rickvanderzwet_PhoneMy only goal this weekend was to make sure that 1) my husband was in a good mood and had fun leading into his surgery on Tuesday and 2) make sure I had everything in order. When I mean everything, I mean, bag packed and ready for the few days we'll be in the hospital, bills paid, food prepped for the week to come since cooking will be the last thing I'd be thinking about, a clean house, and making sure all paperwork I might need in case of any emergency was somewhere convenient.

*Deep breath*

I think I am over prepared BUT considering I've reached out to a few people with absolutely no response, over prepared is probably just enough for me not to go insane with worry this next week.

My real concern was not for my husband but for me. I needed, well, wanted moral support this go around. Three surgeries with no one there to help me look after him during or after was overwhelming and just thinking about number four had me anxiety ridden. Yet, I've done this alone this far and I can manage.

I did, surprisingly, have a friend who is in Montana call and offer to come down after the surgery and watch Marc so I can go to work. For that, I am eternally grateful because knowing I don't get paid unless I work is the biggest stress. In January, I got 15 paid days, and it is only March and they've been exhausted. Personally, I feel if I have approved medical leave I should have the choice to take it paid or unpaid but I don't have that choice.

Besides that, I just want to say that the support I've received from this group and Denise is immeasurable. The responses and personal emails of people reaching out and giving support is wonderful!

I hear A LOT from people that they are sorry for what I have to go through and they wish they could help or they understand but really have never been through my situation, so knowing that here are people who are actually living my life right now or have lived it, makes the difference. Not that I don't think others who haven't experienced the stress of caregiving are not genuine in what they say to me but many times they turn around and offer advice that floors me and I think, "If I just told you it wasn't a possibility two minutes ago, what makes you think it has changed now." I get the sense they are kind of half-listening and maybe because it is too hard for them to understand and they tune out, they don't want to hurt my feelings. I don't know. It's just nice to deal with people that when they make suggestions or comments I can breathe a breath of fresh air and think, "Now here is someone who truly gets it."

So to all of you, thank you!

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Hi--I've long wanted to add some kind of support for these kind of situations--someone who checks in on you, offers moral support, listens to all those nagging worries. It would be sooo nice to have another family caregiver reach out to you during these times which are just way too stressful. When I figure out how to do this, I'll let you know. :)\r\n\r\nI'm so glad for your friend, who sounds like a keeper. \r\n\r\nCaregiving is an experience about limited resources--not enough time, money, help, options. I think that freaks people out--they just can't wrap their heads around it. So, they try with suggestions. Unfortunately, the suggestions often just add to the frustration.\r\n\r\nLet us know now you're doing tomorrow. We are thinking of you!!


Casandra, \r\nI can relate to you as my Grandfather who passed away 3 years ago was on dialysis for the last 5 years of his life. He had many trips to the hospital for surgeries when his fistula would clog up. The first time this happened I was the only one who went and it is very nerve wrecking to be in a surgery waiting room all by yourself. He ended up having a brain bleed and had many experiences with doctors, nurses, and social workers some of them not so good! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers this week!\r\nMaria from Kansas