My Hubby has been my rock for our 16 years of marriage and the five or so years before that. Even when times were at their worst (and they were), and he wanted to pack it in, he didn’t.
He knew from the start that when he married me that I came with a multitude of health problems and emotional baggage. Over the years he has helped me through so much I couldn’t begin to repay it if that were a consideration.
Well, now it is.
My hubby has been dealing with his own health problems for a long time and I know that he has put them on the side-burner to be there for me and to make a living, even when it has been way too much for him.
Because this is My blog and I do my best to keep the privacy of my friends and family, I will not go into detail about his health issues. I will say that this wonderful man I married is just plain worn out from various factors that the doctors can’t or won’t diagnose.
The good thing about moving to a different city is you can get a new doctor and sometimes fresh eyes see different things. Yesterday we both went to a walk-in clinic (that seems to also take regular patients) for different complaints. I was worried about the swelling in my leg and the painful rash on its skin. It turns out my suspicions are right and it is a skin infection I have had before. I am praying that the antibiotic will work on the first try and I won’t have to go through 3 weeks of twice daily IV treatments like last time.
But I digress. This doctor asked a lot of questions and ended up ordering a pile of blood tests, urine analysis and ECG’s for both of us. Some of the tests were different, but the thoroughness is what impressed me. He took what Hubby was saying seriously and wants to get to the bottom of this as much as we do.
Ultimately it also requires Hubby to be off work as a driver at least until the test results come back. While this creates some challenges, I am so thankful someone is taking an interest in his problems.
So, this brings me to the title of this post. What happens when the caregiver also becomes chronically ill? Believe me, this is a scary thought on so many levels.
First of all, it is hard to see the love of your life is dealing with things you know all too well. And then there are the unavoidable feelings of “Who is going to help me? How am I (or he) going to take care of both of us?” and I hate to say, even “Dear Lord, how can you allow him to be ill when I need him so much?”
The thing is, the Lord has known all along that this is the way things would go for us. And I feel that with this new house and lifestyle, I am getting stronger physically and emotionally. I may not be able to bend or lift, but I take Violet for at least one walk a day and I am more active getting the place together.
Maybe it is my turn to take the lead in many things. I will never be able to handle a normal full-time job, but what about a part time one? What about my dream of writing a successful book?
I am able to walk Violet more now with the help of the dog park and the upkeep on this place is much easier than the old one. There is no longer any lawn to mow and I can do all watering with a 4-liter pitcher. He has to put his desk together and set up the computers in the office (instead of the dining table), but I can unpack almost everything else that goes in there.
One of the biggest helps I can be is a knowledgeable ear. I know what it is like to have to function in pain and/or total fatigue. I also am well versed in the frustration of dealing with a multitude of doctors who may or may not be sympathetic to your situation.
If there comes a time where we are both incapacitated because of our health situations, we will work it out. We have family and friends close by for one thing to walk the dog or pick up some groceries (if I can’t get them delivered).
While I don’t want to be a caregiver for my husband for the soul reason that I don’t want him to need one, I do believe I am ready to fill those shoes if needed. After all, that is what love is all about.