Guest Blogger: When A Caregiver Becomes The Patient

I am back! Thank you for being patient with me while I took a much needed break and while I had my neck surgery. Stay tuned! My first post is actually a part of what has happened during the time I was away from my blog. It is written by my husband Paul. Enjoy!

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I’ve been Kelli’s full-time caregiver now for some considerable time. I knew it was going to be a part of our marriage and knew it might be hard sometimes. In practice, this means I find myself responsible for the major share of tasks around the home and sometimes have to help out with, or step in on, things that Kelli had planned to do herself.

So when, the day before Labor Day 2015, I took a bad fall and broke my collarbone…stuff got real, in a hurry.

For several days, I was functionally useless, alternating between immobile pain and opiate-induced sleep. Kelli’s caregiver, in the blink of an eye, became unable to render care of any sort. It was about all I could do to use the bathroom, eat, move…

And Kelli, bless her heart, was overwhelmed. She did an amazing job of looking after me, for which I am eternally grateful.

We did finally secure some outside help with meals thanks to my awesome employer. But my initial recovery put us through the wringer and left Kelli exhausted.

The thing I realized while injured: when you hurt, badly, you cannot do anything much. I got to walk, maybe not a mile, but a few dozen yards in her shoes. In doing so I gained a huge respect for what it is that chronic pain patients have to live through.

Eventually my pain subsided. My bone started to heal, the muscles regenerate and build back up. I regained most use of my injured shoulder and improve with every day that goes by.

But the chronic pain patient, the Fibro warrior, Lymie, or any other long-term condition sufferer, they don’t get that. They just keep on hurting, with no end in sight. It doesn’t get better.

For as overwhelmed as being a caregiver can be, it is orders of magnitude worse, all the time, for the one receiving the care. I found that out the hard way by becoming the patient, albeit briefly.

So if you’re a caregiver and you’re feeling like everything is so unfair, just stop. Think about it. Think from their perspective for a moment and how you might feel if you felt the way they do all the time! You still have the better end of the deal, trust me on that one.

peacetips_colourp215c271Until next time…… K.

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