Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - Concerns of the Caregiver
Whether or not you are the main
caregiver for your loved one, living and/or caring for him or her can be both
rewarding and difficult. Watching someone deal with such a serious injury can
be painful but also inspirational. Sharing the small and large victories can
provide a shared pleasure and forge a stronger relationship. But setbacks and
"bad days" can be frustrating and traumatic.
You may feel:
Afraid that your loved one will start to have complications,
pressure sores, and you will not be able to
Afraid that you will not be able to accept or overcome
disabilities and are not prepared for the responsibility of caring for someone
who has an SCI.
Depressed over losing the lifestyle you previously enjoyed with
Worried about the costs of rehab and loss of income.
Frustrated with your perceptions. For example, you may feel you
do not have enough time for yourself, or you may just feel overwhelmed.
Frustrated with your loved one's perceptions. For example, you
may feel he or she is overly negative or worries too much about having to
depend on others.
The key to working through frustrations is communication.
It is important that both you and your loved one talk about what bothers you
and about what your expectation are. Remember that in a sense you are in a
"new" relationship: roles in your family may have changed dramatically. Discuss
what you are feeling about the changes and explain them. This can help you
understand each other's needs and foster a healthy relationship. Always
remember that love and support are key to your loved one's recovery and to your
well-being as a caregiver.