Thursday, September 1, 2011

Caregiving 101

My husband has done really well for 5 years since his accident.  Minor mishaps here or there but nothing major.  But we can’t say that anymore because since April it has been awful.  Worse than awful.  His breathing has deteriorated and he has developed an ulcer with gastritis.  His pressure sores on his elbows have gotten worse and worse.  The wound doctor at one of the hospitals we were at gave us some advice and some stuff to put on them.  Worse.  Now, 5 months later it is still going on.  Dennis can’t breathe without oxygen and he may have to have a procedure on his elbow pressure sore.  He has lost 45 pounds since this started and he doesn’t want to eat because it hurts his stomach.  But this is not what I’m blogging about.  What the patient goes through is terrible.  What the caregiver goes through is terrible also.  I look at my husband trying to breathe on his own while sitting up and he can’t.  He feels defeated and your heart breaks.  I see him struggle to go without oxygen and he can’t and he feels defeated and once again your heart breaks.  He can’t talk because not enough air flows over the vocal cords so he has to repeat everything.  He can't visit with friends and he feels isolated.  You feel like every time you go to the doctor and they weigh him they think you are starving him to death.  His pressure sore is so horrible so they look at you as if you have just not done a thing about it, when the people who are taking care of him everyday are trying everything they know to do.  My mom asks him everyday what sounds good?  Would you eat this or that.  I finally got him some muscle milk and he is making himself eat.  My daughter told me I had to use the tough love approach.  So we are trying to get everything well and see how he feels when the UTI is gone and we got a good report on it today, the pressure sore is healed, the ulcer is healed and the gastritis is gone.  As a caregiver who works everyday I think it is a lot like working mothers, you feel guilty if you are not there, you feel guilty if you are tired etc.  I have found out that I have a lot of friends who care and they mean the world to me.  I also have one feisty little daughter who is ready to take on anyone who makes me feel bad and I love her for it.  As we always say it’s one day at a time and we have to know that God has us in His hands. 


  1. I cannot imagine just what it must feel like for you. It is making me cry just reading about it.

    I'm sending prayers along with the tears.I pray that God will give you all that you need in this time with an abundance of stamina and peace. I am sure your husband sees an angel when he looks at you.