When Your Care Partner is Ill

I am writing this 10 days after my husband had bowel obstruction surgery, 12 days after he was admitted to the hospital and 5 days after I brought him home. I did not have the time or energy to reflect on this experience til now.

How do you cope

How do you cope when your caregiver has his own emergency. Here is what I experienced, did well and not so well:

What I learned as a caregiver with MS

  1. I took time for myself when I could. I took him to the emergency room in the evening. By 1 am, I was exhausted. When I mentioned this to the staff, they found a quiet consult room with a couch and salt lamp and brought me a glass of water. Later, when he was in the hospital bed, I slept in his recliner there with a pillow and blanket. I did not go to the hospital every day even though I wanted to since if I got too fatigued, I was no good to anyone.
  2. I asked for help. People are happy to help if you ask. My hubby’s good friend helped at the house by mowing the lawn and setting up my central air since it had been winterized and picking up my groceries. Our daughters each came from out of town for a day. One of the best help was a friend who brought me dinner one night and stayed for 1/2 hour.
  3. Let the hospital staff take care of your loved one, even if you want to do it. This is one I didn’t do so well. My hubby had an NG tube. When he got it out, all he wanted to do was shave and clean up in the bathroom. I pushed myself to help him and ended up so fatigued that I dropped a hand mirror and broke it. I should have asked for the CNA do it.

Now, we are home and I am sitting by the lake at a local park, taking a break. I hope we can continue smoothly with his recovery.

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