Sunday, January 29, 2012

Care Giving from a Distance

Many of you have been through this, so you can relate to care giving from a distance. Mark's dad fractured his hip, had two heart attacks, and now has viral pneumonia (all within a month). Dad Pombo has been in and out of the hospital too many times to mention. And then on Saturday, while we were both teaching at CEDEI we received 15 messages, including one on Facebook that said, "Call HOME now!"

Unfortunately, since we had our cell phones off (a policy of the school), we didn't receive any of the messages until we got home in the afternoon. Mark's dad was rushed to the hospital with viral pneumonia and a blood pressure of 43/34. The family rallied, we checked out flights, and we were in panic mode. This has been going on for the last month; we sleep with one hand on our suitcase and the other on the phone.

Yesterday evening when Mark's sister called and said that Dad Pombo was stabilized we let out a sigh of relief. We actually took a five-hour nap before we went to bed! We were emotionally exhausted. Thankfully, we have siblings in the States who are there, but we're involved from a distance in the care giving. We knew this day was coming with both sets of parents, but it doesn't make it any easier when you're actually going through it.

As baby boomers, we're often caught in the sandwich generation -- taking care of our parents while still raising our own kids. Thankfully, our boys are in their 20's and 30's and are self-sufficient, so our main focus is on our parents right now.

If you're going through care giving from a distance and have some words of wisdom, I would love to hear from you.

Until next time...hasta luego!


Jen said...

One thing that I have found helps is to schedule a regular phone call - one that happens even if there is no health emergency going on. That way, I keep in touch consistently and feel like there are fewer surprise events going on with the family.

Connie Pombo said...

Thanks, Jen! That's great advice. What did we do before Skype and Magic Jack? The world is a little smaller place with all this technology -- thankfully!

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