March 3, 2015

10 Things That Piss Me Off About Chronic Illness and Caregiving

Having a chronic illness and caregiving -- both -- are tiring. And often frustrating. In different ways, but sort of the same too.

It's not about being happy or unhappy, per se. It's just stressful and overwhelming....and it gets real easy to see some annoying things about your situation.

So I'm gonna take a moment here to get out some of the peeves I have, m'kay? Because it's healthy to do so, right? Right.

1. It's chronic, meaning continuing for a long time.

2. The long, ongoing nature of chronic illness (and caring for someone who is chronically ill) drains you and wears you down, with little or no reward.

3. It seems that it is less serious to those on the outside looking in, because the chronically ill person might not necessarily be dying.

4. The world sees a handful of disabled people doing extraordinary things, so maybe you should too! When in reality, just managing daily life activities while maintaining a decent attitude and sense of humor is extraordinary enough.

5. We often don't have anywhere to put our anger and frustrations besides on each other, causing more stress.

6. Managing it all takes so much time. Phone call after phone call after request for help after swallowing of pride after coordination of schedules and and and....

7. Our state (and probably most states) has a program that will pay a friend or family member of a sick person to be their caregiver....unless your caregiver is your spouse.

8. "Spousal caregiver" is apparently an oxymoron.

9. You can't take a vacation from chronic illness. If you try to take some kind of "vacation", it comes with you.

10. What she said:

I'm beginning to think this "barely-holding-it-together" feeling is life-long. And that kind of pisses me off. Will I ever feel like I have my shit together?

Bonus: You don't ever feel like anything will go according to plan. This has become painfully obvious lately, as I think I've had maybe two days that went the way I thought they would in the last two weeks.

But hey, I'm exercising my patience muscle and may one day be able to do the splits because I've become so flexible!

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