A Cheat Sheet: Yes, You Did Just Say That Out Loud

office-cubes_640(Editor’s Note: On Saturday, we began a new series called “Cheat Sheets.” We’ll share easy-to-remember tips to help you through caregiving’s most hair-raising and patience-testing moments.)

You’re in the middle of a tussle with your caree. Unfortunately, the tug-of-war didn’t end at home but follows you to work. Which means that your caree now bombards you with email messages full of reasons why wearing incontinence briefs at night will not work. And, that makes you crazy because neither of you sleep at night because of your caree’s incontinence issues.

The fight and the lack of shut-eye wear down your will power. You hear the beep of yet another email message arriving in your Inbox. You look, knowing the message from your caree will contain more silly, inane excuses to keep those incontinence briefs off.

You read the message and scream in your head, “For God’s sake, just wear the damn Depends!”

Except the screaming seems to have occurred outside your head.

Yep, your neighbor in the next-door cube has just peaked over the cube wall with an eyebrow raised.

Uh, oh. You just said that out loud.

What to do?

A Family Caregiver’s Cheat Sheet:
Yes, You Did Just Say That Out Loud

1. Smile at your cube neighbor.

2. Say, “Oh, my, I thought I was talking to myself. My apologies.”

3. Count to 10.

4. Head to the bathroom.

5. Pick your jaw up from off the floor.

6. Brace against a bathroom wall as you breathe deeply.

7. A few minutes later, ask yourself, “If I wrote about this in a blog post, what would my headline be?”

8. Go back to your cube and silently continue the work day, smiling as you encounter co-workers.

9. Put together a draft of your blog post so it’s easy to finalize and publish when you get home.

10. Enjoy the comments on your blog post from everyone else who knows exactly what’s it like when the thought unfortunately becomes the spoken word. Bonus: You get tips from those who comment on how to work through the situation so your caree wears incontinence briefs at night.

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About Denise

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

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