Beanery Online Literary Magazine

January 20, 2011

Have I, a Caregiver, Failed??




I sit, watching him sleep,

watching his peaceful, even breaths

that include, every now and then, a long pause. 

I think I hold my breath too, when he gasps.

Then he breathes evenly once again.

     It’s been a difficult twenty-four hours. For a caregiver this is really not a surprise, but for this household, yes, this is a surprise. 

     Most days have moments to get through, things to ignore, things to do, and things to undo. But still, they are just moments.  And then………..
     Yesterday, in a split second, he bent over, got dizzy, hit the floor. I
moved, quickly, but not quick enough to catch him. On the bright side those of you who know us know that he is 225 pounds, and I am 96 pounds. Perhaps my moving quicker might have resulted in injury to myself. Still, instinct says try, and this I did.
     The damage is not too bad. He has a pulled abdominal muscle, two pulled muscles in his chest, whip lash of his neck, a bruised left hip, deep bone bruise of right wrist, and a two inch section of missing skin on his forearm. Movement of any kind is now painful to him, and the night was a very long one. Still, we are grateful nothing is broken. I must keep watch for seventy-two hours, in case of a bleed in his head.

     For now, he seems to be doing well.

     Which brings me to my point:

If he’s doing well, and I tried to stop his
fall, why do I feel as if I failed???


     I think as caregivers we try to handle it all, often because we must. When something happens out of our control, the guilt sets in.

     We see ourselves not in some glorious nursing job, but as the very
reason the person we are caring for is able to remain home, happy and enjoying his/her life. In truth, they remain at home not only because we do offer care, but because when they are happy, it makes us happy. 

     We all strive to find that happiness in life that causes us to laugh, to love, to live joyfully.  For some, that is a mate, a friend, a companion. For others, it’s just helping that gives us happiness. For many that is a deep faith which sustains us through the most trying of times.

     For me it is perhaps a combination of all. We are best friends as well as spouses. My faith still sends me to my knees at night (although I do intend to ask God why, if he expected us to kneel and pray, did he not give us knees that last a lifetime!!  Another topic, another time)
     But most definitely, over the past twenty-four hours, I have had to draw on all my resources to knock the feeling of failure away.

     There is so much in life we have no control over. It is one thing to know this, and quite another to live by it. I tried, I didn’t fail, and now we will just go on to whatever is next.
     Today has been better. Tomorrow we face when tomorrow comes. To all my caregiver friends, thanks for the support and keep moving ahead. Every minute is another to be thankful for!




How to Give Support to Caregivers



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: