I've been talking to some friends and family who have either in the past or are currently taking care of loved ones that are ill... and it got me thinking... about what it takes to carry out such a task.
I haven't really been looking at it quite that way... I'm not my husbands caregiver.... I'm his loving wife who is doing what a loving wife does.... take care of the needs of the man you love. So as some visitors stop by to see him... the first question to me is ....."how do you do it... how can you survive this every day... and do it with a smile?"
Well... like I've said before I don't know... a power from within steps in and kind of overrules the emotions and the pain.... And let me tell you... I'd be lying if I said that I don't have "bad" days.... it would be unnatural not to feel anything. After all we are not trained nurses and these are not strangers we are caring for. There are so many different feelings that float around in your head on any given day or even moment.. that it can be down right overwhelming...
But these are all a part of the "caregivers" life... however long or short lived. Most of us who care for ill loved ones have a dozen other things we are responsible for too... our children... a job... the home... in my case our shop... so yes, it can be very stressful at times. And the emotional stress is what usually gets to be too much at times... All the different thoughts that we have inside that represent the different roles we play in our lives, battle each other in our heads constantly.
There is the pain of seeing the one you love suffer... there is the pain of not knowing how all this will effect the ones we love... (my kids).... there is the anger of the unfairness of life... there is the resentment of why him, why me, why us,.... there is the feeling of betrayal of how could this have happened.... and on ... and on.
And I have gone through most of those emotions and feelings, sometimes all at once.... but there comes a time where you just have to let go... and just accept the path that is in front of you and just walk it gracefully and with patience... otherwise not only are you miserable and complaining all the time, surrounded by negative thoughts... but also the one you are caring for suffers as a result of your resentment. There is something else to give thought to... not all patients are created equally... Gagik for example doesn't complain... or wine and nag the whole day, which makes my job a lot easier, but I was talking to someone who is caring for a person that is the opposite and gets upset, and argues etc.... and the caregiver feels unappreciated and betrayed.
Well to that I say... you mustn't take his reactions personally.... not all people can live with pain and not being able to care for themselves... thus get frustrated and angry... and who do we take out our anger on?? .... the ones we love.... it is not anger directed at you, but anger at the situation.. at the pain... at the unfairness.... So, again we must let it go, stop feeling like we are dealt a bad hand and must live with it.... just look at it like... this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now in my life... so I might as well do it right, do it with love and do it whole hearted.
It's when we stop fighting with our inner ramblings...then we can have peace.
love and peace