Welcome back to Episode #53 of The Daily Interaction podcast. Today is our first episode in year 2 of podcasting. The topic is How to Care for Your Beloved as Patient. How do you do your best in that role as a loving care-taker. What to do, what not to do, for them in this tough stage of healing and recovery.
First a story. My dad was at the hospital for a long while back in 2007. Cancer tends to take up a lot of time! We were lucky and after lots of surgeries, he was given a new chance. He’s spent the last 5 years recovering and rebuilding his life as a post-cancer patient. Good thing he is so stubborn that nothing seems to get in his way of doing things!
He is still our Tier 2 Support, as we have dubbed him, around the house for all things that break, from garbage disposal to garage doors and everything in between. He is a wonderful support to everyone around him in every way imaginable and he is thinking of doing the unthinkable. He has bought himself a caravan and he is planning to travel the US coast to coast with this monster. He went from being a cancer patient and tied to a hospital bed to now crossing the country in a giant car. He is cautious and smart but still I worry. What if something were to happen on the road?
Once a patient, always a patient?
I hope not! We need to learn to accept that even cancer patients can heal and become independent of our help.
This week, I had a reminder on a minor scale when my sweetheart went in for an outpatient surgery. Everything went really well but the healing post-surgery is still a long and painful process. I am doing this podcast on the experience of playing a caring nurse to my patient husband. Here’s to learning to care well for our beloved when they are the patient.
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How to Care for Your Beloved as a Patient Show Notes:
1. Don’t say much. Don’t engage them in conversation. Use the language of love and support. Your beloved in patient form is not his or her witty, smart, and attentive self. You need to be very wary of how much you stimulate them with what you say. Even really good and exciting news can be stimulating and challenging. So just to be safe, say as little as possible.
2. Don’t ask a lot of questions. Questions are the worst habit to break for me. I’ve been constantly asking him how he is doing, if he is hot or cold, thirsty or hungry, needs ice or more medication and on and on and on. Questions make me feel better because I feel like I am doing something but in fact, I am doing nothing. If he needs something, he’ll tell me. Less questions!
3. Be there for them in silence. Hold their hands. Touch their forehead. Look at them and smile. Send them positive good vibes and energy. Be their rock. Spend time near them. Sometimes, they say they want to be left alone but it’s mainly from the talking, not your mere presence.
4. Don’t have your own meltdown. This is the worst time to have a meltdown of your own. I cannot believe my attitude the other night from something that had happened and then suddenly realized the massive pressure I was putting on my poor husband. I totally lost perspective. Don’t do that. Save your meltdown for another day or even better yet, do away with it altogether!
5. Don’t let them have a pity party. No matter how bad things get. The tendency to feel really bad about their situation can quickly bring their spirits down, and the mind is more powerful than any other organ. Make sure to monitor them from that regard and if you hear them talking about how bad things are or how much they are in pain, change the subject and interrupt the pity party immediately.
6. Think of it as a test of your patience and attitude. This is to show you just how much you can really relate to someone else being in pain and suffering. As human beings, this is really difficult for us, and while I don’t wish the surgery upon anyone, if you find yourself in a position to comfort your beloved, make sure you are a rockstar at doing so. They will forever remember it.
Our ONE-YEAR Anniversary podcast contest winner is in. Many congratulations to Maxwell Ivey for winning a $30 Gift Certificate to Amazon. Thank you so much for playing and listening, Max! In the episode, I read the feedback from contest entries, and talked about exciting changes I’ll making in Year 2 of podcasting! You will stay tuned, won’t you?