For all my DU caregivers
The saying goes..take care of your first. Please believe that. My very good friend for over 40 years took care of her stroke survivor mom for 11 years or so. She gulped down fast food to make appointments..just really put her life on hold. Shes now a survivor herself.. cancer of the saliva glands in her throat. No smoking..no drinking.. just nothing. A tumor on her tongue. Ever heard of that? She dedicated her life to care for her mom and now this. Take good care of yourself..we hear that but please do. Dont mean to be a pissy on Thanksgiving..be thankful..I am that this precious friend of mine is gonna be ok but w/o all the fanfare. She deserves so much better. So do you, caregivers. Dont neglect the most important person..YOU
It is very common for caregivers to end up in serious illness shortly after the one they cared for is gone. For me it was heart bypass. I gulped Advil for an achy back. Little 70 yr old woman doing all the heavy lifting in a hurry while he slept so he would not know. Add the stress. Even a well cooked meal at home was gulped down. Even with help it was overwhelming. Even with hospice.
You are afraid to leave the house even for a walk. That's when it happens. The day he left me I kept avoiding going to the RR because I knew we were close. A nephew came by for a visit and I used the moment to run to the RR. That's when it happened. No sooner than he passed the covid came. I didn't have any long term friends left to see me through the darkest days. I am not complaining. Thank goodness for DU and an online support group. I got through it and my new friends mean even that much more to me now. The children of my siblings even more so.
I am only sharing because Deuxcents is right. Caregivers are great at self neglect for the sake of the one who needs them. Everyone tells us we aren't any good to anyone if we break down. They teach first responders to save themselves first for a reason.
Holidays are rough on a lot of people. Please remember you matter. Come to DU if you have to and we can trash MAGA together or share stupid cat pics. Whatever it takes.
I just dont know how to fix things. My mom passed a week before Christmas of heart failure but my dear friend I told you about spend 11 years caring for her mom.. we are of the same age but completely different circumstances. I learned real love n compassions n selflessness from my friend but I also saw her decline while not eating right..stressing over appointments. Cutting her moms hair..flossing her teeth..just things that people dont take into account. Cutting toenails n watching for fungus.. sounds disgusting but just basic hygiene. I dont know how she did it. I dont know if I could..I say of course but what my friend went thru over the years, I hope I would. Yes, please be aware that the caregivers need care. They are selfless n Angles among us.
My wife has meylofibrosis, a rare and untreatable bone marrow disorder. My employer was gracious enough to let me work from home so I can keep the lights on, but I still have to manage work, house work, home repairs and pets on top of giving her care and being good company. She is on home hospice and could pass on any given day. That fact is stressful enough, but I am on month seven of any given day could be today. I have relatives who want updates when nothing new is going on, some in the form of unanswered letters. Nothing ever changes except for the day when it finally does change forever. As hard as every day is, with each one I hope that tomorrow is just like it.
I have to be at my best to provide care, so I have been doing my best to take care of myself. I sincerely thank you for this reminder.
Glad your friend will be ok!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, yours, & All at DU!
I don't know what proportion deserve and need far more consideration and assistance than other family give them, but we know it's a lot. "Life" just tends to naturally lead to exploitation and victimization of those who take on caregiver roles.
Glad your friend's going to be okay. Hope this next year includes the kind of freedom and enjoyments that had to be set aside.
Happy Thanksgiving, Deux.