When Things Are Too Much

ouch“I was wondering if this would be too much for you.”

Denise recently asked me this but she wasn’t referring to caring for Robert.  She knows Richard and I can care for Robert and that bringing him into our home was the right decision for us.

She was referring to an interview she asked me to participate in. Denise had invited me on her show to discuss working and caregiving with a panel of other working caregivers. (The show airs Friday at noon Pacific and can be watched here).

Unfortunately, both working and caregiving got in the way of doing an interview about working and caregiving!

Richard and I are easily settling into a routine with Robert much as we did when we blended our families and raised three kids together.  We have our rough spots but the best thing we do is work well as a team.

In the morning, I get Robert up, washed and get him his medications. Richard makes decaf coffee for Robert and a mocha for me (costing Starbucks a small fortune in the process). He prepares Robert’s breakfast and packs a lunch for Robert as well. By the time I’ve finished helping Robert get ready for the day and he’s eating breakfast, Richard has showered and dressed and is able to keep an eye on Robert while I get ready for work.

The night time rituals are split evenly as well and we even get to spend quality time watching whatever crime show has our interest at the moment (for now, it’s NCIS).

The routine goes smoothly until The Universe decides to pile on. Remember when I thought I was being tested? Apparently, the test has extra credit now.

Last weekend, Richard was put on bed rest because of a complication from his chronic back pain (his legs swelled up enough to make his knees disappear and make his legs look like mid-size tree trunks). A few days before that, I had a dental procedure go horribly wrong and was in excruciating pain for days. I have a high tolerance for pain (I gave birth to my daughter without using pain meds and pride myself in taking only one pain pill after my appendix was removed). Actually needing pain medicine so I could function was a shock for me and one I fought valiantly against.

I had to give in – the pain was too severe.  Thankfully, my pain is finally getting better which I can attribute to either my mouth healing or the wonders of pain meds.

In the midst of missing some work for the dental appointments, dealing with pain, worrying about hubby’s gigantic legs (and throwing in an afternoon off to take Robert to a neurology appointment as well as watching Robert’s cold come back), I was working on several projects at the office with deadlines this week.

The interview on Friday was looming and even though I could do it over the lunch hour, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to finish a project that is due Friday.

I reluctantly bowed out but cringed when Denise told me she wondered if this would be too much. She didn’t mean anything negative by it – she just has no idea how neurotic I am.

I don’t want to admit anything is too much! I can do it – I mean, really, I could. My thinking is unless I am completely incapacitated, I can make it happen.

I certainly don’t like saying, “I can’t” because it sounds to me too much like, “I have failed.”

Is that really true, though? Maybe it’s okay to say, “No, not this time” without it meaning failure.

Maybe it’s okay to say, “This is too much” even if I’m still standing.

Sometimes, there is a reason things happen and things end up working out for the best. What was just a little congestion all week and even up until a few hours ago took a terrible turn tonight and Robert is now running a fever, coughing and wheezing. It’s actually a relief that I declined the interview (although, obviously, I couldn’t have known Robert would be getting this sick at the time).

Maybe The Universe is testing me but maybe it’s also trying to help me out.

Even though I won’t be discussing working and caregiving with a panel of talented men and women, I will be doing some working and caregiving and hope to be able to join them in their discussions next time.

(Please keep your fingers crossed for Robert – let’s hope this cold doesn’t get any worse).

Profile photo of Trish

About Trish

I am Robert’s older sister and a freelance writer and am also a full-time Legal Administrator for a wonderful law firm (no, that is not an oxymoron). I am the caregiver for my youngest brother, Robert, who has suffered from uncontrolled epilepsy his entire life. In his late-40s now, he lives with me and my husband. I have somehow managed to navigate the maze of social services and government programs available to help Robert and continue to be amazed at the amount of time and persistence that is needed to do so. Robert finds happiness in simple pleasures like doing word search puzzles and watching his favorite shows (Family Feud and Jeopardy, of course!)

7 thoughts on “When Things Are Too Much

  1. Profile photo of CasandraCasandra

    You are definitely an inspiration, as I have not gotten used to working and caregiving and dividing my time multiple ways.

    Will keep Robert in my thoughts and I hope he gets well soon.

    Reply
    • Profile photo of TrishTrish Post author

      Thank you, Casandra. Robert is improving each day! We dipped below baseline but are clawing our way back up there. :-)

      Reply
  2. Profile photo of PegiPegi

    Trish, you are a remakable women. So much caring and giving. I’m the same type of person as you when it comes to “Sure I can”. For me the “I can’t”, I think was more that it would mean giving up control. When there are so few things i can control these days. It is okay to say not this time, or maybe later. Hard to do, but possible. You, Richard and Robert are in my prayers. You’re doing a great job with all the juggling.

    Reply
  3. Profile photo of JoJo

    @Trish,

    If I could post a picture in the comments block it would a photo-shopped version of you, with a Superman cape on! :-)

    You continue to set a high bar for us mere mortals. You know from our vantage point you’re not being tested, you’re writing the test for the rest of us. Hopefully you grade on a curve.

    Praying and hoping Robert’s cold doesn’t get worse… or spread to others.

    Reply
    • Profile photo of TrishTrish Post author

      Haha, Jo! Your comment made me laugh. I don’t think those tights would be a good look for me. :-) I think we all set the bar for each other. I admire you for your fortitude and ability to get through life with a positive attitude even after all that’s been thrown at you. A+ for everyone! :-)

      Reply
  4. Profile photo of Lycee

    I love your “No, not at this time”. It creates a healthy boundary for yourself, while not limiting ability or future possibilities. You are a strong woman :) Thank you for all you do, and for all you share :)

    Reply
    • Profile photo of TrishTrish Post author

      Thanks, Lycee! We all need boundaries for sure. Sometimes they’re hard to set since we’re pulled in so many directions (and like to think we can do it all!). Happy you don’t mind all my sharing! :-)

      Reply

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