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Newbie's first post here.
I am a WS with an IS with degenerative spine disease and wheelchair bound for about a year now and is unable to work due to constant pain and effects of multiple meds he is on. In the midst of working through mountains of disability paperwork, helping support and care for IS, frequent dr visits, and constant financial worries ... it didn't dawn on me to take a step back and breathe. It all just happened so suddenly. (IS woke up one morning unable to get out of bed.)
Last month, I had 2 surgeries and was hospitalized for a couple of days. Dr has me on a 2 month leave from work while I heal. In spite of all the pre-stocking of the pantry, cooking and wrapping up prepared plates to heat up, and making sure my IS had everything he needed before hand, I was so worried about how my husband was going to be able to take care of himself during my hospital stay. When I had just come out from surgery, and aside from a splitting migraine from the effects of general anesthesia wearing off, again...my IS was the first thing that popped into mind. (He wasn't allowed to come in until after I was deemed stable by the recovery nurses.) When I finally got to see him, my first thoughts were relief to see him next to me. But, the next morning, while I waited for our friend to pick up my husband to see me... I had my first opportunity to reflect on what we've been going through for the past year and a half. A realization dawned on me... how heavy-laden worries were and that they were pulling me into depression. I had been so caught up on trying to keep afloat with a smile on my face for my IS, that I didn't realize how depressed I was until my brain was forced to self-reflect when I was in the hospital.
Since returning back home, I began to research support groups and am thrilled when I came across Wellspouse, where I can meet new friends who share similar stories and experiences...knowing I'm not alone.
Welcome to the family, Ann!
I am sorry that you needed to find us but so glad that you did. We have many illnesses to deal with but you will find that many of the trials and feelings are the same regardless of the disease.
I see that you are also recovering from surgery. Please continue to have friends help with shopping and such until you are completely recovered. (I was only 3 weeks from back surgery when they said cancer to my IS so I do know.) I also used grocery delivery. In my area Safeway and Albertsons let you place an order on the computer and them deliver. It was easier for me to select things we would eat rather than relying on the judgement of a friend.
I'm sure others will be along soon with more helpful input.
Hugs look like this (((((Ann)))))
FIS with inoperable lung cancer in remission over 7 years, COPD, on oxygen 24/7--14 years, 2 kinds of sleep apnea, spinal fusion--His struggle ended 10/21/2011
Hi Ann, welcome to this soft landing spot for Wellspouses......it is a great group with lots of wisdom, kindness and understanding.....I look forward to getting to know you
IS-a massive stroke-6/07-hemiplegia rt.side, aphasia, diabetes, etc.-5 yrs.24/7 home care-now my darling is in NH...
Life is mainly froth & bubble-2 things stand as stone-kindness in another's trouble-courage in your own
Hello Ann, So glad you found us.... this is such a wonderful place for we spousal caregivers....I have no doubt you will find this a warm place to be with oodles of other WS's... here we are all different types of caregivers... all varying degrees of infirmities in our spouses... but we are so supportive of each other and its wonderful just knowing that we are NOT alone in this WS/IS world...
IS has TBI from MVA 2005
Although I'm sad you've need of this place, I'm glad you found our online oasis in the desert of WellSpousedom. May you receive the support and encouragement you seek here.
Leave out the wheelchair, and that was me, 7 years ago. It took me awhile longer to find WSA, but I wish I'd known about this place then!
There are many things I could say, but first and foremost, think of yourself (you'll read that in nearly every thread on this board). Also, get your local support system in place: family, neighbors, friends, church, etc. When my IS had a knee replaced, I had to return to work when he still needed help, so I set up a Lotsa Helping Hands page where folks could sign up for specific 'tasks'. I couldn't have done my job without that peace of mind.
Although it was, sadly, while recovering from your own surgery, you did manage to 'see the light' about making yourself a priority. That, and posting here are very BIG first steps into becoming a healthier and happier WS.
I look forward to reading more of your posts. And again, welcome.
IS disabled with chronic intractable pain from several inoperable, degenerative spine issues resulting from fall in '96, fibromyalgia, obstructive/central sleep apnea, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Seeking serenity with no drama and no trauma.
Hi and welcome, Ann.
I too am a newbie and I KNOW that you and I will both find encouragement, support and lots of new online friends who will know what we go through each and every day. BRAVO to you for taking this step, which will surely bring more sanity and serenity into your life!
IS (59)suffered stroke 7-30-11, has Aphasia (speech/language problems) & reading comprehension disability, A-Fib, HepC & severe sleep apnea
My IS has had back problems for 4 years, on top of the disability that he was born with. So i can definately understand some of your challenges!
And welcome, Jodi!!!
I've been a WS for 13 years.... never heard of this group until a year ago (and yes, i searched).... so I'm glad you both found us so you don't have to flounder feeling alone for as long as i did!
Becky- WS: 35, multiple autoimmune issues, incl. hypothyroidism & gluten intolerance IS: 37, born w/ Spastic CP- legally blind & uses wheelchair; C7 vertebrae fused Aug 2007, cont'd back problems; Married since June 1998.
(((((((Anne))))))))) ((((((((((((Jodi)))))))))))) welcome to a great place filled with love, Hope, and never feeling like you can't vent. We are all walking thru and need each other.
If I spend the time worrying what might happen tomorrow, I will miss the Joy and laughter and happiness that is in front of me today.
Welcome Ann and to you other Newbies if I haven't greeted you before. I'm pretty new here, too. These forums are wonderful! Everybody here is so supportive and kind!
WS: 51. IS: 46, Asperger's, Anxiety, OCD, COPD, Diabetes w/ Foot & Immunity Issues, Achilles Tendinosis (unsucc. surgery), Dual Low Freq. Hearing Loss, Vertigo, Divert./IBS/GIRD, Sleep Apnea, RLS, Sleep Disorder. Four Children: Two Disabled (ASD).
Again sorry you need this place, but so glad you found us. I'm sure you will find that sharing your burden here somehow makes it lighter.
That has been my experience, and I am so grateful to have a place to go where no explanations or apologies are required.
Prayers for a speedy recovery from your surgeries and a warm welcome!
WS (44) married 16 years to IS (66) incomplete quad, CVA, Parkinsons, cardiac, pulmonary, renal problems, fluent aphasia, dysphasia...etc. Caregiving past 10 years and each day finding the new normal.
Hi Ann and welcome to our haven. I look forward to knowing you better and for the mutual support we can offer.
You describe what so many of us traverse. I waited over 2 years for necessary hip surgery and only had it done when I could hardly walk anymore!
Your awakening to your own needs is important and a good step on the road to continued health, and your ability to be a wonderful caregiver to your IS (ill spouse).
Be thankful the thornbushes have roses!
Deb and Larry 4-16-67 1-22-13
President Well Spouse Association - BECOME A SUPPORTING MEMBER so that we can serve others in need
Thank you, everyone, for such a warm welcome!!
I have started reading different threads on the forum and feel like I have found a place among friends where I can openly share our struggles and challenges who understand and have had similar experiences. Thank you so much!
Welcome to our little corner of the online world. Sorry you need us.
You probably haven't seen this yet so I'm posting a link to a FREE respite offer only available to Wellspouses:
Take advantage of it if you can. Sounds like you could use it.
Wife passed away 08/09/10 due to the ravages of Multiple Sclerosis.
New motto is from Matthew Henry (1662-1714) - “None so blind as those that will not see.”
Welcome to Ann and Jodi!
Sorry I missed this before, when posted earlier!
I am so glad you found this most wonderful group of people, who really do "Get" where you are, in your life, right now.
Hoping you both keep on posting!
We are here for you!
WS:61/FIS died at age 60yrs -Quadriplegic since age 15. Died July 18, 2010 from heart/lung failure, due to Pseudomonas Kidney Infection; Septicemia (Antibiotic-Resistant). ~~My heart is so broken.....
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