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The Caretaker

Updated on April 18, 2014

Patience and Kindness

Patience and kindness are elements that are needed for those who are ill and need our help, but it is also for our own selves. These things are easy to forget and we often feel selfish for even suggesting them. Have you ever gotten a blanket for someone who said they were cold, but forgot that you were cold too? Caretakers need to be in touch with their own needs too. If you don't you will find yourself resenting the person you are caring for and you will also stop loving parts of yourself.. be kind to YOU.

Being a caretaker for someone who is chronically ill can be daunting and lonely at times. No one living a so called 'normal' life can nor will ever possible understand the significance of it. There is a part of YOU that has been abandoned in order to 'be there' for another individual. There is a part of YOU lost and dare I say mostly lost to you so much that it is hard to identify your very own personality without the surname of caretaker to preface it.

Here is a bit of ranting that you as a caretaker will no doubt relate to:

I confess that I personally go back and forth with it all.. partly out of survival. I research, create diets, vitamin regiments, am the sounding ear, on and on. Then a part of me pulls back because I get overwhelmed. Yet a bit of times goes by and I somehow, because I love this person, resurface and begin it all again. In many ways I have stopped living because of it... and the person I am now does not even resemble who I used to think "me" was. So selfish at times, that is the way it feels. I know and I wish I could stay centered, but I am also an artist and oft times the dark side is too much combined with my husbands pain and loss of life essentially.

I guess I add my ranting because it needs to be understood by the victim as well as the caretaker. The fact that their pain is felt in ways that can't be explained sometimes and they, the victim, live in a world outside of ours as well. It all feels so lonely.

The guilt is tremendous as I close my eyes sometimes and try to imagine a normal life.

OK! So that is the ranting said and felt in weak moments, what to do with those feelings when you are alone in the dark late at night? Decide to make things a bit better!

I think there simply MUST be time for YOU. You cannot let things go about yourself no matter how easy that feels to slide into. TIME MUST be taken out to personally pamper yourself. Yes I said "pamper"! No that is not a bad word or concept. TIME must be given back to your lest you disappear. You know its true don't you? So, OK, right now at this very moment you need to start a list of things that feel like "pampering".

Here are a few ideas:

1) A nice bath with candles and some bath salts.

2) Do your toes! If you can't afford to have them done, do them yourself. Funny I know but when you look down on them you are going to feel a sense of being taken care of... by "you"!

3) Tell the person you are care taking that you need a "Pay it Forward" from them. This seems like an odd thing to do I know, but just a hand massage will do, something simple. They need to benefit by giving back to you as well.

4) Spend some time reading about something only you care about.

5) Learn something new! Think of something you have always wondered about and research it. If you don't know what that might be, get the book "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci". It's all about curiosity and discovering who YOU are and what YOU think.

6) Meditate, even for five minutes, to connect with your inner being.

7) Pick flowers and set them around your house.

8) Go for walks.

9) Maybe get a dog to go with you on your walks. There is nothing more dear than the laughter brought on by a pet.

10) Do art. No pressure to do anything outrageous, just play!

YOU are not alone in your moods of ranting and it is OK to do so, because it is you saying back to yourself, "Hey, what about me?" It's OK to do that sometimes. It is OK to feel at times that you almost hate this person you are caring for and just want to run. Give yourself some slack. Know that you are not alone in your feelings. It's alright. We both know that within the next second, time can be refreshed. You take on the role of nursing for this person because you honestly do care. So be kind back to that nurse OK? OK!! You do it and I will too!

You are not alone.

~~*~~

THE IMAGE IS ONE OF MY PAINTINGS. IT IS CALLED "LOST AT SEA" and is 62x75 oil on canvas.

~~*~~

TURN ON SOME MUSIC as you enjoy my lens.

Eliza "Rainbow"

Love transcends

I Would Miss You...

Normally we do things for people close to us because we love them.. cradle that as you don't want to become bitter and lose that.

I Would Miss You - Even If We Had Never Met

I think I'd miss you

even if I'd never met you.

I think there would be a space missing from me.

When I am not with you now

I cannot think of much else

than what is lacking

a few missed breaths

a few sentiments to share with someone

who understands

someone in the same space.

When I am not with you

airplanes still fly overhead

What on earth can they be thinking?

Some would think me damaged

or at least insecure

oh so needy

without love notes in my pocket.

Yet, my stance

my journey

the very essence of my said creativity

is not quite centered

when you are not within reach.

What can I say?

What excuses do I have?

Except...

it is what it is

that's all.

I am within that fairy tale

the one that little girls grew up dreaming about?

The ones with the white horse

the kiss that awakens...

a sleeping

damsel.

Goddess alert

keep your voice intact

poetry is never all that far

words that wind round dreams

unmet.

You my love

are like the breeze

of the words I want to say

I am understood

encouraged

lifted up

by you.

And I?

I love you.

I think that I would miss you

even if we had never met.

I think I would feel incomplete

never being able to figure out what was missing.

Lonely

for a song

that would never find its way to sound.

Like a rose in a vase without baby's breath

and ferns

a flower in a vase

without water

left to dry out.

Or maybe I'd just stay inside the garden

wondering

and no one would come to pick me

at all.

Yes~

I know...

that I would miss you

"even if we had never met."

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

copyright 2011

~~*~~

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz: http://www.monkdogz.com/chelseagallery/artistart/M...

FREE ART GIFTS,suitable for children plus prints, giclees, cards, available on my website: http://www.kathysart.com

THE IMAGE IS OF MY PAINTING "ORCHIDS" 36X48 OIL ON CANVAS

~~*~~

HOW ABOUT A FEW EASY POLLS?

Poll 1 of 3

THE IMAGE IS OF ONE OF MY PAINTINGS, "Bromeliad" 18x24 oil on canvas

Have you ever cared for someone ill for an extensive time?

See results

Poll 2 of 3

IMAGE IS OF MY PAINTING "The Dancer" 36x48 oil on canvas

Has anyone had to care for YOU when ill?

See results

Poll 3 of 3

IMAGE IS OF MY PAINTING "Mermaid Baby" 20x24 oil on canvas

Do you worry that there will be no one to take care of you if you ever need it?

See results

More Elisa "DANCING" Don't forget to DANCE

You NEED to DANCE.. your heart and being must maintain flight and hope and caring for who you are too.. DANCE!!

sculptures

People form things from their hands.. it starts with their hands.

The Most Important Thing

LOVE.. love YOU, and love those around you.

A THUMBS UP IS SOOO APPRECIATED TOO!!

Let me know you were here

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    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      5 years ago

      My ex husband was the caretaker for his aunt and then her daughter! It was quite heartwarming to see how he so deliberately cared for his relatives. If he didn't have his career as a scientist, I believe he would have been a brilliant doctor with a wonderful bedside manner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This has touched my heart deeply, and I'm in tears...they are healing...and I'm grateful for such tenderness and love here.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      i did not have the chance to take care both of my parents because i live in the other side of the world. if i had the wings, i would. they visited me often in my dreams and they let me feel that something's wrong. they are now in the spiritual world. squidangel blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Brilliant thoughts and impressive works and words of art!

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 

      6 years ago

      A wonderful lens, caring for someone in need has its rewards.

    • Shana rios Chavez profile image

      Shana rios Chavez 

      6 years ago

      great lens and wonderful art work thank you!!

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 

      6 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. Caretakers are special people who do a very tough job. They need taken care of as well.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      6 years ago

      I appreciate the honesty you show here. I have been a long-time caregiver and have had almost all thoughts and feelings that you describe. I especially liked your suggestion: "Tell the person you are care taking that you need a "Pay it Forward" from them...They need to benefit by giving back to you as well."

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 

      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens, there is so much great content here. Wonderful work!

    • profile image

      hamshi5433 

      6 years ago

      I will soon be working as a carer and really enjoyed reading this page..Patience and love are 2 most important factors every care worker must have..Happy New Year to you :)

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 

      6 years ago from McLaughlin

      My brother in law takes care of my sister with MS. For the past seven years he has had to do EVERYTHING for her. I particularly enjoyed this article on many feelings associated with being a caregiver!

    • kathysart profile imageAUTHOR

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      @sponias lm: What a lovely friend you have been Christina. Merry Christmas to you too.

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 

      6 years ago

      I admire your sensitivity. Your literary talent and your paintings reflect your sensitive spirit. Thank you for writing about those who need support. When you are a caretaker you understand what kind of problems many people have to face in their lives, and you stop complaining about your pain. You understand that your problems can be solved, while other problems are too complicated.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      of course, thumbs up for this sincere written lens. you are a patient caregiver towards your hubby.

    • kathysart profile imageAUTHOR

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      Thank you to anyone who comes this way and reads my lens. Blessings to you all.

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