My wife, in her endearing way, was making me a special surprise dinner. She had all my favorite foods in play and was cooking up a special recipe of curry. She was testing her new expensive pots that were supposed to be the coolest thing on the market. Then she touched one of the metal handles and burnt the heck out of herself.
Instead of coming home to a surprise dinner I was greeted by my wife with her hand in cold water talking to her physician. The hand soon blistered and we were off to the doctor to treat second degree burns. Her hand was coated with Silverdeen and wrapped bigger than a catcher’s mitt.
That night I found myself doing things my wife would normally do. I put away the dinner she started to make, gave my dog her medicine, gave my wife her medicine, cleaned the kitchen, checked back on my wife and got ready for bed. The next morning it started all over again. A list of things that I don’t normally do, interfering with my morning routine.
Just as I was about to pull into the office, I started thinking about my morning routine. Oh, my goodness, I forgot to brush my teeth. I never forget to brush my teeth, how could that be? Then I looked in the mirror and realized that I forgot to shave. No, I don’t have early onset dementia but I started realizing that I just became a caregiver for one short day.
I was so invested in doing the right thing for my wife, dog and our household chores that I forgot to do the things for myself. This is how it must be when you’re a family member taking care of a loved one. You are so preoccupied wanting do the right thing and not miss anything you absolutely forget to do basic things for yourself, things that you would never in a million years forget.
I have a renewed sympathy for those of you that take care of the elderly. It is such an unselfish thing to do. You are true hero’s.