When both partners are unhealthy

By shawnamom Latest Reply 2011-11-16 23:07:15 -0600
Started 2011-11-13 22:05:48 -0600

Usually over our years of marraige when one is sick the other has been healthy to help care for the other both physically and mentally however this time my husband is battling a colon issue plus cancer when i just got diagnosed. It is hard for me to give the encouragement my husband needs from me and likewise my husband is struggling to encourage me to keep good with all my stuff.

6 replies

Caroltoo 2011-11-13 22:28:54 -0600 Report

Hi, Shawnamom,

This is a challenge that my husband and I face also. We've had a similar sharing of roles earlier in marriage as you have described. It's a 30 year marriage during which we have built a lot of trust in each other.

I find the emotional support is still very much there for both of us which is rather strange when you consider my husband is 10 years into the degenerative process of Alzheimer's. Regardless, he still greets me each morning with a cheerful and cheering "Good morning!" Now some mornings that is all he manages all morning, but it reminds me of all the other times he has been sooooo supportive over the years and I take solace in that memory.

Physical support is more challenging. I have simplified what we do, make lists to keep track of things so I don't have to try to remember all of it, and plan ahead so we have fewer trips to make to store/doctor, etc. Also, plan a short fun outing around a drearier task like seeing the doc.

Talking helps. Your husband has cancer. That has to produce some gut wrenching fear in both of you. It is something you can talk about…just pick the time carefully. Early in Wayne's Alzheimer's I talked to him about what I could and could not do for/with him. He wants to stay in the home. I shared, cause he was getting a bit growly at the time, that I would take care of him as long as he would not be nasty, abusive, and violent. I'm not physically big enough to handle a violent male. He heard me. Five years later he is still a gentle soul, just doesn't always know who I am. Interestingly, what he verbalizes is that he doesn't know who I am, but he does know he loves me. Those years of trust do pay off in the relationship. We just have to accept that the relationship may change to fit the new circumstances.

Just being diagnosed is a shock, for sure, but you can take charge of your diabetes and improve your situation.

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-16 23:07:15 -0600 Report

That is so beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. Of all the diseases this one just seems to be a little bit extra cruel. I commend you on your big heart, obvious gentle soul and the love you have for your husband. God Bless you both, Mickey

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2011-11-14 06:34:06 -0600 Report

Carol, you are an angel.

Caroltoo 2011-11-14 10:30:46 -0600 Report

Thank you, Tom, but seriously, what else could I do? I've loved this man for 35 years. We've cared for each other all that time. We've shared our life and love with friends, parishioners, and foster children. I truly believe we are here on this earth to help each other grow through our lives.

On another subject: saw a post of yours recently indicating that spell check on the google toolbar works in this website. It was a happy discovery and you are correct. I've always used it in Word, but didn't realize I had access to it via google in here! Many mahalos!!!

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2011-11-14 11:47:45 -0600 Report

Your still an angel, you not only care for Wayne, but try to include him in every aspect of the day. On the spell check there are some days that I can hardly spell my name!

pixsidust 2011-11-14 00:45:32 -0600 Report

Thank you for sharing from a place of love. You speak with wisdom to pick the right battles and appreciate what you have and had…

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