Why Does Caregiving Hurt?

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Why Does Caregiving Hurt?

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(Editor's Note: We welcome vlw1321, who cares for her brother. You can connect with her on her profile page: @vlw1321.)

bright-88089_640My brother fell under my watch today.

I was taking him to his PT scan and he fell walking out the door, off the steps and onto the stepping stones. The look on his face, I will only hope to forget. His arms were scraped and bleeding; with no time to spare for bandaging them. I grabbed towels, drenched in water and wrapped his thin arms up in the to stop the blood from getting all over. Fortunately the doctors office was kind enough to clean and bandage him. He is so helpless; he doesn't remember falling/dropping, just the laying on the ground.

Why does caregiving hurt? I had visions of being this 'super caregiver' and I feel as though I have failed him again. This was not supposed to happen; he was to live a happy long life.

I don't know if I'm prepared for more difficult times?????

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Hussy

The falls are the worst. You can see the confusion on your loved one's face: \"How did I get here?\" You worry that you won't have the strength to pick them up yourself if they can't help themselves at all. So far that hasn't happened. By the way, it's totally normal to feel like you're not prepared for what's to come. We've all been there. But Pegi's right: one day you wake up and you find yourself doing something you never thought you'd have to do (or never thought you could) and, well, you're just doing it. I was sure I would never be able to help my husband when he was vomiting because I have such a weak stomach I was sure I'd start retching myself. But...I didn't. I have no explanation for it except that my husband really needed me at the moment and I just didn't have time to think about it. There will be lots of these moments and there's no user's guide you can read to practice for them. I'm glad you found this site. Posting about your feelings can be really cathartic.

Denise

I'm glad you found us, too. :) It's a relief, I think, to be able to talk opening through the written word. And, during a time when you so much what to make everything okay, it can be so upsetting when it feels like nothing is okay. Please know you're always okay with us. :)

Denise

Hi--I am so glad you are blogging! I hope it will help to write out what hurts the heart.\r\n\r\nAnd, you are right: Caregiving does hurt. It's heartbreaking and often the cause of the worst heartache you'll know. \r\n\r\nA few thoughts: Those falls are awful! You want him to be as independent as possible--and walking is being independent. I think we don't realize more help is needed until after we realize we needed more help. Would it be an option for your brother to use a wheelchair for future appointments? \r\n\r\nMost important: You're doing a great job. Your presence, your willingness to help is fantastic. I know it seems like it's not enough--but it really is more than enough. You don't have to be super human; you just have to be human. Because that human state, where you feel compassion and caring, is the best way to connect with and help your brother.\r\n\r\nI hope you could give yourself a fresh start today. You want to make the most of each day you have with your brother. You can let go of yesterday because it truly is in your past.\r\n\r\nPlease continue to keep us posted.