Q1. What has been your caregiving experience?
Soror Norma: It can be a very taxing job. I can endure it because I am a woman of faith “I can do all thru Christ Jesus who strengthens me”. If you have that in your mind, you must have a spiritual means to take one day at a time. One day your loved one may be up or down. So, when you feel stressed, you must have God, a friend, a book, or a walk for relief. You are the weapon the person has around to transfer their pain to (transference). Often patients let it out on the person closest to them. That may be the caregiver. You must be strong to handle their pain. You may even question if this is the person you love?
Q2. How would you equate this experience to handling conflicts in a relationship?
Soror Norma: You have to learn to compromise and not wear your feelings on your sleeve. Know when your partner is hurting. They may in fact be in more pain than you are. And they may be scared. You may even feel alienated or attacked by your loved one. You probably feel the need to keep the situation private and not seek help.
Q3. Have medical providers been able to offer assistance?
Soror Norma: I would encourage others to get help and share how you are feeling. Get Help! Talk to your doctor and your partner’s doctor. Support groups may help some as well as getting uplifted through your church.
Q4. Are there tools you embraced or would recommend for caregivers?
- Try to keep your voice down and not show anger
- Control your emotions
- Find something to bring you relief- reading a Bible- to take yourself out of the caretaker mode
- Be forgiving and understanding
- Be an advocate for your patient
- Know how you can be a part of the process