I have been a caregiver for years on end, so I am somewhat of an expert on it. I did it all the hard way and the wrong way, thanks to my innate perfectionism. I was a hoverer and a busybody all rolled into one. Over-connected to the other person, I lost myself early on in the process. But think about it, I was caregiver for a three-year-old facing a fatal childhood cancer. There was no way I could have done it right. I was being shattered on an hourly basis.
I had not learned much when my husband got his cancer over twenty years later. I still felt a hundred percent in charge of the whole thing. And I was! He was not only physically ill, but had suffered a psychotic break as a reaction to his first harsh chemotherapy. He was my child, just as she had been.
They say that most widows/widowers fall ill much more than the average person. That was not true in my case. I had become such an expert in caring for them that I knew I would be prone to illness. I spent much of the first year resting and seldom even had a cold.
Last week I came down with shingles. I had been on two rounds of antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, so that opened the door for the shingles virus to come in. Ironically, I had just seen the doctor for an annual checkup and all of my labs were good. Go figure.
I was diagnosed last week, and now I am already feeling better. I had one pain episode so bad I totally panicked, but that has not happened again, knock on wood. I have been diligent about taking the anti-viral medicine and putting cortisone where it itches.
I write about the hard things in life, for that has been my life. All the nonsense has been knocked out of me and I relish the small things in life, the simple delights never fail. The ability to say no, to close the door and be alone, to read and meditate and take a walk….all fulfill me.
So I am now playing catch-up with the blog. I am here if anyone needs me, but not here if you don’t. Blogs seem to be going out of style. Facebook holds a greater and greater appeal to me. Fortunately, I had many people praying for my quick recovery on Facebook, and that was a great blessing.
See you down the road,