Sue gave us a glimpse into the struggles of caring for a loved one who is fully dependent on her and how in an extreme situation like this, self-care may just mean grabbing a few Oreos.
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My reflections on the conversation:
A big “thank you” to Sue for giving me a precious hour from her day to share her caregiving experience with us. Her situation with her husband is pretty extreme but there were actually many elements I could connect with, such as having a very short horizon and only being able to focus on getting through each task at hand or having a sense of being in a “secret society” where your own life seems so far away from “normal” that you feel like an outsider.
I know Sue reminded us to not try to be superwoman or superman, but I have to say, she comes pretty close to it in my book. Navigating the bureaucratic healthcare system with the ombudsman’s office is not a walk in the park, let alone for someone who is dealing with the emotional, financial, and logistical challenges of becoming a full-time caregiver. She also talked about the importance of making therapy work for her and not accepting services that weren’t effective. Rather than giving up, she managed to tackle each of these hurdles one at a time. It’s an incredible example of how resilient we can be when we need to care for the people we love.