Monday, March 31, 2008

The Caregiver's Needs

I'm beginning to lose myself.
So focused have I been on Hubby's needs, that I've neglected my own.
Nothing new - most Caregivers do the same.
But all of a sudden, I've got musculoskeletal pain everywhere. I go on my usual walks around the neighbourhood, get back home and later in the evening the pain begins. It wakes me up at night.

Plantar fasciitis is back. Almost like it never left. I was just starting to take pleasure in the joy of walking once again. And sunshine. It's still cold here, but the sun is strong. Snow is melting. Walking outside in the fresh air with my face turned to the sun feels wonderful. A change in energy that I thought was making a difference.

But not anymore. It's turning into pain.
So I will make the appropriate appointments and look after my needs.

But I'm still in shock. Where did it come from? I thought I was doing well. Learning to accept that which I can't change, going with the flow, etc. etc.

Looking back, I can see that I have ignored nagging little symptoms. Little aches and pains that would come and go. Nothing horrible, after all Hubby's problem is much greater than mine. His needs far outweigh my own. Or do they?

This had not been a good day - or past few days. The focus has been on me and I'm not comfortable with this. I'm not the patient here. Hubby is. I'm not the one who needs attention. Hubby does.

I feel as if I'm losing myself. Looking back at old photo albums this afternoon, I wondered: who is that happy looking lady of only a few years ago?


JeanMac said...

Please care care -

JeanMac said...

Care care? Please take care.

beckie said...

I can appreciate your emotions. In the role of caregiver, we are supposed to be the strong ones, the always giving unselfish ones. When we do get sick we downplay it..not nearly as sick as our loved one. But our bodies are smarter than we are. They start by giving subtle signs and when ignored they can just shut down. So heed your signs, you are only one person and can't do it all. Get the help you need and take care of yourself first!Be good to yourself. I am thinking of you!

Beverly said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I do hope that you can get b ack on an even keel.

I watched a friend nurse her husband as he was dying from cancer, and after he was gone, she really tanked. It took her a while to recovr, but she did.

However, her time of caregiving was not a prolonged one.

Thinking of you today.

Amy said...

This post really takes me back about 5 years.

How do you turn that voice off? The one that says--despite your logic telling your otherwise--that you're the healthy one, that you don't have a right to be sick in the face of your loved one's illness?

I never figured out the answer, but I'm hoping you do. Take care of yourself, Wendy. Heal soon.

Asthmagirl said...

You both need attention. I hate to use a comparative... so I won't.

Your needs are just as vital to you... not more than his, not less, but vital. If you do not care for yourself, how will you be there for him?

Please take care... I'm sorry for your troubles.

MoM2-2GoodBoys said...

Why is it when we take on the role of Caregiver, we put our needs last? Whether you are taking care of an aging parent or spouse or children, we all do the same thing.

Somehow we need to be reminded that we should to take care of ourselves. Because if we don't stay healthy, we won't be able to take care of the ones we love.

I hope you find relief for that Plantar Fasciitis. I understand how painful it can be. It's an ongoing condition so make those appointments and take care of yourself.


LK said...

Hugs! - Take care of yourself so you can take care of Hubby. That's what everyone tells me about taking care of my daughter, but I know...we ignore it. I figure, any issue I have can wait, I have more important work here. I can understand how you feel. Listen to your body and take care!

Beverly said...

Hi, Wendy,
I'm thinking about you especially right now. I hope that things are evening out for you some. I can't say that I understand because I don't, but I care.