ONCE A CAREGIVER...
Yeah, I don't know why, but here I am again, in the role of caregiver. After my dad died earlier this year, I felt a huge void in my life, having been a constant caregiver for over 6 years. Then, once he was gone, it actually took me a few months to realize I was free for the first time in a long time--no kids at home; no parents. And suddenly, I am thrust back into this role again.
Not that Don means to be a pest (LOL!), but before I can leave for work in the morning, I must make sure he has his breakfast, his water, his meds, the phone, the TV remote, something to do, and anything else I can think of. On top of getting myself ready. It reminds me of the days when my kids were small and still living at home and got so distracted I went to work with my coat over my robe.
Then, when I get home, its a repeat of the whole routine, and once again before bed. He can't help it--he's almost totally reliant on someone to help him right now. And I don't mind, really I don't. But once again, I find myself falling easily back into the role of caregiver. It makes me wonder.
I don't find it hard or inconvenient. But I don't necessarily feel this huge need to be depended on either. I am just doing what has to be done. Because I want to. Because someone has to. I couldn't help but think today about the fact that you think you know someone, and then something like this happens, and they become an invalid, but do you REALLY know them?
Like, do you know that they won't drink chocolate milk with toast with jelly?? Or that they didn't fix themselves something for lunch, but instead ate the last of the cherry pie from Thanksgiving?? Or that he would try to get around the house by himself, only to find that he really couldn't carry a glass of ice water with crutches?? Or that he would try to be tough guy and not take his pain meds, despite your first-hand knowledge that taking the pain meds on time really does help you sleep through the night.
So I am going to have to make some adjustments in my life. I have to wonder where this will lead me next. Stay tuned...