Caring for a loved one can be a very rewarding experience. You are able to give back to a loved one in their time of need, however the stressors involved can lead to damaging symptoms and caregiver stress or burnout. The demands of caregiving can feel overwhelming at times and if left unchecked they can take a toll on the caregiver’s health, relationships and mental wellbeing. Even the most resilient people can feel the strain of caring for a loved one in need.
I open my eyes and see the popcorn ceiling with it’s dimpled surface. The bed under me might be comfortable to most, but I have “Arthur” (arthritis) bad in my back and nothing has felt comfortable for quite some time. I turn my face slowly to the right and am met with a deflated sheet; plain and cold looking. I used to tear up each morning when I looked that way because for fifty-one years, that now empty flat sheet was filled with my warm, best friend and love of my life. It’s been 5 years now, and no, I’m still not “over it.” Hell, I’m not even in our home; the home we paid off, painted, gardened, and raised our family in. I’m here in this popcorn ceilinged square called apartment 202, in the “wisdom wing.” Clever.