You will be in an altered state for many moons...

If your Achilles tendon is ruptured, torn, or even simply inflamed with tendonitis, your life is about to change. Mine sure has - so I decided to chronicle these events, and create a place for others to share their experiences, advice, resources and emotions during our journey toward recovery.

Nothing in this blog is meant to take the place of the medical advice of your physician. Follow the instructions of your medical professionals, not me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

9. Taking care of the caregiver

The thing about caregivers is that when we're this "stove up," we need them.  So...we must behave ourselves.  Yes, we're the injured one, and yes, we're the one in pain, but this is hard on our caregiver as well.

When they ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Here's my favorite caregiver - my husband Michael.  I want us to stay as happy as we are in this picture!

One thing I've noticed over the past couple of days is that our birth orders are in full force.  What I mean is that all those little idiosyncracies of our relationship seem to be magnified - especially the fact that our roles are reversed in a way.  I am the oldest among my siblings, and he's the youngest.  Even though in our marriage, he's older than me, and definitely protective and a good provider, we still interact normally in a way that reflects our birth order of oldest/youngest.  I usually "baby" on him a bit, and I'm normally VERY independent.  So now, with this forced dependency and general weakness on my part, our roles are reversed and it's stressful.

So - I'm learning a few pointers:

Keep in mind that our pain is upsetting to those who love us.  It's scary.  They don't know how to gauge it.  They want to help but they need our direction and our feedback. 

Try not to run their legs off.  Try to be thoughtful when it comes to asking them to bring you things or do things for you.  Tell them how much you appreciate all they're doing for you.  And then tell them again.  DON'T WHINE.

Try to smile.  Don't look like THIS:

Try instead to look like THIS:

By "this" I mean - brush your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face, keep yourself neat and clean, and try to SMILE.  Life's not so awful - you've had surgery, which is nearly certainly going to be extremely SUCCESSFUL, and you're going to be able to walk and run and play again one of these days.  It's going to be OK!  Don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself and getting all unkempt and nasty.  If you spill something down the front of your T-shirt, CHANGE THE SHIRT!  You'll feel better, and your family will certainly like you better.

That being said, don't hesitate to forcefully ask for help if your caregiver's not "getting it."  Don't rely on sending subliminal messages, or lay there fuming because they're intuitively meeting your needs - TELL them (politely) what you need.

And whatever you do - RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO GET UP AND DO IT YOURSELF.  You know your doctor told you to stay off that foot!  Lay back down!


  1. you're so pretty when you're stove up!

  2. Yes, I was just looking at myself and realizing that I need to practice what I preach - so - off to the bathroom for another scary session of personal hygiene!