A recent article in the American Pain Foundation’s newsletter was entitled “Avoiding Caregiver Burnout”. This title reminded me of my caregivers. They were first my mother, now my husband and soon to be my children.
I thought about these people, who did not ask for the job, and what they must be feeling while I’m in the hospital getting blood and morphine pumped into my veins. They sit in hospital rooms, doctor’s offices and watch while I suffer. Their lives are affected by Sickle Cell Disease as much as mine is.
- Stay positive. Your metal health is just as important as the person who is being cared for.
- Balance your life by taking breaks to do hobbies or things you love.
- Protect your health. (Put your mask on first, then help others) Get rest, eat well, and take vitamins.
- Seek out help. There are support groups and resources for information. Know what you can do and acknowledge what you can’t. (ask for help)
- Keep communication open and be patient. Pain affects people differently; they need your patience and kindness.
- If people offer help, have a list ready of what needs to be done. (Grocery shopping, help cooking, cleaning the house, or raking the yard.)