Monday, August 27, 2012

Marathon or Cross Country?

The caregiving experience is often compared to a marathon instead of a sprint.

I'm not sure that's an appropriate comparison.

In most marathons the surface on which runners compete is pretty consistent throughout the race. Mostly roads or track with hills thrown in every now and then, marathon courses offer a sameness that helps runners.

Cross country courses might include mud, hills, logs to jump over, rocky stretches, gorges to traverse, mountains to climb, deserts to cross...all kinds of obstacles.

I understand the point of the comparison of marathons and sprints in terms of time...you have to be in it for the long haul. 

I think caregiving is more like a marathon cross country race.

And, if you don't want the race to make you crazy and force you to give up (which you really can't when you think about it) you have to be ready for the obstacles and understand how to quickly recover from them.

Recently, my mother has been falling. There have been lots of dings, bruises, stitches, scrapes and cuts. She appears to be healing, but we thought, "This is it. It'll be a fall that finally does it." But, she fell less last week, so maybe she's getting better. Or, maybe not.

All we can do is help her heal, keep moving and and try to anticipate the next obstacle.

Keep running. Keep breathing. We can do this and not go crazy.

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