As always, when I have to force my brain to talk on a serious subject, it started by sending tears streaming down my cheeks before a single word has left my lips. We had to talk, so those first words had to leave. “Do you think, we’ve reached the point, where we need to have outside help?”
Over the last few weeks, there has been a series of silly little things, that were leading me to believe, that Adam was struggling a little, with looking after me, doing all the chores and living his own life. There wasn’t anything major, but small things. So far this week, it includes forgetting on Monday to phone the doctor and sort out my repeat prescriptions. When he did, it was followed by my doctor phoning me, to question what had been ordered? Two months ago, he ordered the drugs but didn’t phone the chemist, to ask them to pick up and fill the prescriptions. Then there are other silly things, like only leaving me three bottles of juice instead of four, which meant I was pushed out of routine and didn’t take my afternoon meds, nor ate my psyllium pancakes. Forgetting to tell me to have a shower, as I totally forget to if he doesn’t tell me it’s time. I just went 10 days without one, the other week it was 8, I could carry on listing, but none of them alone says anything of importance, it the combined effect. It was beginning to feel as though almost every day, there was something small, but it all adds up and causes me unnecessary stress, something we both know I don’t need. So there I was sat in the kitchen, with tears once more flowing and facing with what for me, has been my biggest dread, outside carers.
He was totally at a loss when I first said it, other than he thought that I might be saying that I was in need of more help having my shower, which other than getting dry, I don’t. When I explained all the different things from the recent past that I could remember, he began to understand, but totally didn’t agree with me. When I told him about the doctor’s phone call, he was at a loss and took out the list he had read from, he was right, if he had done so, there was no reason for the call. Somehow, the Duloxetine that I was on for a few days, but hadn’t settled to and came off, had been reordered. Adam couldn’t even remember the name of the drug, there was no way he ordered it. We came to the conclusion, that the receptionist, out of trying to be helpful, added it after he had ended the call, in the belief he had forgotten it. As for all the other things, well I agree, I was probably blowing them up, something I totally admit my brain does when anything isn’t exactly as it should be. I know that part of my original question wasn’t just about Adam making human mistakes, but because I hate being angry at him, being angry at an outsider, once they had gone, might be a better option.
I know it should be the perfect answer having your partner, the person who knows you best, taking care of you, but it isn’t always that way. I know already from what Adam has said, that he isn’t put off at all, with the idea that I will need growing care. He is perfectly at ease in dealing with washing me, dressing and feeding me, even when needed cleaning up if I’m incontinent, but I’m not. I have been perfectly open, both here and when we talk, that I am finding everything about daily life, more and more difficult. Right now on top of that, I have a collection of stressful events hanging over me, and his mistakes, are just making things harder.
The odd thing is, I think we may have found an answer and it’s not what you’d expect. Rather than taking all these things away from him, we are going to try giving him more, or, as Adam put it, to let him “organise me”. Starting with showers, he isn’t going to shower me, I will still do that, but he is going to help me get dry. For about two months now, I have relied on air drying, not the best in winter but towel drying is now too difficult and not very successful. With him having a role, he has to be here and therefore, by being part of it, he won’t forget. I have also given him permission, to put me right, if I forget to do something due to my routine being out. He is now allowed to correct it himself, rather than my getting angry and storming off to correct it, when he points out that I’ve once again forgotten. I am going to also let him do more for me, so he is part of even the small things like fetching and making meals for me. Anything that I already know he wants to do for me, but I have stopped him from doing to date, I am going to try letting him “organise”.
I have no idea if this is going to work, but we can but try. If it does, well it means the constant feeling of struggling that I have, should be reduced. Mistakes should be less, or fixed more quickly and without stressful impact on me and Adam. Hopefully, this will make Adam happier because he will feel as though he is doing real, physical things to help me. If it doesn’t work, well it will highlight where outside help is truly needed.
I hadn’t truly realised just how pushed out, my wild independence streak was making Adam feel. In a way, I was making him feel useless, despite having learnt to trust him with the care of our home, the fact I wasn’t letting him directly care for me, was hurting him. He has said before that it is painful watching me struggle, when he is sat there with two perfectly good hands and legs, I push through the pain, when he could help, but I won’t let him. If the tables were turned, I doubt that I could have shown his patience, despite the verbal abuse I might have received, I wouldn’t have listened. I guess, it’s kind of stupid us both being in pain when both of us could be relieved of it. I used to be really good at putting myself in the shoes of others, I guess, I have just been forgetting to do so. Not because I have become hard hearted, but because I thought my independence mattered more, thanks to the position I was in. That along with the fact, that I didn’t want him to resent my constantly asking for help. Getting the balance right, is really hard. Mind you, what in life is easy, when it comes to relationships for couples like us.
How do I feel about this? I honestly don’t know. Last night, I had mixed feeling, partly because I felt as though my health is finally winning, but it was doing that already, whoever took on my care. I still feel that it is wrong, after all, Adam is my husband, not my nurse or my maid, but I do understand his need to do things the he believes, will help me. I know, that I do need more help, I am not managing to keep up just with the little I do, simply because everything, and I do mean, everything, is taking longer and taking far more out of me. There are times when just getting around in my wheelchair is both painful and slow, but pride stops me asking for help, which is stupid, so I will ask. To date, if he sees I am struggling, he has done nothing because he knows, he will only be snapped back at with, “Leave me, I’m fine”. So now, he has permission to tell me he is going to push me, he is going to take over and “organise me”. Given time, I might get used to it, one way, or another, I guess that I have to.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 12/02/2014 – Just one moment
I slept well last night, I woke with this feeling of lying in luxury, it was a moment that was destroyed as I had no choice but to move. Lying back down slipping back into the exact position I had been in before the……