Caring for a Spouse
Welcome to this online support group for spousal caregivers! Please introduce yourself - Ask for advice - Share your experiences caring for your husband, wife or partner. Talk about ailments and treatments, caregiving and relationship challenges, daily life, your tips for others. Vent, laugh, and come back to this online support group as often as you need to feel less alone. Some featured conversations to help you get started...
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What's New Today
about 20 hours
Okay, day one. Up at five. Not sure why. I guess I"m just so very excited about starting my new job! (Almost stuck my tongue all the way through my cheek on that one.) Snoozed in bed until six, when I normally get up. Took a hot shower, shaved, and started the day feeling good. Too early to get dressed yet. Got Paula out of her chair, and off to the bathroom, while I got her morning meds together. She has trouble swallowing, so she has to take her pills with yogurt. Got her off the toilet, re-diapered, and back to her chair to take her meds. Then started on breakfast number one. Her pills make her sick at her stomach, unless she gets some food pretty quickly. So, this morning it was two fried eggs, a sausage patty, and some toast, along with the rest of her yogurt. The old man hasn't woken up yet, and being as he is 90, I let him sleep. I'll make his breakfast when he gets up. (The two breakfast thing is a time waster, but he has earned his sleep.) She has to have a shower this morning, so I got her lined out in there, and now, I"m taking my 9:30 break. Blessed peace for the next thirty minutes!
Seekingsupport reminded me of something today. I am a caregiver, not a caretaker. Sometimes, I feel more like a custodian than I do a caregiver. Although "caregiver" implies that you give of yourself, they don't tell you that you give all of yourself. When you're emotionally wrung out, and it seems to take a tremendous effort to do even simple tasks, you almost lose the capacity to "give". Sometimes, I go through my day like a robot, feeling nothing. I do everything that is required, but there is no love in the effort. Watching my wife decline, knowing it is likely to continue, and being emotionally disconnected is not a combo that inspires joy.. Left feeling impotent to do anything about it. So, how do I get back to that place where I can feel good again? I tried to take the day off today, as I do most Sundays, and like most Sundays, it was almost a complete failure. Part of it is being asked to do things for people who can't do it for themselves, but I've also become so conditioned to always be doing something, that I am now finding it difficult to just sit. Tomorrow, I start my new job. Professional caregiver.
I would like to start a discussion but I'm a bit scared. We talk about tough topics here but I have not seen this conversation yet. Is it safe? Do I take a chance? I guess I will just have to trust us to be kind as we usually are. OK here goes: I know that most of us are home caregivers because we feel our spouses are getting better care at home.However, if decent residential care were available at little or no cost how many of us would take that option? I guess what I'm asking is: doesn't the prohibitive cost of care contribute to our choice of being home caregivers? Apologies in advance if anyone finds this question offensive. Thoughts anyone?
CB enjoy reading your stories. Comm Check! Dark over here. Looking for the light!
Hi all. As I read all your posts, I feel so guilty. You all sound as though you have this caregiving thing figured out. Well, I don’t. I am angry, resentful, hopeless, and really ready to just pack it in. I keep waiting for a day where I can actually feel happy,, but that day just doesn’t come. The thought of living the rest of our lives like this is just too much to handle for me emotionally sometimes.....well, most times....well, all the time. I even know by reading your posts that my situation isn’t as bad as most of you, and that is what makes me feel so bad. Today has been one of those days that I just don’t want to be here anymore. I know my husband has enough money to get someone to take care of him, and, although I know my daughter will miss me, she is a strong woman and will get along fine. I just don’t want her to be responsible for taking care of my husband (her dad),and that is the only thing that stops me from doing myself in. I had cared for my mother, and then the accident that caused my husband’s paralysis happened one week after she passed. It has just been too much for me...just sayin’
Good morning, or whatever time of day it is that you read this. I've decided to make a change. I'm tired of being tired, and frustrated, and I refuse to resign myself to this being the status quo. I'm beginning to suspect that most of my problems have more to do with me, than with her. The job of caregiving kind of gets dropped on you, in my case completely unexpectedly. One day, your life gets turned upside down, and then you just have to deal with it, and learn the million things you have to know. I've been approaching this from the wrong way. The person I care for is my wife, and my best friend. When I started, it was all about how to make things easier for her, and improve her life, even if it was at the expense of mine. This is not sustainable, and eventually leads to resentment and anger. At least, it was been that way for me. Starting today, I am going to start treating this like what it is, a profession. I refer to it as a profession, because of the complicated aspects of the work, and the specialized knowledge it requires. Our universities are the bathroom, the doctor's office and the dining room table, piled high with medical records, bills and everything else it takes to administer a household. So, like I've done with every career I've ever had, I'm going to try to be the best at it. We are getting on a schedule, including when I start work, and when I stop. (Emergencies excluded.) I'm going to get more efficient at the tasks I have to do. I'm going to start taking better care of the tool that makes this profession possible, myself, both physically, and mentally,instead of treating it like a college kid driving a rental car. I'm going to start accruing vacation days, and, unlike my other jobs, I'm going to actually try to take them. Mostly, I"m going to work on my attitude. I want to take pride in my work, and for people to say, "Damn, i want that guy to take care of me." Maybe, I can start working on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Wish me luck. lol
My wife has been undergoing her third round of outpatient therapy, for the past two weeks. Yesterday, I was informed that she is not making sufficient progress in physical and occupational therapy, and was being dropped from further treatment. Although not completely unexpected, it was still bad news, and was not received well by my wife. She had hoped to get off her walker and onto a cane. I was really just hoping to keep her out of a wheelchair permanently. I gave up on the cane quite sometime ago. Part of it was bad luck. She has to wear a brace on her right foot and calf. A sleek carbon fiber job that is strong and light. Unfortunately, about two weeks ago, she developed a sore on the top of her foot, where the cross bar to the brace passes over it. This made it difficult to do her PT work, which was made more difficult when I had to put her in her old clunky plastic brace, that we call Frankenfoot. The straps on Frankenfoot don't rub the top of her foot in the same place, which is allowing the wound to slowly heal. To make matters worse, I awoke the other night to discover that, in a moment of pain med/stroke induced insanity, she had picked off one of her toenails on that same foot. (Makes me cringe just typing that.) So, now we have two foot wounds to deal with. Not a good thing for a Type II diabetic. This stuff just gets harder and harder. What a week.
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