A time of respite…

The term “respite” as it pertains to caregiving is defined as: a temporary rest period. Respite care is a temporary break for caregivers of the ill or disabled.

Every 30 days my husband and I are entitled to take his mother to the local Hospice House for 5 days of “respite”. This is a time for us to refresh, renew and recharge our batteries. Almost two years ago when Granny first came to us we had no intention of sending her away for 5 days!! It meant having her picked up by an ambulance and transported to new surroundings with strangers taking care of her etc; Perish the thought!! It was probably 6-9 months before we took advantage of our first time of “respite”.

After sharing our exhaustion with our social worker and some personality quirks we were noticing in Granny, we realized that “respite” could also be needed by the patient as much as my her caregivers!! We came to the conclusion that the trip to and from the Hospice House couldn’t do Granny any more harm than the change of scenery could do her good.

Now, every 4-6 weeks we take advantage of “respite” even if it just means we sit at the house and stare at the boob tube!

So yesterday, as we headed to Waffle House for a “respite breakfast” (NADA, no tracking, weighing, measuring food, or eating unusually “healthy” during respite – sorry!), we were excited to get on the road for a little trip to the Austin area to visit a son & daughter-in-law and 3 grandsons we don’t get to see very often.

Last evening was spent receiving lots of hugs and kisses, some playtime before bed and bathtime, enjoying a home cooked meal (that I didn’t cook) and just catching up with the daughter-in-law while hubby and son watched Swamp People etc; LOL

Today, while hubby spends his day with his son (daughter-in-law working/grandsons in school) RESPITE for me means sitting in a motel room enjoying a little peace and quiet. I can blog, watch TV, curl up with my Maeve Binchy book, take a quilting tutorial online, take a poop when the urge strikes (without worrying about who else might have taken a poop), or just get back in bed and take a nap! AWESOME!

Tonight we will take the family out for dinner since they cooked lastnight. Us girls are leaving it up to the boys to decide where they want to eat. The son has to be up early (4 am) for work in the morning (Travis County Prison system), but we will spend time with the daughter-in-law and grandsons before heading back home. We are in no hurry, since we’ve taken Sunday off from church responsibilities. We may do a little antique store browsing on the way home. We might even stop somewhere else along the way and spend another night in a motel or take in a movie. No plan – we are flying low and just enjoying the scenery as we go. After all, it’s East Texas! We just gotta be home in time to watch “Call the Midwife” Sunday evening. Grandsons will be back Monday morning and Granny will be back Monday afternoon.

I have to say – not terribly exciting, but I have had some really “unique” Mother’s Day Celebrations. Aside from this very relaxing one, I recall one in which my two daughters and I got together and scrapbooked all weekend! That’s was truly fun and memorable as this one will be.

God is Good!


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