Thursday, August 22, 2013
I have become more and more a caregiver rather than a wife. I don't like this. In fact it makes me angry.
I have not been able to get my husband to take any control of his own life even though he gets mad and yells that he is an adult and he resents everyone else running his life.
I talked to a counselor about this today. If he won't take the least little bit of control then I become totally his (excuse the expression) a$$ wiper and feeder , etc. etc. I really don't mind doing things for him. But I want him to keep as much of himself as he can.
When asked for any decision, he answers that he does not know. "What do you want for lunch?" "Where would you like to go this weekend?" "What do you want the aide to do with you in the next hour or so?" I told him, if he does not tell us, then we will make the decisions.
I said my "dance" with him makes me the decider of absolutely every detail and makes him a total, brainless invalid. This situation makes me angry and I want to change it.
I tried to think of any person in the world who might get him out of his rut. There might be one or two old friends. I will talk to them. I also will talk to the health aides and nursses and physical therapists to force him to be more independent. It is way easier to do it yourself rather than being patient while he struggles to put a shirt on or to wash his face or brush his teeth. People tend to do everything for him. My counselor said I have to sternly tell these people to make hubby do whatever he can even if he struggles.
Talking to the counselor gave me some practical things to do without abandoning him when he struggles with a task. I want to light a fire under him, not send him into a depression. The counselor said the aides need to support me in this, not undermine me.
I need to use short phrases rather than lecturing him like I have been doing. Short phrases like "you are not senile," "you are not helpless," you are not paralyzed," and leave it at that. He might get mad--and probably will. She told me a change won't happen in an instant--black or white. It will be a process and progress will one step forward two steps back, but don't give up on it. It can happen.
He is very unaware of his own needs. He does not ask for things till he is in agony--thirst, pain, hunger, boredom, whatever. He cannot pinpoint why he is uncomfortable. I am not sure what I can do about that. Maybe I can cue him to examine his body and senses. He is not even using the urinal himself regularly. Daily I need to remind him. I have now put a urinal in the living room where he can see it. Today that worked.
This is for his self esteem and mine.
I don't want to be "just" his caregiver. I want to increase my role as his wife.
Wow this is hard! chris