Caregiver Harbor Articles

Reality Hit Hard When I Got the Flu
Frank Blood

Reality Hit Hard When I Got the Flu

I Was Almost Unable to Do My Caregiving Work

Several days ago, I woke up with a sore throat. Within a few hours, my entire body ached, I had difficulty maintaining balance and I couldn’t focus. I dreaded the thought of not having enough energy to take care of my loved one; especially because she needs assistance with everything – including standing and walking. I made it through the first day and the second only by the Grace of God and sheer force of will.

The third morning, my wife woke up complaining of a sore throat. Within a few hours, she had problems standing and walking even with my assistance. I nearly couldn’t get her to the bathroom and I realized that I wasn’t physically able to take care of her that day. With all the force I could muster, I got her to the hospital where she was admitted for treatment of Type A flu.

Today is day 5 for me. My thought this morning is on how important it is that I take better care of myself, so I can help my wife without having to push, pull or shove because of a lack of strength and balance. I know I did as good a job as possible under the circumstances and I’m grateful I was able to get her to the hospital without having to call an ambulance but I’m also sorry that it was so uncomfortable for her.


We want the best for our loved ones

Normally I’m able to lift properly and help maneuver her gently. That is how I want it to be for us for as long as possible. However, I see that while I’ve maintained my diet and aerobic exercising, I’ve let my upper-body strength diminish by not working with weights for a long time now. It’s always so easy to let something go, isn’t it? And there’s a price to pay later, isn’t there? I think we all fall prey to the temptation to let things that don’t seem urgent slide, so we can take care of pressing matters. But it is a mistake.

There are a plethora of commitments in our lives just relating to jobs and family and there never seems to be time left over for what we enjoy doing for ourselves. Yet, cutting back on strength training is something I just can’t afford. I’m not talking big muscles here, just an adequate ability to safely lift and carry without straining. I need more time for myself and I need to spend more time keeping myself fit. It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and.

I used to spend only about ten minutes a day or so lifting small barbells. Not a lot of time but it was good enough. I don’t remember why I stopped however, I’m sure it had something to do with cramming another little activity into my life. That is the way it is with me. I’m grateful for the realization that my wife’s comfort is so important to me and that I have the opportunity to get back into shape before it’s too late. Starting right now, I’m going to get to work on it. There’s never a better time than the present.

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6 comments on article "Reality Hit Hard When I Got the Flu"


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