Come on in, take a seat. I’ll tell you, what happened when my caretaker got sick.
I have always been strong & fiercely independent & my husband has always supported me. When I got sick, my husband suddenly became my caregiver. There were so many things I could no longer do on my own.
Through the years our relationship changed from sharing the work & responsibilities that come with marriage, to him doing everything & taking care of me. Now that doesn’t mean, I was idle. But to be fair, he did the majority of the work.
Then boom, his joint disorder leads to several surgeries, he’s diagnosed with lung issues & he gets the dreaded cancer diagnosis. Thankfully, today he remains cancer-free! But this time in our lives, was one of the most difficult.
Suddenly we are both in need of help. Since we are both too stubborn to ask for outside help, we trudge along together as best we can. It’s not just the physical day-to-day care that we struggled through. It was the financial strain of no paycheck, the mental strain of all of it and the effect all of this stress had on us.
It’s another devil’s carousel. Where we go round & round & get nowhere. Where the darkness is like a weighted blanket enveloping your very existence. It’s scary, stressful & depressing.
We did our best to focus on one minute at a time. Focusing our energies on the task in front of us, not worrying about all the other tasks in waiting! It was not easy. The house was a mess. Our bodies screamed from the added stress. We fell behind in everything. But guess what?
We made it through. We came out with a new perspective of what’s important. Suddenly we were ok with things that would’ve driven us mad before all of this. It’s no biggie if the dishes are left in the sink for a while. Mud on the floor, no worries, we will get to it later. Eating grilled cheese, again? That’s ok too. Simplifying our worries and putting our energy where we need it most is by no means easy. It’s hell & worth it.
We are still learning to navigate the new path life’s journey has taken us on. We are as close as we’ve ever been. It sucks having to decide between medications or new sneakers. That hole in the toe will hold a little longer. Buy the meds. These decisions are made a million times a day when you’re chronically ill. We’ve never gone without the necessities of life. Just a few luxuries. Next month it’ll be two years since I’ve had my hair cut. I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes. My husband had to pick up some work despite the doctors telling him, not yet.
In the end, we realize we aren’t ready to throw in the towel on this life! So we adapt to what we’ve been given. We do our best to be grateful and keep our hearts & minds full of the good stuff.
Today my husband is helping his brother & his Dad. It’s a great feeling to feel needed & be well enough to fill a need for someone. He’s enjoying every minute his body will allow him. He may not be as strong as he once was physically, but he’s strong as hell, mentally. His fortitude & determination carry him through each day.
I am home & the sun is shining through the window. I can feel its warmth on my face. It’s tempting me to go outside. Unfortunately, it’s too cold and my body just can not handle it. But I will choose to focus on the feeling of sunshine on my face & the peace it brings me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to dance in the sunshine.
My thoughts are with anyone who is riding the devil’s carousel.
One thought on “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR CAREGIVER GETS SICK”
What a beautiful testament to your love! Mostly my husband has had the good health in our 40 years together but there has always been caretaking on both sides even if I can’t be a major earner. Recently he was diagnosed with skin cancer which was removed and he has a dashing scar!
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