Sunday, August 21, 2011

Caregiving: Through The Eyes Of The Ill

Dear Caregiver,

I see the pain in your eyes daily. I wonder how you do it.

I see the look of wanting to make me better and not being able to do so. I wonder how you do it.

I see you stand beside me when I am my sickest, and watch you feel helpless because you can't make me better. I wonder how you do it.

I feel your love when no words need to be said. I wonder how you do it.

I know you would search the ends of the earth to help me feel better when in reality there is nothing you can do. I wonder how you do it.

I watch you work hard, long, grueling hours everyday to pay doctor bills, medicine bills, put food on the table, pay our living expenses. It pains me not to be able to help in any way. I wonder how you do it.

I see the worry in your eyes every time you leave me. Worrying that I may fall or need something and you will not be here to help me if I need you. I wonder how you do it.

I see you sacrifice your life for me. Give up social events to take care of me. I wonder how you do it.

I see you do all the things I use to be able to be able to do and now can't. I wonder how you do it.

I see the concern in your eyes every time we go to a doctors appointment wondering what will happen this time. I wonder how you do it.

I see you go to parties or events alone when I am to sick to go. I wonder how you do it.

I see you love me with, a genuine true love, and tell me how beautiful I am even when I know I look like hell. I wonder how you do it.

I see the sadness and horrible pain in your eyes that you don't think I see. I wonder how you do it.

I see you when I am crabby and bite your head off when you do not deserve it. I wonder how you put up with it.

I see the determination in your eyes when I say I just want this to end and you remind me of all I have to live for.

I see how mad you get at me when I threaten to stop all my meds and you have to remind me how sick I was before the meds. I wonder how you do it.

I see you understand while many others don't. I wonder how you do it.

I wonder how you do it all on a daily basis.  I wonder!

All I can say is I/we now know the meaning of the vows we took in sickness and in health! I/we know what til death do us part means because we have been hit with life changing illness, one that will be a part of our marriage til the end. I wonder would I be the same if the tables were turned? I like to think, yes I would, but then I wonder, would I? Could I? I wonder!

For me I think and truly believe it is easier being the sick person in the relationship. I have reason to give things up because I have been forced to. My body controls what I can and cannot do. But you, you have chosen to give up many of the same things just to care for me. What a sacrifice you make for me on a daily basis. How does one repay someone for such a selfless act of love? I don't think it is even possible. I wonder how you do it.

I have come to realize this is not a mistake, this illness, nothing in life ever is. It is all a part of the plan. The illness, the caregiver, the love. It has taught us both many lessons, good and bad. What true commitment really is. That people do and can stay together no matter how rough things get and that they can still love each other when one person can make it so hard to do so. You love me so! I wonder how.

It saddens me how we forget the caregivers of the world. When someone becomes ill we think of the ill but behind every ill person is a caregiver and a family of caregivers. The heroes who do all the little things we all take for granted. We forget about these heroes and forget to thank them for the daily sacrifices they must make. The ones who would go to the ends of the earth what ever time of day or night to make life a little more comfortable for the one who is sick.

I have realize this is how my illness makes you feel better and helps you process it all. By doing and helping me it helps you process it all and try to make sense of it all in your eyes. I wonder if that is possible because I can't make sense of it I wonder how you can.

I know you worry all the time about me while at the same time I worry what will I do if something happens to you?
I always say it is so much easier being the sick one in the relationship. The pain that must be in your heart to watch the one you love suffer has to be excruciating on a daily basis. I can only imagine, as I watch this from my view. I watch Rich being on the side of helplessness. Wanting to fix and not being able to do anything to make it better. Or so he thinks. He never realizes just having him there to care is enough and helps me more than any medication or therapy.

This post goes out to all the caregivers who sacrifice on a daily basis.


Remember, even when things are bad God is still good!


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