Triggers for caregivers

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, May 29, 2019

Hi to all caregivers here! This past week I really got to thinking about all us caregivers here as I had a set of unusual triggers hit me, as the kids say these days ‘right in the feels’. I’m wondering if other caregivers, present and past, get effected by triggers as I do?

First was when our daughter was admitted to the hospital for a serious illness. Other than for visiting in a hospital I hadn’t been in the ‘working areas’ since I had been caring for my wife. As I drove the hour from our home to the hospital to be with our daughter I was overcome with not only my worry for her, but by a crush of emotions as I was overwhelmed by memories of the times I had to be in this crisis mode with my wife. When I arrived I got hit with another trigger as our daughter was in the same hospital where my wife got her first diagnosis of her brain cancer. Walking through those same front doors, I actually had to sit and cry in the lobby before I went back into the ER. In short order she was transferred to the ICU. I had not been in an ICU since my wife spent days in the NICU at Mayo. The noises, IVs, rush of nursing, regular monitoring, the feelings of fear, etc. triggered wave upon wave of emotion and memories.

Thankfully our daughter’s condition did improve and she was able to return home and is well on the mend. Then the next kind of crazy trigger hit.

Before getting ill our daughter had arranged to adopt a rescue Lab. She couldn’t go to pick up her dog so I made the trek and agreed to keep her for the week until she could join us. Her name is Stella and I was slammed again. Shaking, ribs sticking out, sores on her body, and then the intermediary said to me ‘you better be a good caregiver, she need’s a lot of TLC.’ Just him using that word sent me into a spin again.

Stella is improving and a truly sweet dog, then another wave. This is the time of year I have a lot of trigger events in quick succession. This was the time of year my wife suffered incredibly in her final days. It’s also when we celebrate and remember her birthday, our anniversary, and then the day of her passing. I know my emotions are far more raw and release easier in life. Heck, I even cried watching EndGame with our grandsons! But this time of year, when I am hit with trigger, upon trigger, upon trigger, I am a bigger emotional mess than usual.

I’d appreciate hearing how you, as caregivers, deal with your triggers?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Caregivers Support Group.

I delete everything under "recent calls " when cleaning up the list of calls that pile up, except for my 2 adult children . I leave them there cause when I'm having a bad time, I just check the list and smile. These tiny tricks help me.

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Hi everyone, while we are talking about how to avoid telephone calls, here are a couple more idea that might be helpful. First, if you still have a landline (which I do, because I have my own business), check with your telephone provider to see if they can put a telemarketing blocker on your line. We turned that on and the number of calls dropped from 5-6 per hour to only a couple a week. (And it was free!)

On your mobile (cell) phone, some phones have built-in telemarketing blocker features, but if yours does not, there are apps like TruCaller that allow you to identify and ignore spammers so the phone doesn't even ring. We have implemented both and are now enjoying a blessed quiet in our home. 🙂

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Yes I also went online to have spam calls blocked. Now when the computer in the sky recognizes the call as "spam" but I haven't blocked that number, the phone rings with a message icon saying POTENTIAL SPAM. So then I just go back to received calls, and now block that number, and it won't ring again. Big drop in these calls.

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