IWSG October- Halloween- The Scary Part of Caregiving

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“’Tis an old saying, That an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure.”     Benjamin Franklin

“He that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well.”            Thomas Fuller

“Desperate cases need the most desperate remedies.”  Hippocrates

“The wish for healing has ever been the half of health.”    Seneca, The Younger

OK, I have been Caregiving for nearly one year.  What a year this has been and certainly not as I planned or expected.  No one forewarned me about the calamities and crisis’ that could occur.  Somehow I didn’t expect caregiving to be so exhausting and emotionally draining.

In January, my husband had surgery for an extremely large and unusual Hiatal Hernia.  One the doctor had never seen before.  My line of thinking was, “OK, we’ll deal with this, but my husband will get better, and life will become easier for us.”  WRONG!

My husband also deals with extremely low blood pressure that is not related to his heart… but what?  His blood pressure is so low that literally if he goes from sitting down to standing up he passes out.  So now he is on medication to raise his blood pressure.  One problem —the medication’s side effect makes it difficult to urinate.  Now this issue creates scary complications.

I recently read some Caregiving Blogs that talked about the crazy situations that caregivers run into.  This is my latest ‘wake-up’ call.  First, for people with extremely low blood pressure, when they first wake up and attempt to get up, the blood doesn’t make it to their brain for quite a while.  Until the blood does hit their brain… they are clueless as to what they are doing.  It is like working with a large but very young child sometimes.

To prevent my husband from falling on the way to the bathroom at night, the doctor gave my husband a long jug with a cap (a urinal jug) so that he could sit on the side of the bed and relieve himself into the jug.  Fortunately … or unfortunately my husband’s jug does not become very full, but it is quite difficult for him to use if sitting down so he stands up… or tries!

Suddenly he starts to feel weak, so he catches his balance by falling forward while leaning against the bedroom wall, but then life suddenly goes south for him and he collapses on the side of the bed in a deep bouncing motion while swinging his jug around.  Like a kid bouncing on the bed he falls further and further backwards swinging the jug at me. I awake to a sloshing sound with the open jug aimed at me.  Luckily he missed anointing me with his pee.  When my husband attempts to stabilize himself he lays the jug on its side on top of the bed without capping it off, consequently the contents of the jug are now spilling all over the bed and the floor. Visualize drunk pirates staggering around with their beer steins swishing. They collapse and spill the beer all over themselves and others around them… now you can visualize my experiences with my husband’s jug.

When you become a caregiver for your spouse, the doctors forget to warn you of the fun you may experience.  I have offered to have my husband’s doctor come caregive for my husband to learn about low blood pressure issues, but for some reason the doctor politely declined.  We can either laugh about life or cry.  I choose to laugh.

Life reminds me of the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s song, THAT’S LIFE!

That’s Life

Frank Sinatra

That’s life (that’s life) that’s what people say You’re riding high in April Shot down in May But I know I’m gonna change that tune When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I said, that’s life (that’s life) and as funny as it may seem Some people get their kicks Stompin’ on a dream But I don’t let it, let it get me down ‘Cause this fine old world it keeps spinnin’ around

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate A poet, a pawn and a king I’ve been up and down and over and out And I know one thing Each time I find myself flat on my face I pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life (that’s life) I tell ya, I can’t deny it I thought of quitting, baby But my heart just ain’t gonna buy it And if I didn’t think it was worth one single try I’d jump right on a big bird and then I’d fly

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate A poet, a pawn and a king I’ve been up and down and over and out And I know one thing Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life (that’s life) that’s life And I can’t deny it Many times I thought of cuttin’ out but my heart won’t buy it But if there’s nothing shakin’ come here this July I’m gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die My, my


© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, IMAGEM MUSIC INC, SHAPIRO BERNSTEIN & CO. INC.




About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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4 Responses to IWSG October- Halloween- The Scary Part of Caregiving

  1. susan scott says:

    Even among the huge drama of caregiving Gwynn, you manage to inject humour … the drunk pirates was very imageful plus the doctor declining your request .. 🙂

    Thank you for the quotes and the FS song – it says it all ..

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Trust me Susan, if I didn’t find ways to laugh about my situation with my husband, they would have to lock me in a padded cell while I screamed my head off. The stress can be debilitating. I am hard-headed and determined to WIN this battle… as other wise MY blood pressure goes sky-high. I have the same doctor as my husband and he is recommending that I Meditate (not medicate) so I tell him about my walks along the waterfront and how they help me. Then the enormous boulder on my shoulders slips off into the bay.

      Yes, as Frank Sinatra sings… life does have its ups and downs. Thanks for your support and friendship. I do so appreciate you!

  2. My husband was seriously ill for several months while I had a one-year-old and was pregnant with our second child. Thankfully his parents were able to spend three days a week with us through the crisis. Neighbors even helped with rides and meals. It must be hard to take on so much work by yourself.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      My heart goes out to you in dealing with a baby and being pregnant while caring for your husband. Fortunately, my children are grown so I no longer have that responsibility. When I have surgery on my hips in a few months, I will need help from friends and neighbors. I’m so GLAD you had that support. Friends ARE wonderful. Thank you for your support.

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