Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just how done is "done?"

I went to a caregiver training class awhile ago...a class on caregiver burnout. Sorely needed, I might add.

Striking that when I went through a "Are you a burned out caregiver?" quiz, I scored very high...severe burnout, which basically means that you shouldn't be a caregiver anymore as the burnout affects your ability to provide care.

What do you do when you're "done," but you have to go on?

More doctor appointments this week and I find myself struggling to even pay attention at them. I know that they're important...I know that he needs the care and no one has the overview of what's going on with all the Drs and the details of what's happening at home. But geez...I am so sick of all this.

How am I burned out? Let me count the ways from the quiz:

always exhausted (yup)
feelings of hopelessness (sometimes)
overwhelmed (yup)
emotionally numb or emotionally explosive (alternating between the two)
unable to focus or concentrate (yup)
feel inadequate to the task (yup)
the need for an increased use of alcohol or stimulants (yup...former)

The teacher, class, and materials say, "Take care of yourself." Sure. I understand that. Get rest, recreation, exercise, eat well, etc. I try to do those things. But NOTHING changes the reality of what's happening to either H or me.

He's dying and I can't be there for him in the way I'd like. I want to help him, and I'll soldier on as best I can, but it's bad right now. I won't leave him, but I feel like I'm waiting for him to die, which I am honestly. He knows that too. And he is too.

And it's going to get worse before it gets better.

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