Hello. Normal. Take Care of the Caregiver, YOU!
If you're a caregiver to a loved one experiencing a battle a of Type 1 diabetes, cancer, alzheimers, dementia, complications from diabetes Type 1, Type 2, dialysis and the list of illness goes on. It doesn’t matter which disease you’re giving care to, what’s important is you’ve landed in the right spot. I’m so happy you’re here.
As a caregiver, we experience our own inner struggles of strength, patience, and will power. Let’s get real, as a caregiver day in and day out - you feel exhausted, defeated and tired.. Just down right tired.
You are not alone. You’ve found me because you’re looking for guidance, assurance if what you're feeling down deep is normal and motivation to keep pushing forward.
Being a caregiver to my own husband that feels so sick every darn day and experiencing setbacks, have became our normal within my own family.
I hear friends and family “you’re so strong, how do you keep it all together”? My first thought is:
It’s became MY normal. A part of me, like a breath of air. I just do it naturally.
I’m going to let you in on a few of my own tips and advice. So, please feel free to print them out and hang them to see when you are feeling much needed boost to get through your own day:
- Everyday is a renewed day given by God. Take advantage of it! Don’t let yet another day slip through your fingers.
- I wake up to give the devil a taste of his own hell, seriously, I do. I have faith in God. He will never leave my side.
- I don’t focus on how defeated I felt yesterday or if my husband had a bad day due to his illness.
- I wake up, blessed he’s alive for another (renewed) day and we have our kids.
- Wake up and get dressed. Look good, feel good.
- Put on music and dance. Laugh. It’s ok to laugh, dance and sing. Feel alive! Think it's silly? Try it then let me know. It will make you feel good.
- Yesterday is gone and the days are flashing before our very eyes. We never know how many days we have left.
- I roll with the punches life gives. No kidding. Life has suckered punch the crap outta me, countless of times but I'm strong enough to come back for more.
- I’ve learned to not get worked up over small stuff that “normal” people do. You know why? Because I have experience near death, real life drama with my husband. I do not have time for dumb stuff. Many haven’t grasped that from me and maybe they never will... For your own sanity, stay out of the drama. If you don’t it will wreak havoc on your already tired soul.
- I have learned to leave negativity behind me. For my own sanity. I have enough going on and a life that depends on me that I don’t allow someone else’s negative behavior to suck me bone dry. I’m already tapped out on my own issues. Negativity will swallow you whole and drain your everlasting life.
- I’ve learned to find myself, believe in myself, follow my own dreams and live for myself so I can be a better caregiver, wife and mama. (psst! This article coming soon, you won’t want to miss it.)
- I’ve learned to calm my own chest knotted up in a ball of stress (stay tuned! self help coming soon)
- I’ve learned my husband’s every move, his every inner feeling and how his body reacts, smells (DKA) and what the look in his eyes signals. He thinks I’m crazy. But this is so important to get in tune with their body so you can determine what’s happening before they even do.
- I’ve studied beyond belief the complications of diabetes, self care and Type 1 diabetes so I could prepare myself for the “what if’s” and “what’s next”. You have to educate yourself so YOU are prepared.
And most importantly,
I pray. I pray everyday so hard for God to carry me through.
"Believe you are strong enough. Only then, you'll be ready for the fight"
You hold down the home, get kids where they need to go, put food on the table, go to a job that drains your inner soul of the last energy you have left, yet to come home after a long day and take care of your loved one. It is the most difficult job, but you do it daily and without complaining.
We do it without complaining because our loved one is dealing with much worse.
Fighting for their life.
Who are we to complain when they don’t even know when their last day is? But, I assure you, it’s normal to feel tired, self doubt and want to stop. To give up.
Which leads me to my last advise I’ll leave you with today.
Your loved one is fighting the biggest battle of their life. They are scared, beyond sick most days with a few cherished days they are pleasant to you because they feel “normal”. Countless doctor visits, surgeries, pokes, jabs, throwing up. They are closer to death each day they awake.
Makes me feel like my job as a caregiver is a little easier than his hell on earth.
I almost said to my husband one day when I didn’t feel like going to work “I’ll trade ya”... but really, would I?
Now, close your eyes and really take in what I said in my last reason.
Think of how sick and tired your loved one is, be blessed you have one more day to love them, take care of them and that they’ve decided to give it a fight yet another day. Even when they want to give up their own fight.
In our world of being caregivers, Hello. Normal. Seems… well.. normal. Cherish your normal life everyday that you took care of true warrior, a fighter and a hero.
to them, you are their warrior, a light in the darkness.
Love, Becca, Hello.Normal.