Do You Practice What You Preach?

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    • #33855
      Colleen Steele

        Offering advice is one of the many things that caregivers do for their patient/loved one. When you think about it, much of the advice we give could and/or should apply to the caregivers as well.

        How well do you take care of the caregiver? How well do you heed your own advice?
        Ask yourself these questions and consider the advice you would give the person you are caring for.

        Do you worry too much about what people think?

        Do you make excuses for why you aren’t up to get-together’s with friends instead of explaining your caregiving circumstances and the fatigue you might be feeling?

        Do you feel like you always have to look like you are doing well even if you aren’t?

        Do you let yourself laugh or cry or do you hold back your emotions?

        In my recent column “Practicing What I Preach Is Advice Worth Taking” I discuss these questions and share the advice I try to give myself.

      • #33862
        Jen Cueva

          Oh, @colleensteele, I love this piece and am guilty on many occasions. The first thing that came to mind was when I was spending time with my parents last week. I was always the caregiver before PH and tried not to let it stop me, especially with my parents, hubby, and kiddos. On many occasions, while supporting my mom in dealing with the year anniversary that we lost my stepdad and the estate dealings of my late grandmother, I kept thinking, I should be supporting her. But I, too, was crying and broke down a few times. The caregiver in me was making me feel guilty for expressing my emotions. I was supposed to be the strong one.

          Often, I feel guilty when I can’t do tasks that I would before PH for them both. But they now again remind me to rest and slow down. This was not what being an adult daughter and caregiver should have been, but this is our reality, and we deal with it.

          Your closing statement speaks volumes, “I don’t think patients or caregivers need advice about their emotions — just the freedom to express them.”

          Thank you, Colleen, for such a thought-provoking yet important reminder for all of us, caregivers and patients alike. How well are you taking your advice lately, my FWW and friend?

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