Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Cranky Reason #4: It Never Ends

I'll tell you what makes me cranky pretty much every day. The caregiving never ends. Never is there a point where I do something in caring for Skip and I say to myself, "well, that's done then."

And the demands have increased over time and will increase as the years go by. Unlike kids, who grow up and become independent (yeah, yeah I know they're always your kids, but the active care for them day in day out ends in the vast majority of cases).

It's important for me to get breaks from the demands of caregiving. Without them, my ability to approach caregiving in good humor diminishes to almost nothing.


Muffie said...

Totally understandable! While I don't require quite as much hands-on care, my husband still has to handle a lot. That's why I insist he get out for golfing every week. It relieves some of the burden I've placed on him. Like Skip, I will eventually need help with eating, and I'm dreading it. Maybe I'll just have a liquid diet by then.

Cranky said...

Muff - it's excellent that you're understanding and make sure your husband gets some "me" time. Here's hoping you can always feed yourself.

Gary said...

Men generally like to solve problems. We don't just sit there and listen sympathetically; we yearn to say, "oh, HERE's your problem," and explain for 10 condescending minutes how to fix it so life will once again be carefree.

But with caregiving as a way of life, as the only means by which a loved one retains some small measure of comfort and dignity, I... I got nothing. I wish I could, you know, snap my fingers, get a ratchet set out of the toolbox, and fix this.

I really do.

Cranky said...

Gary - I appreciate the sentiment. I like even more the phrase "measure of comfort and digniy," because honestly I often forget about that. When I'm cranky about doing the same thing for the 8 millionth time, I'm usually thinking about how this demand impinges on my own life and not so much about what a gift it is for Skip. Thanks.

lightning36 said...

I would imagine the hard part would be knowing that things will get more difficult in the future.

I have mentioned before that I often am the release valve for my brother, who looks after out mom.

Funny thing is ... I think that he might out-crank Cranky!

Cranky said...

lightning - yeah, knowing it's not going away and it's going to get worse is very hard. Well, you probably see your brother with less filters on than applied on this here blog. Trust me, I get cranky.

Webster said...

I'm glad that you have been giving yourself a few respite days at the casino. It really takes your mind off of the day to day drudgery. I guess that's why they call it respite care. It's care for YOU. Does your local MS Society office have a respite care program? Sort of like vacation for Skip?

Cranky said...

I know there are respite programs available in the area, but we've never really looked into them. Skip is fine spending a long day with her companion MW, but a longer time without my help would be very, very difficult for her.

Since she's a-okay with me taking trips to Foxwoods, I think I'll keep that up, unless it starts costing us money we can't afford.