A Way I Could Support Him
Attending doctor appointments with my husband was always important to me. My husband was never good at relaying what the doctor had said. Sometimes I think he had a hard time focusing because often the news was emotion provoking for him. I needed to be there to ask questions and get clarification so that my husband didn’t have that extra responsibility. It was a way I could support him and be there for him. It felt good that I could help him in that way.
Waiting In The Car…
COVID has now made it so that you can no longer attend your spouse’s appointments. I mean, it makes sense that you can’t go in. We know that people can be COVID carriers and not show any symptoms.
Attending appointments with him was how you stayed informed. You could hear directly what the doctor said and what directions or instructions were given. It was also a way to support him emotionally. It was a way of showing him he’s not alone.
Now, you may feel disconnected, or even guilty that you can be there for him. It might feel like one more way you are powerless or not enough.
Take a Breath
Here is the good news. If you are feeling frustrated, powerless, even guilty, or any other negative emotion, it is totally OK. Caregiving is challenging enough and now it’s like your job has gotten even harder. Of course you are frustrated!
Acknowledge what you are feeling. Take a breath and breathe it in. “Damn, I’m frustrated!” or “I hate this!” or “I feel so bad that he is alone!” Allow yourself to move through the emotion so you can get to the other side.
Emotions That Are Not Useful
Frustration, disconnect, and guilt are not useful emotions. They block us from thinking clearly and being creative. They exhaust us. They keep us stuck. They keep us focused on the negative, on what we can’t control.
That is why we have to allow these emotions when they come up, acknowledge them, and then move through them. (For more on feelings see my post, Feelings….)
Focus On What You Can Do
When you are able to move beyond your negative emotions, you will be able to instead focus on what you can do. Ask yourself these questions:
How can I stay informed with what the doctor said?
How can I show support even if I’m not there?
How can I show him he’s not alone?
Caregiving is a tough job with lots of ups and downs. You are doing a great job, even if it doesn’t feel like it!
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