Today my wife had a pity party. She tried to invite me to it. She was upset that all she can do is sit on the couch and do nothing. So at the risk of making life miserable for myself I told her a few things. I basically gave her some things to think about. I then set about trying to solve a few of her problems. Like how she can’t write or color because of the tremors. We actually figured out a way for her to hold the pen and markers that make it easier for to write and color. She got up and did a few balance exercises. And the big one – she got up without help, got on the commode, got off the commode without help, and wiped herself. This was a big accomplishment for her. I had to go out and she wanted to be able to go to the bathroom if need be while I was gone. The only way I would let her do that is by first seeing that she could do it on her own. My part in all of this is to start stepping back and letting her gain some independence. I am really bad at just doing for her and I know that does not really help her at all.
So three days into this new year and 96 days after her grand mal seizure and midline shift, my wife is working on doing for herself again. She is able to get dressed with very little help (mainly with the shirt and the optune, and sometimes getting her foot in her pants), she brushes her own teeth, she showers on her own, she cuts her own food.
So today I challenge you, the caregivers, to find some small positive in your day. To look for the littlest thing that made your day just a little bit less of the hell we deal with daily. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with all the doom and gloom that happens in the day that we forget to notice the little rays of sunshine that creep in throughout the day. I know that I am guilty of that. Every day I wake up totally exhausted, I trudge through the day doing the exact same things for my wife, I end the day totally exhausted. However, by doing this daily journal entry I am forcing myself to look for the sunshine in the day. It doesn’t take the exhaustion away but it is helping me reconnect with my wife and not just be her caretaker. I hope that this may help others do the same.