As a mom, I do plenty of care taking. However, my husband is pretty good at taking care of me when I need it. A few weeks ago, we had a bit of a role reversal. It hasn't been easy.
He had to have surgery on a tendon in the wrist and thumb of his right hand. And yes, he's right handed. He couldn't drive. He couldn't cook. He couldn't hang laundry or load the dishwasher. He needed help showering and getting dressed. I needed to not only take care of him, but I needed to do some of the things he normally does around the house.
I tried. I really did. I succeeded a lot of the time, but I also had times when my body failed us both.
A couple of times, I was exhausted and couldn't stay awake any longer, and of course it was at inconvenient times. My left hip, where the arthritis is worst, also took me out of commission from time to time. He was left to take care of things he probably shouldn't have, like getting a meal together for him and the kids. He drove us to the doctor's appointment at which he was released to go back to work because he was in far better shape than I was that morning. Lucky for us both that he's a quick healer and is fairly competent with his left hand!
Now he's back and work and his hand's recovering well, but I'm sitting at home lethargic and achy. I have a hard time staying awake, and as much as I want to be productive, I just don't have the energy. Mentally, I'm sludge. To be honest, I'm really hoping that this all makes sense once I finish pulling it out of my brain by sheer force of will.
This all leaves me reminded of three things:
- Even though I'm a lot better than I used to be, I still have a long way to go;
- I'm incredibly lucky to have a husband who does so much to help me;
- I don't know how people with these illnesses manage to take care of new babies, special-needs children, or chronically ill loved ones, who need help indefinitely.
Have you had to become a care taker? Short-term or long-term? What has it done to you, and how have you managed to cope? Leave your comments below!
Learn more or join the conversation!
Photo © Jack Hollingsworth/Getty Images