When Roles Are Switched and You Become a Caregiver
God blessed me when I met my husband. We’ve been there for each other from the beginning. We have always shared the housekeeping, earning the money, rearing and disciplining our children, and so much more.
When I was ill, he took care of me. When he was ill, I took care of him. These illnesses were all short-term and none were serious. All of a sudden, things changed for both of us.
Taking care of eachother
Since my myasthenia gravis diagnosis in December 2008, my husband has been a great caregiver. He has helped me so much and so many times, I have lost count (if I had been counting).
During the early days home from the hospital, he made sure I rested a lot! He took care of the household duties while I got rest. He took me to doctor's appointments and he worried about me. He is a very compassionate man.
For the last 2 years, he has been very ill and weak - we’ve had to switch our roles. That, I don’t mind at all. He’s always been here for me and I love him, we are soulmates! So, how can I not be there to help him now? However, I’m in constant and sometimes severe pain and emotionally drained, so it’s taken a toll on both of us.
Dealing with stress
Why am I talking about all this? It’s because I’m more stressed than ever. I worry about him all the time. Our life has come to a standstill, especially since COVID-19 hit. During the worst of the pandemic, we stayed pretty much to ourselves with very little communication or exposure to the outside world, including family.
Except for an occasional check from our awesome neighbor, children, and one granddaughter, we were (or I’ve been) alone. He has been too sick to go anywhere and spent most of that time in bed.
I took care of the household duties and gardening alone. I’m in a powerchair, which makes some things either very difficult or impossible for me.
Then October 3, 2020, we lost our beloved pet suddenly, Aleshanee (Ale). She was my support, my companion, and she was always near if one of us was ill. Life without her has been even more difficult.
Struggling with illness
I’m still struggling and he’s sick again. Due to illness, we had to miss our grandson's wedding day. Missing his special day has been heartbreaking. We’ve been to all our other grandchildren’s weddings and it was so hard to miss this one.
Being stranded because I can’t and won’t go anywhere without him, has been more than difficult. Being a caregiver is what I’ve done in my professional life. I don’t mind that at all, but I’m so burned out and I miss my husband’s company!
We don’t know what’s wrong, he keeps getting ill, and we can’t get him well. I have little me-time because it takes me longer than most to do some things. I’m frustrated, lonely, worried, and exhausted. But I have to believe there are better days ahead for both of us!
Have you found it difficult to discuss your diagnosis or symptoms with loved ones?