Coping Caregiver

Finally, I found a caregiver agency that could commit to having someone here when my wife comes home. They will stay until around 8 pm and will return the next two days for twelve hour shifts. I hope, during that time, I can learn what I need to know so I can do most of the caregiving myself. I simply cannot afford ongoing care without doing something drastic like selling my house; and the proceeds from the sale would be gone in a year at the rate things are going.

In a short while, I will take the wheelchair I borrowed from the Village Loan Closet to Good Sam so my wife can be discharged in that chair. That way, she won’t have to undergo a chair-to-chair transfer when she gets home. The caregiver agency representative I met yesterday said I should arrange a nightgown for my wife that buttons down the full length of the back. I made a trip to Walmart this morning, where I learned they do not carry such a thing. I was advised, too, to get a special kind of sling for use with a Hoyer lift; no luck on that front yet, either.

To make things just a touch more difficult, I have been unable to get my wife on the phone since yesterday morning. I called her early yesterday; she picked up but did not continue the conversation. I then saw her briefly at the wound center, but our interaction was brief and superficial. Since then, she has not called me and she has not answered my calls. I am afraid she may be in the midst of another bout of deep depression. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

Many people have admonished me to avoid burnout by taking respites from my caregiver duties from time to time. The caregiving has not even started and I already feel the mental wear and tear and the sense of physical strain. The answer to that is to deliberately “chill.” That’s the answer.

Yesterday, two people from my church delivered a twin bed to my house, along with some birthday goodies. I cannot say enough good things about those two women; they epitomize goodwill and compassion. And they are among a legion of other people who have offered help in a stressful time. Their generosity their insistence that I call whenever I need assistance are what will enable me to cope with the challenges of being a caregiver.

It’s time for me to go deliver the wheelchair. I hope the medical supply company does not call while I am in the midst of that task. If so, I’ll cope.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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1 Response to Coping Caregiver

  1. Jim says:

    John, I’m so very sorry for both you and Janine that you have to go through this. She will be best in your hands, even if your stress levels will increase… Perhaps it will all lead to more artistic inspiration. Please call if you ever need to talk… You know the number.

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