Learning to Care for Myself - Part One
Monday, January 28, 2013
This past week or so I've been dealing with the flu. I'm almost back to normal. The first couple days I had a fever of 102-103 degrees at night. I don't mind the detox that happens, but afterwards, my brain feels like mush for days and days. This is the first day I feel like I can actually put words together to form coherent thoughts!
At first, I couldn't eat hardly anything. Then I managed to eat a bowl of yummy veggie/beef soup I had made before I got sick. It was so nourishing, and mostly organic. But as the days went on, I just ate whatever I could that required the least amount of effort. This meant a couple meals out, including fast food. I had pretty much wiped fast food out of my diet, and this just felt like cheating. I had feelings that I was going backwards and undoing my progress.
Tracking? Forget about it. Besides a couple partial attempts this week, most days I've just been coasting. And I was too achey to attempt exercise of any kind. I had all these crazy feelings of depression and fear that I was going to gain back all the weight I've lost so far, and then have to start at square one.
Yesterday I had an emotional meltdown due to a circumstance beyond my control. I was trying to help a loved one with their own failing health to see how crucial it was they go to the hospital immediately. I've tried to step in when I can to help with caregiving and also housework, but it gets so overwhelming at times. Too many issues to discuss...but yesterday I "had it", and I let everyone in my general vicinity know it. This outburst left me shaky and my blood pressure soaring. I almost thought I needed to remove myself from the situation, since I could not truly be a help to anyone at that point. I was caught up in blaming others and myself for my loved one's condition, and also being mad at them for not being willing to change, comply, or cooperate.
I focused on other tasks, and then was able to accomplish some of my caregiving duties. I gave it my best effort, and I'm supposed to help a little while today with some last-minute preparations and hopefully get my loved one to the hospital. I'm praying that they can get the care they need, which will probably include another stay in a nursing/rehab facility for several weeks. Even if this takes place, I will still be busy keeping things in order while they are away, and hopefully getting their bedroom more functional for when they return.
I know I'm leaving a lot unsaid. It's just too painful to delve into some of these issues, many which I've been dealing with most of my life. I had a lot of caregiving responsibility put on my shoulders at a young age. I haven't always been as dutiful as I could be, and at times I had to remove myself from all caregiving responsibilities for my own health and sanity. So there are issues of guilt there, and boundary issues about how much I should care for others and how much I should care for myself. If I veer too much towards the latter, I end up feeling guilty and selfish. And yet sometimes I end up being manipulated by the one I'm trying to care for.
I will share more thoughts later.....