Feel Lost

by Chris
(West Virginia)

My wife has been chronically ill for over 5 years. For the past 3 years she requires IV feeding every night for 12 hours. Many, many trips to the hospital and doctors. Emptying of drains and tubes etc. etc. If your reading this then you probably understand.

Tonight after hooking her up to IV I said I was going to run up to the coffee shop for a cup and to take a breather, I no sooner got on the road when she called me that the alarm on her IV pump was going off, so I had to turn around and go back to change lines to clear the air out.

When you add this type of stress to the stress of feeling helpless as you watch your loved slowly stolen from you and the day to day problems of life sometimes I feel I will explode.

I have not found an answer yet, I am still looking.
I do not think the answer is in the hands of a deity, for I do not believe a divine creator would allow such suffering to exist in a creation they love. Would you allow your children anguish if it was in your power to stop it?

I think the answer is in doing the very best you can for the person you love and remembering that you matter too. It is not being selfish to take care of yourself at the same time as you give care to someone else.

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My Brother
by: His Sister

My brother died two years ago at the age of 59. He was the caretaker of his paraplegic wife for 13 years. If I knew then, how much he was suffering under this burden, I would have tried to save him.

When her accident first happened, he stepped up to the plate, and did everything by himself. He worked a full time job, he raised five children, and he took care of all her needs. He rose at 5am and went to bed at 11pm, with constant nightly calls from his wife for her needs.

He did this until his own health started to fail.

That's when he approached his wife and asked to bring in outside help because he couldn't do it all anymore.

She refused and told him it was his duty as her husband. She made him feel guilty for everything he needed, for time to myself, time to do things with friends, time to visit his family, even time to lay on the couch on a Sunday afternoon and take a nap.

One morning, when he was in his kitchen, leaving for work, with his perpetual list in hand of things to do-buy-fix, he had trouble breathing. Thinking it wasn't serious, instead of calling 911, he was driven to the hospital. By the time he arrived, he had completely stopped breathing. He slipped into a coma from which he never returned. The decision was finally made to let him go.

The very next day, caretakers were lined up and in the house for the wife's round-the-clock needs.

He loved his wife, too. But one person cannot do it all. People who are in those positions of dependence get very self-centered. It's understandable. But the caretaker gets sucked into their world and it takes them down.

Get outside help now. If you died tomorrow, someone would be there to help your wife. Don't let this happen to you.

Do Something for Yourself
by: Anonymous

Yes, you must take care of yourself. It is very hard to do that sometimes. It is hard not to feel guilty. To know you are doing the best to care for your loved one does give great peace.

But to feel like you will explode is also normal. Not that knowing it is normal helps at the moment that you feel like exploding.
I hope you find some time to do something for yourself.

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