Monday, April 15, 2013
When Patient Becomes Caregiver
This is what I feel like shouting:
"Hey world, and all those omnipotent beings who flick the switches, I'm the one who is supposed to be the patient in this version of life. You slammed me 12 years ago with a chronic pain condition and I've put in all this time coping, seeking, hoping, losing, and gaining.
I count on Richard to be well. More than well -- to be strong and filter the world for me and do the grocery shopping. Now you go and slam him with open heart surgery and valve replacement. Jeez. Couldn't you have started with something smaller - like a torn meniscus.
And, of course, you tricky devil, the stress of this experience is like a match thrown on the gasoline of my pain. So there he lay in his hospital bed and there I lay, on the couch in the hospital room, curled up with an ice pack, trying to do my best to be attentive.
But I do thank you for making his illness experience such a good one, given the parameters. He, thank you, is doing great. Home, now walking, almost pain-free, optimistic, and even able to put dishes into the dishwasher. HIs doctors are happy, which means we can all be happy.
But I have to drive him places. And make real dinner and lunch and breakfast meals for him. Which means I have to go grocery shopping. Don't get me wrong, a big part of me is delighted to be able to care for him and give back a bit of what he's done for me over the years. And it feels great to help him, because I love him and would do anything I could for him.
But jeez, really....open heart surgery."