Friday, January 13, 2012

On Letting Someone Else Take Care of My Man, and Yes, I Have Issues

I have shared with you before that when I travel for work, we have hired help that comes and helps Michael get up and take care of his personal business.  We don't do this when I am home, because I have a hard time dealing with it.

Right before New Year's, I pulled my back, and it's made some things hard.  Like lifting my husband, and bending over.  Michael's morning routine involves at least three transfers, and lots of bending over, reaching over, stretching side to side, it's quite the twister game that ends with a handsome man up, dressed and fresh for the day!

I am thankful for a husband who loves me, who knows me, and who looks out for me.  Even though I was home this morning, his scheduled bathroom day, he insisted he have a home health care provider come out to take care of the twister game.

I tried to resist this.
But then, I heard a voice in my head.
It was as if I was my own friend, giving myself advice:
"Take this break. You need it.  It will be a good thing. You can get out. Go to Starbucks, or go to the gym."

But, it is hard.
It's hard to hand control over.
I recognize that I can't take care of my husband when I'm not here.
I get that.
But I hate to let go of that control when I am here.
Because I know how good I am at it. And quick.  And I have this amazing ability to put everything back where I got it/where it belongs.  Not to sound full of myself, but what wife doesn't know better than anyone else what is good for her husband?
So yeah, I have a bit of a trust issue.

I also have a guilt issue.
Right now, our home health care is paid for by Medicaid.  The State of Virginia pays for it. This is a huge blessing to our little family right now.  I have never been one to like a handout, so I had a bit of a moral struggle accepting help this morning, knowing I could have done it. I was here. Would it have been hard? Yes.  Would it have hurt? At times, for a couple of seconds, yes.  But, I could have done it.

Okay, so those are the issues with having someone here.  Then, there are a couple of more. Yes, I have a lot of issues.  :)  I am an all or nothing kind of girl.  So, if I'm going to have issues, I'm going to have them all.

There is the privacy issue.
This one has gotten better over time.  I've gotten used to having people all up in my place when they're taking care of my husband.  I don't particularly like coming home and finding there is NO toilet paper in MY bathroom, and long black hairs on the floor.  It's not my favorite thing to see laundry that has clearly been folded by someone else, and I really don't like trying to find something in my kitchen because someone else put it back in some random spot. (Maybe I should bust the label maker back out and make places more clear?)

Anyway. I'm super proud of myself.
Because this morning, I got up, took care of the dogs, laid Michael's phone on his chest, and headed to the gym.  I did *NOT* cry!! I took a cardio/strength class at the local REC Center.  And I liked it.  And on my way home, I got the text from Michael: "Done."

I asked him, is the coast clear? Once I got the confirmation that it was (I still have major issues about actually BEING HERE while someone else is here taking care of him), I came home.  He was up, dressed, fresh. I made breakfast, and we got on with our day, and it has been a great day.

Not to pat myself on the back too hard... because this was Michael's idea after all... but I'm proud of myself.  For pulling this off with no tears.  And, for going to the gym.

I should do this again.  Sometime.


Alicia Reagan said...

Your all-or-nothing comment cracked me up!! You are a wonderful wife Dana, and your hubby is an awesome guy. You two really define the word marriage. I'm glad you let, glad you left, and glad you...can't think of an "L" word to say that I'm glad you didn't cry. Good job.:)

Anonymous said...

Ugh...wrote this huge, long response and it got zapped...let me try and recreate it from my frazzled twin momma brain! I'm really proud of you for relinquishing control. As a certified (yes I have documentation somewhere) control freak, I get exactly where you are coming from on this.

But if you go a little deeper, I think perhaps you and I share the same insecurity...for me, it's about someone else taking care of my boys or cleaning my house...even for a day. That insecurity is: Oh my gosh...if someone else can do what I do, what I do isn't as important as I thought. We all want to feel indispensable. We all want that validation that what we do is hard work and no one but no one can do it like we do. So when you walk out that door and someone else walks in, it's like you are admitting someone else has the capacity to take care of your husband. And that's a tough one.

But here's the thing I hold onto with my boys: I admit that, yes, someone else can do what I do. That person can care for my boys, clean up after them and teach them new things. But there's no one they'd rather have doing those things for them than me. So, in the end, you are invaluable and your husband values you enough to let someone else do the heavy lifting from time-to-time. And who knows...maybe having someone else there will make you look like even more of a rock star. xo ~Abby

Anonymous said...

Dont even get me started on the govt assistance. I used to work with section 8 recipients....believe are more than deserving in comparison to some!!!

cindy said...

Proud of you girl...for accepting some help :)

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Thanks so much for the support, ladies. I really appreciate it. Abby - you hit the nail on the head!! My issues are SO rooted in insecurity! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your boys (who are SUPER cute btw!) and how you get through it.

gentrier said...

Dana, when it gets hard for you to let the control go, focus on how good Michael feels knowing he got ready for the day on his own (well with an aide) and got to relieve you of this burden. Men need that:)

Katie said...

I know this was written a year a go almost 2 years ago actually but I relate totally to this however at this point in time we do not have any help. Before we were married my husband had an aid everyday and we were planning on keeping his aide on just cutting back days and that ended up not working out. I feel incredibly guilty having someone come in while I am home because I don't want them to think I am unable to do it or that I don't want to do it and like you said no one can do it as well as I can