phone, by arranging respite for even a few hours and meeting others, or another, who is in a similar position to yours. 

Some ideas on this site

My experience as a Carer

One of my huge frustrations, and my late husband’s also, was that the specialist/doctor or whoever wanted him to answer questions. However, he did not understand the terms they used, and having been a nurse, I did. But, at least to begin with they did not want to hear my observations on his condition.

This had a counterpoint (opposing viewpoint) – sometimes my observations and his – clashed. I saw deterioration in his condition, he did not.

I remember attending a workshop for carers… At some point we were given a list of all the roles a Carer performed. It was a long list.

Long list

Something else a Carer needs – is understanding – or at least acceptance.

If you know someone who is a Carer – try to ‘cut them some slack’ – one of the first things that happens is they become ‘unreliable.’

  • They cannot make arrangements to have friends come to visit, or go to visit them. So many times they will have to cancel any arrangements. So, either the friends drop them, or they withdraw rather than face the embarrassment of having to cancel… again.
    • You will have to understand. (Or give up on the person.) It would be kinder to expect nothing and accept that it is a black or white spectrum. There are no shades of grey in this kind of life.

If you decide to care for the Carer… and the person.

  • Be understanding.
  • Accept that arrangements might change without notice, and do not take offence if they do.
  • Be a person they can trust with their feelings.

 

The life of a Carer is one of service

Being a Carer for a loved one is a very difficult ‘role’, so you need to accept that it is a way of life – their way of life. Lives which revolve around medical appointments, tests, medication times, and sometimes hospital admissions. These are the ‘outings’ for the Carer and person being cared for.

Whether the person is a Carer of an adult, a child, or someone in between, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia – in spite of differences in the type of care, they face the same loneliness. Sometimes the Carer never ‘gets’ their friends back. Without a supportive family or network, isolation sets in and becomes a way of life.

On the outside, isolated near people. It is a lonely place to be.

Remember, there are some options and help

 https://www.carergateway.gov.au/help-advice/getting-help#a3

Susan

PS

I had to give in and let my doctor send me in to the hospital.

This post was written for last week, the 17th October, 2020 but after discharge I was still unwell and unable to sit at the computer for long enough to upload it. My apologies.

Blame or Choice?

blame leads to a fight

With all the riots, protests and demonstrations in so many places around the world, blaming someone else is easy. It is usually someone in authority we point the finger of blame at, but are we joining a herd response?

On a personal level, who is to blame for the fact I have not had an Internet connection for a few days?

Does it really matter?

Perhaps.

There were many mistakes, as well as frustrations, but the start of it all was a choice I made.

Nearly every situation that goes wrong can trace itself back to a choice on our part or, in this instance, on my part. It should have moved smoothly but it did not.

The blame game

pointing the finger of blame

Pointing the finger and blaming someone else is not a ‘new’ phenomenon. Currently in many countries in the world there is a lot of pointing fingers of blame. It is more prevalent in recent times, but the history of blaming someone else takes us back to the beginning of recorded human history.

Most people know the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent… some blame the serpent, some blame Eve, some blame Adam.

Which of them was to blame?

My opinion? We can rule out the serpent. As it says in Genesis 3: 1 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…

The serpent did not force either of them to eat the fruit of the tree they were told not to eat. He distorted what God had said, but first the woman chose to disobey God’s instructions, then Adam also disobeyed.

They each made choices, and neither of them accepted the blame for the choice they had made.

When questioned by God later… Adam excused himself by saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.” Gen 3: 12

Interesting. Adam blamed the woman… and is there a hint of blame toward God? ‘The woman whom You gave me.’ Sounds a bit as if there is.

Adam also blamed Eve. Yet Adam had been instructed by God before this incident. He should have intervened.

Was Eve to blame?

Traditionally she has been blamed, but look at her response.

She blamed the serpent. Her response to God’s question was ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

In fact, neither she nor Adam took responsibility for their own actions.

Are we any different? Do we accept blame if we have made a wrong choice?

Each of us is the only one who can answer that. Can we do it honestly?

Interesting story here

If asked, how would we respond if questioned about the actions we took, or chose not to take?

Something to think about,

God bless

Susan

The death of a child

death of a child brings pain

 

The death of a child is always horrendous, whatever the reason. But what if the child is missing, presumed dead? A thread of hope perhaps?

As a relative of one missing person relates… “… [the sister of the missing person] said her parents still suffered from the doubt surrounding the disappearance.”

www.news.com.au/news/vanished-without-a-trace-the-mystery-of-the-girls-who-went-missing/news-story/1f9da6564bf58fdfb6f6532c5e7b5d2f

What’s worse? Missing, presumed dead, or confirmation of the death.

Any parent whose child has died will tell you a similar thing. You don’t ‘get over’ the death of a child, but over time you get used to it, but there is always that ‘empty chair,’ that space in the heart.

Murder is not the only cause of death though.

death of a child is traumatic

Death of a child by suicide

This leaves so many unanswered questions for those who are left behind.

Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016. https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

Stigma – some people never admit that their child was a suicide. Those who know the family sometimes avoid the subject.

The isolation of the parent(s) is therefore increased.

Guilt and blame – Feeling guilty about an argument with a child before the suicide? The cause was more than one argument. For a child (or anyone) to commit suicide the causes have been building up for a long time.

“Losing any relative to suicide is traumatic, but there’s probably no greater nightmare [than losing a child to suicide], since parents feel their job is to support their children, care for them, make them happy, and make their lives good, so suicide can make parents feel like a failure in this most important job of their lives,” he commented. (Dr Zisook)

https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/suicide-and-self-harm/those-left-behind-working-with-suicide-bereaved-families/

Disease as the cause of the death of a child

The picture that springs to mind is of Mum and/or Dad sitting by the bed of a child dying of cancer, or leukaemia, but there are many more causes of death of a child. Some of this is dependent on what part of the world in which the family lives. Starvation, dysentery, pneumonia or other diseases which could be cured by antibiotics are distressing causes of childhood deaths.

This report gives some information https://www.unicef.org/health/childhood-diseases

There are other causes

Perhaps, like me, you, or someone you know has had ‘the knock’ and there is a policeman or two on the door.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/why-i-hated-silent-night/

My thoughts and prayers are with those whose children have died, I know the shock and I know the pain.

God bless

Susan

Staying out of Hospital, just!

staying out of hospital, had enough of this

As the title says.. I am ‘staying out of hospital… just.’

This is why there was no Sunday post last Sunday. 

My doctor has increased medications and will be ringing me twice a day. No improvement, and it will be hospital. 

Staying out of hospital for this reason

And this is the reason I do not want to go to hospital! Well, one of them.

My doctor’s reason is that I am too vulnerable and could ‘catch something else.”

I very much appreciate her!

I am not a ‘fan’ of prednisone. It has too many side effects, but in the short term it seems to be working. Although it is boring to so what I am told… as little as possible, my oxygen sats are not dropping as low as they were, and that’s when walking a short distance in my home.

By the way, I started separating the non-fiction oxygen writings to another website. It’s not finished by a long way, but it’s started.

You can see it here… https://smpreston.com/

That’s it for now, thank you for reading.

God bless,

Susan

Father’s Day, Australia

Father's Day Australia in spring

Father’s Day in Australia is on Sunday 6th September. Well, this year it was. It falls each year on the first Sunday in September. Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday in May.

There are many ‘picky’ comments about why the day is celebrated on different days in the countries that ‘keep’ it, however, in this post, I will look at the origin. At the same time, I recognize that this is not a ‘happy’ time for many children, or fathers. Although it is another subject,  I wanted to recognize this fact.

Origin of Father’s Day

“In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad , William Jackson Smart. Dodd’s mother had died in childbirth, and Dodd’s father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility of singlehandedly raising the newborn and his other five children.

The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5th, her father’s birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city.”
Read more

Father’s Day, Australia

There is no definitive explanation why Father’s Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on the first Sunday in September, though it is clear that the custom of the September date began in the mid 1930s.

An article in the Western Herald in 1964 said the day was officially designated as the first Sunday in September across the Commonwealth in 1964 and that the date was chosen for commercial reasons to distance it from other celebrations. This is similar to the date selected in Scandanavia, where November was also chosen to maximise its commercial value.
Read more

Jumping back in time

Could this be the start?

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord God gives you.
Exodus 20.12

And in case you read over it without paying too much attention, as we are often prone to do… here is another way of looking at it…

God says in Leviticus 20 verse 9…

“For every one that curses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be on him.”

Therefore it is clear that God’s instruction in the 5th commandment to honor parents was not a mere suggestion for children.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/old-covenant-new-covenant/

Fathers and children

Here is a recognition for you…

Hugs

Happy Father's Day, Australia

Tread softly, and remember we are not wearing their shoes.

Susan

Where is God? Has He gone?

Where is God in what is happening in the world

Where is God many wonder, others don’t believe in the God of the Bible.

Just to be clear, I do. In my opinion God is where He always has been. In heaven.

Where is God in all that is going on now?

Same answer, where he always has been.

It goes back to the beginning. When God created humankind, He gave free choice to humans. And men and women have been exercising that choice since Eve took the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That decision affected human nature, she chose to be her own ‘god’ and Adam decided to choose the way of human nature also. They chose to determine their own lives, and we inherited that propensity.

Where is God in the Garden of Eden
Public domain via Wikipedia

However, we all retain our God-given gift of choice. We are not robots.

The Old Testament, (now commonly called the Hebrew Bible) documents the choices and consequences of major ‘players’ in the history of Israel and Judah.

Where was God in the lives of the patriarchs?

Abraham, formerly Abram, was a practising pagan, who although called by God didn’t always respond as quickly, or as truthfully as we would expect. However, God gave him time to change. And change he did, so that he is now venerated by Jewish people, Christians, and Moslems.

Moses – well, he decided to give God a helping hand. In other words to tell God how (and when) to free the Hebrew slaves. It didn’t work, and God did it His way, and freed them around forty years later, after Moses had learned to look after sheep on ‘the back side of the mountain.’

David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’ was humble before God, but made a great many mistakes. When he realized what he had done… or was confronted with the error, he repented.

They chose to do as God called them to do.

Jumping forward many centuries…

In the New Testament…

The disciples Jesus called had to make choices. They had been brought up in Judaism, something Jesus taught against because the traditions were replacing God’s law.

The gospels are full of the stories of the often difficult choices they and the early believers made. It cost them dearly… homes, families, and positions. Have you heard of the ‘rich young ruler?’ The cost was too great for him,  and he chose his possessions.

And Jesus Himself had to make choices to walk through all the challenges and tests without sinning. And then submit to being whipped and crucified for our sakes.
(The description of what he looked like after the whipping is in Psalm 22:17, and also in Isaiah 52: 4)

Where is God now?

Does He know what is going on? Is He indifferent to the Covid-19 virus and pandemic? And what about the fires, the hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, has He noticed.

I believe He is closely watching.

Why watching?

Could it be that He is progressively removing the protection around His people and the nations? Is he looking for something? Perhaps… probably.

Where is the repentance for all the wrong choices we have made? Are we inheriting, and amplifying the errors our choices have led us to make.

I am not young, and can see the world is a vastly different place to the one I grew up in. Nevertheless, I still have the choice in how to respond to all that is going on around me.

I can be part of the problem, and rage, and choose to disobey rules. Rules, by the way, that God gave to nations to rule their citizens and make life fair for them. Well, many of those rulers have not done a good job, but rarely was their a good king or ruler over our predecessors.

As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes – ‘there is nothing new under the sun…’ 

However, what rules we have is better than the chaos that currently seems to be dominating so many of our countries. Or… I can choose to be different, and although that makes me an oddity, I choose to be different.

We all have the choice in how we react… it is a God-given privilege, one we need to think about and appreciate.

Musing again,

Susan

Origin of the Medical Symbol

Medical symbol on UN flag

Medical symbols adorn much of my equipment, and it was one on a replacement oxygen tube that caught my attention the other day. How many people know what it means? I didn’t know the origin of it until researching for the Apostle John Series.
The first book in the series, Hold the Faith is where some of that research was used.

Origin of the medical symbol

What is often called the ‘Staff of Asclepius’ is the ‘Staff of Hermes’ – more about that later. But an easy way to tell the difference is wings and snakes. If it has wings and two snakes, it is Hermes, not Asclepius,

The staff, or rod, of Asclepius was the symbol of the serpent god Asclepius, and was mentioned in Hold the Faith. (Book 1 in the Apostle John Series.)

Excerpt from Hold the Faith

“Polycarp poured some wine into a small metal cup and encouraged Thanos to drink.

When he did start to speak, Thanos said bitterly, “It was because of those pagan priests of Asclepius and their healing school.”

“Do they still only allow those they think will live to enter their asklepieion?” John asked.

Nodding, Thanos replied, “Yes, they still have that sign saying that death is not welcome there.” He choked on a sob, then continued, “And we have heard tales that those who are accepted for healing are given a drink that makes them sleep and dream. The dormitory where they spend the night is full of snakes, non-poisonous ones,” he added. “When the people wake they tell their dreams to the priests who interpret their dreams and make them treatments. The people seeking healing make clay images of the body parts they want healed.”

Benjamin shuddered, “Why put people where snakes crawl around them all night?”

“The priests tell them that the snakes carry the healing power of the serpent god Asclepius. If one slithers over the person during the night, he is told it is a sign of divine favour, and that he will be healed.” Stopping, Thanos took a sip of the wine and let out a shuddering sigh.”

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/hold-the-faith/

Available on Amazon

Available from other eBook retailers

First Medical Symbol

The original had one snake, (as mentioned before and shown in the featured image), so how come the modern medical symbol has two snakes around the rod?

“It seems the mix up didn’t take place until the 20th century. In 1902 the US Army Medical Corp adopted the caduceus as their symbol. The reason isn’t clear as the American Medical Association, Royal Army Medical Corp and the French Military Service all would happily adopt the staff of Asclepius. This decision to choose the caduceus has been credited either to a Captain Frederick P. Reynolds or a Colonel Hoff. The Americans Public Health Service and US Marine Hospital would also take Hermes’s symbol as their own.”
Further in the article it states “This confusion seems to be uniquely American and driven by commercialisation.”

https://mcdreeamiemusings.com/blog/2019/8/10/ij6eryurmzq9pz9scmwkisgifxes2m

It is interesting what researching for a novel will turn up.

Particularly in the US, the one commonly used as the medical symbol  is the caduceus, the staff of Hermes.

Medical symbol, caduceus

Susan

Further reading: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439707/

It Started Way Back in Eden.

In Eden, the serpent and temptation

It started way back in Eden.

What did?

Choice. 

Whether or not you believe in God, you have to admit humans have choice. Something no other ‘species’ have… and something we do almost without noticing. Choosing that is. Even when we decide we are not going to make a choice… that is a choice. It’s complicated.

By the way, I believe we were created.

So, what started in Eden?”

We were created with the ability to choose, and many of us have been making wrong choices throughout the centuries ever since. But, like Adam and Eve, we don’t like taking responsibility for those choices, so we put the blame on someone else. And this post is after watching a video clip where an atheist said that if there was a God, He was to blame for all the wrong in the world. Really?

There are some terrible things in this world, but most of those are caused by the choices of mankind.

Let’s look at what happened in Eden.

It was after Creation week when Adam was placed in the Garden to ‘tend and keep’ it and given instructions about the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil.’ He was not to eat of it.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2: 7 KJV

After this, Adam named all the animals. Then in verses 20 to 22 we have the creation of Eve…

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. KJV

Still in Eden

Chapter three of the book of Genesis starts with… “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen 3:1  KJV

It looks as if there is no passage of time between the end of chapter two and the start of chapter three. So, we could be left with the thought that God was unfair leaving these two newly created beings at the mercy of the most ‘subtil’ of all the creatures.

I don’t think so.

Did God walk with them in the evenings?

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8.

For a discussion on this verse, and God walking with the Israelites check out https://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/29/gen-38-sufficient-establish-god-was-habit-visiting/

When asked if they had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam blamed Eve, but it was an indirect blaming of God. “The woman you gave me.” Eve blamed the serpent.

The blame game is still going on. Read a newspaper, or scroll through the news on any of the Internet sites https://www.bbc.com/news/world

It started in Eden, and still continues

Look at the world around us. So many fingers pointing at someone else.

Sometimes we are blamed for something we have no control over. Back in the post about  my fragrance sensitivity I gave a couple of examples of this.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/fragrance-sensitivity-is-a-real-condition/

Just a thought, God didn’t assign blame in the Garden of Eden, He let them bear the consequences of their actions.

Something to think about.

Susan

Condition of Entry

condition of entry

There is nothing new about there being a condition of entry – to a place of business, a casino, or to someone’s party. In the Bible there was a condition of entry to a wedding feast in one of the parables Jesus told.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
Matt 22: 11
https://biblehub.com/matthew/22-11.htm

The outcome was that the man was put outside. V 13.

There was a condition of entry.

And there is now…

If I turned up at the casino wearing a ‘tank top’ and thongs (called flip-flops elsewhere in the world,) I would be denied entry.

These things are accepted, but this ‘virus’ pandemic has been turning things on its head.

Condition of entry and human rights clash

Some Australian States have mandated (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/mandated?s=t) that masks have to be worn when out in public.

Some stores have imposed the same condition of entry. However, some human rights people disagree and refuse to comply.

Some people have made claims that the mask requirement is unlawful or a breach of their human rights, and have alleged businesses aren’t allowed to refuse them entry if they’re not wearing one.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-28/face-mask-melbourne-mitchell-shire-coronavirus-legal-human-right/12494100

Whether or not you agree with wearing a mask, or any of the other recommendations, is it acceptable to ignore State or Store laws?

This brought to mind the short talk I had heard by Ravi Zacharias, and wrote about early in July https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/a-divisive-question-potentially/

The speaker divided up the method of answering a potentially divisive question into three categories… Theo nomos (God’s law.) Hetero nomos (Dictated by leadership), then Auto nomos. As you might have guessed, if you did not already know, ‘nomos’ is the Greek word for law.

Condition of entry…

Would be an example of hetero nomos. A condition determined by leadership, or the business owner. But what I see in the objections in my country are examples of auto nomos.

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6. 

However, if my choice differs from your choice, what are we left with? Anarchy? Some would say so. One definition of anarchy is ‘Absolute freedom of the individual.’ The mind boggles.

condition of entry, the mind boggles

In order for society to function, surely while needing to obtain some autonomy, we have to allow others to maintain theirs and cooperate with the law of the land.

If you think the law is unreasonable, use the appropriate channels to change it.

However, if you cannot change it, look to history, or examples in the Bible for inspiration. 

We cannot all have our own way.

Just thinking,

Susan

Who is the God of the Old Testament?

God of the Old Testament, creation

So… who is the God of the Old Testament? Traditionally, we have been taught it is ‘the Father,’ or the One who became known as the Father at the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. But does the Bible give different clues?

Did the God of the Old Testament create mankind?

If so, Who was He? Interesting question. One I used to think was a no-brainer. Then I started writing the Apostle John Series. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/

Have you ever read, properly read and taken in what the beginning of the Gospel of John says?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1: 1-3 KJV

Verse 3 says, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

That verse had me pondering, and researching. Why? Because if we accept that Jesus is the Word, this verse says that He was the one Who created everything, not the one we call the Father.

So, what about the God of the Old Testament?

What does the beginning of the Bible say?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1: 1

Genesis 1:1 refers to God as a plural Being

By Chuck Missler (From his Book “The Creator Beyond Time and Space”)

“In Beginning Elohim”

Within the pages of Scripture we find it clearly stated that there is indeed, only one God.1 This is a fundamental belief of Judaism and Christianity. However, there are indications in the very first verse of Genesis that God is a plural Being.

In the beginning God, created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1

The word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim,” which is a form of the word “El.” In the context of Genesis 1:1, there can certainly be no doubt as to who is doing the creating. In the Hebrew language the “im” ending imputes plurality. Therefore, “Elohim” is the plural from of the word “El.”
http://xwalk.ca/elohim.html

Was Jesus the God of the Old Testament?

This has to be an interesting study, and one which brings forth many questions…

  • Who was the One who met Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day?
  • Who appeared to Abram, later called Abraham? And Who changed his name, and the name of his wife from Sarai, to Sarah?
  • Who brought the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt?
God of the Old Testament, the Exodus
By David Roberts - Usenet, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10293374
  • Who instructed Joshua how to defeat the city of Jericho?
  • Who led so many of the Old Testament battles?

This research could continue a long time, but the question goes back to the beginning… Who was the God who created the world and everything in it?

With the help of a Hebrew/English Interlinear translation, this is an interesting study.

My research journey

Hold the Faith by Susan M B Preston, cover image

Hold the Faith on Smashwords  
(free until 31 July, 2020)

The research for this first book in the series took almost a year. However, the results of that research made it easier to write the next four books in the series; there was a foundation on which to base them.

I hope this encourages you to search out your answers.

God bless,

Susan