Sink or Swim

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Sink or Swim

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pool-519453_640I haven't posted anything in quite a while. Mostly I just haven't had much to say but lately I'm a little panicked and thinking that maybe writing will help. John had to go back to hemodialysis. He's doing it at home and I'm  learning to be the caregiver for it. I wasn't really prepared for this. When we first started talking about it, nobody told me just how much responsibility I would have in this. Not that I would have refused, I absolutely would not have but at least I would have been better prepared.

I'm not going to lie. It's intimidating as hell. From the needle sticking to remembering the setting for the machine to how to react if the power goes out (and it has - TWICE!), it feels a little overwhelming. Our training nurse has been great, I can't complain at all about that. This is our last week of training though. Next week, it's sink or swim, we'll be on our own. "Guys, I'm not abandoning you." That's what he keeps saying and I know he would answer if we called and walk us through it with the patience of a saint. I also know he'd prefer it if we didn't call. I'm a social worker and I know how much I value my time off the clock so I'm sure it's no different for him.

I don't know when I've been so tired. I work hard. My job is pretty high stress and I need to decompress. Home used to be the place I came to and let it all go. Now I come home and work. It takes about four hours to get through this five days per week. It sounds like I'm complaining. I guess I am complaining but I'm grateful. Every day is a gift. I need to remember that.

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Denise

So glad you are feeling better, <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/outbythesea/' rel=\"nofollow\">@outbythesea</a>!! Keep us posted as you can. :)

Michael

Thank you all for the kind words and support. Last night was a disaster and I worried all night and day that I just wan't going to be successful with this. It's a terrible feeling thinking that you're letting someone you love down when they really need you. Tonight, my morale got a huge boost. I revamped my cheat sheet and everything went surprisingly well. It felt like a 100 lb weight came off my chest. I actually cried because for the first time, I felt like maybe, just maybe I can do this. Thanks again. I'll try to do a better job of using this site not just for my own self but to help you all too. We're all in this care-giving thing together.

Hussy

Michael, please vent as needed. If you don't your head will explode. Somebody on another site I frequent posted that complaining is a waste of time. I couldn't disagree more. For we caregivers it is cathartic. I know what you mean about home ceasing to be a place for relaxation. Some days I dread going home from work because I know I'm just getting off one hamster wheel and getting on another. But like you I think every day I get with my loved one is precious. You're going to get the hang of hemodialysis. A lot of us here have learned to do things we never thought we'd have to do. I never thought I'd have to learn how to change a colostomy bag. It completely freaked me out at first. I mean, here was this gaping hole in my husband's stomach! But I learned and over time it became second nature, just part of our routine. It sounds like you're doing a great job managing a challenging situation. RE; the power going out, do you have a generator? We purchased a small one and the peace of mind that comes with having one is priceless.

John Parks-Coleman

Michael, I understand your feelings. It's not complaining, it's venting (there's a difference, as you know). We Caregivers learn, over time, how to organize our priorities as best we can; although, at times it feels like you're learning how to fly a plane while you're building it. There are so many people on this site that share the need for venting vs advice vs peer-2-peer support; and, each situation is different with one thing being the common thread - the need to vent your feelings, share your experience, and seek advice. You're doing awesome things, Michael, not many people can manage what you do, and how well you are doing it.

Denise

Hi Michael! I'm so glad you wrote this out to us. \r\n\r\nI totally understand being conflicted about complaining. I think it's important to complain and to complain to us because we get it. You can't help for feeling guilty about complaining but you do have a lot to complain about. I think it's good to complain to us which I hope brings some relief and some strength to you.\r\n\r\nYou can swim. :) You can do this. You can work through the doubt and the worry. You'll also find a routine that works. We believe in you.

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