The Walk


As you might know I am an “informal caregiver” (also called voluntary or family caregiver) for my wife. She is bound to wheelchair and bed basically and needs help with some of the things “we healthy” people take for granted like getting washing/showering, getting dressed, getting to the toilet, cleaning, cooking.. well basically all the things you do in and around the house. Of course the household things, well I think there are a lot of mothers out there that have to do them alone as well. You want your house clean and tidy, you want clean clothes and nice food. Shopping has to be done and so on and so on.

However living with a disabled person takes of course much more of you then just the household chores. Like I said, there are the hygiene parts as washing and going to the toilet. There is traveling of course, where ever she wants to go she will need me to get her there. Since we don’t have a car we are depending on walking and public transport. Going to a café or restaurant is a crime because in my town many of the good places are not accessible for people in a wheelchair because it is either to small or it is not based on “ground floor” (you might remember I told about the “wharfs” we have along the canals, they can’t often be reached by wheelchair.

Of course I do this gladly for her, after all when we married I promised her “in good and bad times, in sickness and health” right?. However this leaves me little time for myself. Even when writing a blog for example, or playing a game there is always things that come in between. I guess it is something that other caregivers will be familiar with as well.

However every one needs time for him/herself and it is important to find a way that you have that time. For me that time is during “the walk”

Several nights a week I go to “my bro” to have a laugh, play some games together or just have a talk. Since I live in a small town I always go by foot and it takes me about 30 minutes to get there. When I am walking I am free, I am alone with my thoughts and I can wind down a bit. I might be thinking about my next blog (of which 90% never sees the light of day funny enough), I might be just enjoying the weather. Since I live next to a big canal I often sit down at the water for a while looking at ships passing by or children playing. The walk for me is the most important time of the day. it is an hour (I have to get back home again also of course) that is mine alone in which I can be myself without having to consider others.

Are you a caregiver with similar issues? what is your “walk”, do you take enough of those walks? Remember, if you have the full time care of someone that it is very important to have this time. If you currently do not have it, make it a point to create it. It doesn’t have to be a walk, you can go shoot some pool if you like to do that or go swimming. However make it something that you can do in the limited time you have and that it is something you like to do very much. It is in the best interest of yourself and those you take care off.

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”
— Francesca Reigler

Following is for all the caregivers out there. Thank you for what you do.

The Caregiver’s Song
By Celia
© 2011 Red Granite Goddess ASCAP
http://www.celiaonline.com

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

The rollercoaster you’ve been on with me.

And for the times I’m not easy.

I am sorry.

There’s a blessing in heartache.

There is love beyond pain.

I take nothing for granted.

And I’ll never be the same.

Thank You.

Chorus:

For Caring for me.

You are my family.

It’s not easy feeling broken.

But I want the word to see.

How you have cared for me.

I wish you could see what I see

As you prepare for the worst.

Wish you could know that I know

How you silently hurt.

There’s a gift in the healing.

Though it doesn’t seem fair.

But now I can face anything.

Just knowing you are there.

Thank You.

Chorus:

For Caring for me.

For when despair becomes belief.

For all the promises you keep.

For all the words that I can’t speak.

Thank you for caring for me.

For me.

Bridge:

And Oh, you’re my anchor.

And Oh, you’re my solid ground.

And Oh, you’re my angel.

My heart is full beyond profound.

Ooooooooooh

Thank You. Thank You.

Chorus:

For Carrying me.

For when your hope becomes your grief.

I get all the sympathy.

But I need this world to see.

To see you. And how you have cared

For me.

credits

from For The Asking, released 02 February 2012
Guitar & Voice: Celia
Piano: Jonathan Best
Cello: Betsy Tinney
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This entry was posted in love, peace, personal life by Mavadelo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mavadelo

Dutch, Pothead, Married since 1999, once homeless officially homed since uh...I guess somewhere around 2006. Music lover (anything but techno) Animal friend (in general, dogs and cats more specific, wolves rule though), Happy (most of the time) Pacifist, optimist but also sarcastic, cynical and philosopher (big word, if I find a better one....) oh... Gamer, PC freak, Software junky, bottom level hacker (lol i can "hack" some of my games but t.b.h others did the work, I just apply their knowledge) all around "can you fix my pc Martin" guy did I mentioned married?

8 thoughts on “The Walk

  1. I am on the disabled part of this side & I am always happy when my husband takes time for himself. I try, of course, to do what I can & some days I can help & others I cannot, so we just live with what happens.

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    • Same with my wife. She always tries to do as much as she can herself and never complains when I take some time for myself 🙂 You have to take it day by day 🙂

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  2. Mother was stricken suddenly and lasted 5 weeks. I was her home hospice nurse and took care of her in all ways. It was painful to see her drift away a little each day but would never her have left her in hospice to die afraid and alone. Each family has to decide the best way to handle it – for me easier as I am retired. Haft hour after she passed, a tear form and fell from her left eye. It really haunts me.

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  3. I am right there with you Martin, every single day. I agree with the previous comment, your wife is a lucky lady because caring for someone that you love has got to be one of the hardest things in the world to do. Like yourself I did not choose this life but I feel blessed that it chose me. I would never change the world that I have and to answer your question, my writing is my time. Simple.

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    • Hi Jade 🙂

      Thanks for your reply, good to see you posting again 😀 Yes writing is a good outlet but in my case it is hardly me time, during the time it took me to write the article I got called away four times 😉 I am glad though that you can get your own time when writing, we need that time. Never forget to take care of yourself as it is the only way to be there 100% for those that need us .

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  4. Nice post Martin. I’ve been a care giver most of my adult life, first my children, then my dad, friends with AIDS, nursing home residents, Hospice patients, private duty nursing, friends, even some people I just didn’t like, but who needed help. The saddest day of my life was when I started falling, due to the MS I’ve lived with since I was16, and I had to stop actively taking care of people because I was afraid I would fall and cause them to get hurt at the same time. I salute you for being care giver to your wife. My. husband couldn’t live with the idea, so kicked me out after 30 years to spend the rest of my life on my own. Your wife is a lucky lady to have you.

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    • I am so sorry that your husband was a spineless…well…let’s keep it nice right? I personally couldn’t live with myself if I had abandoned her after she became disabled. It would have made everything I promised her to be a lie. I have seen it way to often that “partners” suddenly feel not bound anymore to their wedding vows when these kind of things happen. I hope you have enough friends and loved ones to help you.

      and to be honest..it’s me who is the lucky one 😉

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