May 21, 2014 - 8:36 pm
People in general do not understand what being a caregiver entails. Many of us are sleep deprived, stressed, anxious, and very few understand. I wanted to say to all of you, I understand how you feel. Here is a list of what I personally encounter, please feel free to add to the list.
Family and Friends love to say if you need anything, anything just let us know. Then you call them and they are not available or they come over to sit there and stare at the ill family member. You know what we need? How about saying "Hey let me help you with: laundry, dishes, sweeping, cooking, etc. ". Still waiting for that to happen.
The above do not realize that being a caregiver means: you are up all day and night with your loved one going for 7 bathroom runs because they are a fall risk and you are terrified they will fall and end up in the hospital. Can't deal with the guilt if something happens. They have to be dressed, undressed, dispensed medication throughout the day (some of it being IV), bathed, cleaning up poo and trying not to gag, listen to your loved one groaning in pain, being lashed out by your loved one, you lashing out in frustration at your loved one, getting to doctors appointments (and there are many), freaking out because you have to take them to the hospital, calling their doctors constantly, making sure everyone in the family is fed, ok emotionally, ready for work/school, cleaning the house, etc, etc, etc.
In the meantime no one sympathizes that you have to also go to work,that you had to leave work to take care of someone, you can't find two hours for yourself, you can't go to the doctor for your own checkups, your bleeding money, that you have not been on a vacation in forever, your hands are dry and rough, you have not had a good healthy meal for at least a week straight, that you are coming down with a cold, you have been crying in your sleep for lord knows how long, you have to put someone in hospice, you have to buy a plot, make funeral arrangements just in case, that you need a haircut, you have no social life/lovelife, etc.
Everyone will judge you in some way, shape, or form and it will hurt.
But your loved one deep down knows what you are doing even if others don't get it.
But I get it and I love you. You beautiful, wonderful caretaker, so strong and unselfish. You don't have to be perfect you just have to be you.