I've heard it many times before but I really don't think it's possible to not get overwhelmed as a caregiver. And it sneaks up on you at the most unexpected times. Then the tears fill my eyes and before I can stop them, they spill over and run down my cheeks. It frustrates me that I can't control my emotions. I've never been good at doing that but when my family is going through a crisis, I find it even harder. Keep in mind, I'm the kind of person that will cry watching a McDonald's commercial. :-)  It makes me feel like I'm a weak person.....
that I can't control my emotions. Today I called the nurse assigned to Mr. B's case. He keeps complaining about feeling a pop in his ribs or shoulder etc and then he is in pain for days after. I thought that maybe his bones are getting so weak that they were fracturing and maybe he needed some medication to strengthen his bones. As I was talking on the phone with her, I could see that he was getting agitated so I asked her if she wanted to speak to him. He totally downplayed the whole thing. He said it was just part of the healing process from the radiation treatments. So as my jaw hit the floor and feeling totally foolish for calling her, I retreated to let Mr. B deal with it.

At what point does a caregiver step back and let the patient take control? I have a feeling that Mr. B does not like my "hoovering" nature. Yet when the nurses fuss over him, he's pretty darn happy about that. I've been his advocate from day one. If it wasn't for me pushing for better pain medication, he would still be on Tylenol 3.

Today after the chemo treatment, Mr. B was a bear. I'm not sure how quickly the treatments affect him, but he was not a happy camper and I took the brunt of his bad mood. He did apologize when we arrived home and I tried to let it roll off my back. I try to put myself in his shoes and wonder how I would feel if it were me that had cancer. And to tell you the truth, I think I would find it easier if it were me that had cancer instead of Mr. B.
Darlene
3/12/2012 09:32:16 pm

I have a coupla thoughts, Shelley. When you talked about letting the patient take control, I think you had an interesting insight. At this point, I'm sure you and Mr. B. feel like you NO control. Maybe you're both trying to gain some semblance of control - to help you both feel like you can manage something. Unfortunately, you're trying to take control by acting ... which makes Mr., B. feel less in control because you're acting on his behalf.
You're dancing a new dance - there's bound to be some toe-stepping and missteps and some arguments along the way about who is leading who. I think the key is to not take it personally and like water on the pebbles - let it roll off and try not to drown with each wave.
My last thought - it is easier to be the one sick...you have more control - to push away or accept the "hoverings" and to find some comfort in the attention of nurses, doctor's attention, appointments, and to receive the support of family and friends. You don't have the same luxuries.
I hope you're finding some comfort in your writings. Don't think the tears are a sign of weakness ... I believe they're a sign of strength - the strength of love bubbling forth from within.

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Shelley
3/13/2012 01:46:13 pm

Thanks for commenting Darlene. And please do continue in the future. Your wise observations are very needed by me and other caregivers that might be reading this blog. I think putting my thoughts down on "paper" will help me cope during the bad days. Yet I don't want to just focus on the bad days but rather include some posts on my victories too. And you are so right. Mr B and I are learning a new dance. I'm sure there will be a lot of "stepping on toes" along the way. Neither one of us have been very good dancers. *g*

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