Holidays are always tough when you have a disabled Vet to care for. Even with the best planning and the most ordered schedule, it is still a day of tension. Families do not understand the condition. Wounds that cannot be seen are not acknowledged; thoughtless or downright hurtful comments are made; and the caregiver ends up trying to soothe on the one hand while on the other, explaining, for the twentieth time, why Joe had to leave the table in the middle of dinner to remove his prosthesis. I went through all of these things and by the end of the weekend, I was really glad it was over.
It did not used to be like this. I used to love the lights and the visitors and the shopping and the baking. My life has changed so much and not for the better, but I know I do what I do out of love and caring.
I did learn something over these holidays though. I have to take care of myself more. I soothed when I should have said "Please do not say that" and I explained when I could have said, "Why ask the same question - are you waiting for a different answer? I did not say these things of course, but I felt like it. I can only imagine what this does to my blood pressure over the long haul. So I am about to begin a list of New Year Resolutions, and at the head of the list I am going to make sure I have Care for Self as a priority. Taking time for ourselves is always last on the list, but I am going to make sure I bump it up, at least to a small daily event, for without me, my Vet will spend the rest of his life in a Veteran's Home. Not a great prospect for a man who still has most of his life in front of him.