Caregivers and Patients – How Do You Deal with Differences In Personality?

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    • #33110
      Colleen Steele

      Everyone is different from each other in some way. I think most people are accepting of this fact but when you are living with a disease or caring for someone who is ill those differences might cause some struggle.

      For example, if one of you has a high tolerance for pain and the other doesn’t, that might make understanding difficult. Some people cry more easily than others while others aren’t as comfortable expressing their emotions and the differences can develop into unfair assumptions.

      Differences in routine, habit and personal preference can also challenge a caregiver and patient relationship. For example, what if the caregiver is a night owl and the patient is an early bird? How does one handle that situation?

      I’m sure many of you can think of other examples.

      Share your differences with us and how you work through them so that the best care is still provided.

    • #33121
      Jen Cueva

      Humm, where do I start, @colleensteele? For this one, I will begin by saying that although there are many personality differences, I also find that helps us work well together.

      I want to help others no matter how bad I feel. On the other hand, Manny is helpful and knows that sometimes you need to let others care for themselves. He has boundaries and knows that it isn’t his job to save the world.

      This often becomes a challenge when I have lousy PH days and my parents or friends need something. It’s funny now that I am writing about it, but it does cause challenges at times. I will drop what I am doing and start calling and trying to help them work on their issues. I’m good while he’s at work.

      But when he’s home, he will put an end to that quickly. When I have done this, and he has been at work, he often knows if I am beyond my bad PH day when he walks in. He knows me too well and will start asking who I’ve talked to and then make those conclusions. But, our personality differences often get us through the difficult days as caregivers and patients.

      Since I have learned to set boundaries, I’m doing better with this for the most part, anyway.

      Yes, I’ve always been an early bird and talk from the moment I wake up. He’s more of a night owl and needs a coffee or two cups before he wants anyone to speak to him, LOL. It’s an ongoing joke in our house that I was the kid jumping on my parent’s bed at 5 AM trying to get them awake and asking them what we were doing that day. Hehe

      • #33134
        Colleen Steele

        @jenc I’m glad you brought up your habit (of I should say compassionate personality) of jumping in and helping everyone. This is a concern of mine whenever I dump my daily woes on you. You always ask and I always answer…mainly because you make me feel so comfortable at opening up to you, and I’m sure that is the case with others. But I know you do more than listen – you take it all to heart. I worry about how much of other people’s burdens you carry on your shoulder. So, I hope you don’t mind my taking Manny’s view on this. I just hope he doesn’t come home and ask, “Have you been talking to Colleen again?”

        That being said, you know I will always be here for you too.

        Except for being night owls and have a love for seafood, my husband and I are more different than not. I agree with your comment that the differences can be a positive thing too. Cullen inherited his dad’s laid back, stay calm no matter what, personality. When I get high strung Cullen and his dad calm me down. On another note, they both tend to not be talkers when they need to be…like with doctors, so that’s when my personality really comes in handy. It all works out.

    • #33137
      V.R. Peterson

      This is an excellent topic, @colleensteele!

      My personality likes to talk it out whenever anything is wrong. My son’s personality prefers “stiff upper lip and just deal with it.” I’ve had to accept that I owe it to him to let him wait to talk to me about things until he wants to discuss it (which is usually when a doctor has either admitted him to the hospital or he has a big scary surgery scheduled, so he can’t keep it quiet any more). I can’t tell you how many times I knew that there were things about his illness that he wasn’t telling me, and I really had to bite my tongue to give him his space until he was ready to talk about it.

      How I deal with it? I spill it out in groups like this, asking questions, where people understand my need to know everything there is to know about what he’s going through. His need for space is met, as is my need for knowledge.

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