But this is a tough time for people with chronic illnesses: when our caregiver needs care. We find ourselves in the position of being the caregiver.
I learned from his last stay in the ER with a kidney stone that I needed to do these things when I take him or anyone to the ER:
- keep a bottle of water with me
- take snacks with me (hospitals are big and require a lot of walking and the vending machines are not always easy to find)
- take a good book (there is a lot of waiting around and it distracts me from being worried)
- find the bathrooms and places to rest like the chapel
I did all those things pretty well this time. But what I didn't do so well was manage my energy or ask people for help outside of the hospital.
The Husband contracted a nasty bacteria (C-Diff) and I needed to disinfect the bathrooms, linens, and anything that he touched at home. This required me to really deep-clean and disinfect the house. However, I usually do housecleaning in very small chunks to manage my energy, so this was hard on me. Looking back, I should have asked for help in cleaning the house.
The MSAA Life Coach program is scheduling some workshops on Asking For Help. I'm going to use this situation as an example of a time that I needed help but was reluctant to ask. I didn't ask for housecleaning help because I didn't want other people to be exposed to any bad bacteria. The Husband was admitted on a Saturday so I didn't think I could get a cleaning service quickly enough. Now he is home and still needs a bit of care.
This is my next project: compile a list of people who will be able to do specific tasks for me, like come to my house to clean in an emergency, or pick me up some groceries. I have a good pool of people to draw upon - my minister was checking on me, for example. So why didn't I use those good resources?
I'll be considering this quirk of mine for a while and look forward to your thoughts and suggestions and ideas.