Aging Well | Last Active: Oct 23, 2020 | Replies (51)
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Hi @joyces I know you asked for women's responses on this, but thought I'd chime in anyway 🙂 I'm Scott and I was my wife's caregiver during her war with brain cancer. I quickly learned three things: caregiving is an intense grind; the disease our loved one is fighting can easily take over their prior personality, emotional stability, etc.; and once chronic disease attacks a loved one, life is never even for both parties nor what we want, hoped for, or planned.
I know each patient, life, disease, etc. is unique, so all I can do is share what I experienced, saw, etc. First when my dad began to decline I saw my mom badger him endlessly to do all the things he used to be able to do. He simply couldn't, nor was he able (psychologically) to explain his feelings, verbalize how he felt about his new limits, etc. Second I saw how difficult it was for my wife to come to terms with her limitations/changes from her cancer. Many were physical, but many were inexplicable mental ones such as suddenly not liking many of the interests and activities she used to enjoy, even to forgoing certain foods that had been lifelong favorites. I then saw our 42 year old son suffer a serious heart attack. He is physically recovered, but the psychological toll it is taking continues and is far more challenging for him! There are things, simple things, he is still too afraid to do post-attack.
Personally I suffered a stroke and lost my sight and hearing on one side. While the doctors told me there were lots of things I could get back to doing, it took me months longer to do some and I still will not do certain of them. My best friend simply doesn't understand why I would 'limit myself' when I refuse to do certain things that I used to do, but I simply can't!
I believe many times when we have life-altering or chronic health issues we feel fragile. Often times it is short lived, but sometimes the effects on us last far longer, become ingrained, while some are simply impossible to overcome/ignore. I think it may be some level of depression, but I'm certainly not a medical professional of any kind so that is just my view from the feelings I personally have over my own health issues. The human mind is so incredibly complex!