In the past two weeks, my mom reacted to her medication resulting in her being admitted to the hospital, discharged, and admitted again. It was surely an ordeal, mainly since this pandemic, I’ve intentionally stayed away from her. I have yet to get tested to see if I am a-systematic – mentally afraid of the outcome. But, as her oldest daughter, I had no choice but to strap on a mask and go over there to see for my own eyes that she’s okay. The mental anguish one puts themselves through is so very overwhelming.
I had to cope with the reality that there is nothing I or anyone else can do for her if she needed to leave the house again, which happened to be the case when we had to call the ambulance for a third time. The cognitive impairment of anxiety can take over your whole body when the what if I did this; and did I do everything possible to prevent; questions start to replay over and over again. Taking a considerable risk, I threw on a mask layered with a filter, and headed up to the hospital. I honestly wished I didn’t have to go; however, I needed to speak to the doctors and nurses face to face and see what was wrong.
My sense of relief when I saw all the safety measures that we’re in place in response to this pandemic. It all went away when I saw she was not alone, and there were now a total of five people, including myself, in the hospital room while I visited with her. The doctor came in shortly later into my stay, and soon, there were six people in this room – it felt so cramped. The nurse took my mom’s vitals, the roommate and her daughter conversed and I got responses to questions I needed answers to from the doctor on her case. I was satisfied with receiving the information but I was secretly counting the seconds until I could leave.
Grateful that they were doing everything they could do to provide a diagnosis. I was satisfied that they were doing in fact all they were obligated to do. It was dinner time and it was time for me to head home and let her rest and be in some sort of peace until they took more blood or checked vitals. A hospital stay is not the same as being at a resort. They do not pick the most appropriate times to do what they need to do so that patients can sleep or catch up on their daytime programming. lol
We are aware that self-care is more than taking warm baths, reading books and relaxing from a long day of work. Self-care is also about your mental, physical, and overall state of mind. Tara Jefferson recently wrote about how plants require you “to slow down, breathe deep, and focus attention on the matter at hand.” My mom would speak to her plants all the time, something I find myself doing as well. The calm that overwhelms you when you are just releasing a thought onto a living thing that may not be able to speak as we do; however, they do communicate with their color, and poise. No one wants to see a yellow leaf droopy plant.
Now that I am back in the sanctuary of my apartment, I need to refocus on the family who is here and not on my mom who is under the watchful eye and care of the doctor and nurses. While it sounds easy, it is not. At least I have wine and other spirits to calm and shift my mind to a more relaxed state of mind. I burn sage and allow the ’what if this’ and ’I wish that’, was away. I burn patchouli-scented incense and restore my mind to a pleasant space.
Burning sage is otherwise known as smudging. The purpose of smudging is to remove all negativity from your space, objects, or self. Smudging has been something I started in the last year or so and I can say that it works well, or I believe it works well. Wishing I could take a huge stick outside and just wave it around with the hope of removing systematic negativity. With so much going on with my mom, her home, work, my own small family, and now this COVID situation, this ritual is very welcomed and it also brings about a lovely aroma for this apartment.
Benefits of Smudging
- The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay.
- Smudging is said to clear the air of allergens, pollen, dust, and mold.
- For healers, burning sage has been used to enhance intuition and used in spiritual rituals.
- If burning sage can lift one’s mood, it could also be a great ally against stress.
- You can also light and burn sage to improve odor, fragrance, and mood.
If you’ve stuck with me and still reading, know that she is now back home and so far all is well. I thought of buying a new sage stick or a whole plant, lol, and keeping it there to smudge every corner of every part of her apartment. I’m sure she would not approve, but at this point as her caregiver, I have to do what I think is best right? I told her she couldn’t have bacon anymore – that was probably a harder conversation to have than lighting up some sage.