November 7, 2013

How Honest Should A Caregiver Spouse Be?

I have had this question going through my mind this week. I do have a tendency to over think a lot of things lately & this is probably one of those times. But I have learned that when a single question pops up all the time, I need to think it through. So here is me thinking it through.

This question came to my mind this past Sunday (Nov 3) while I was at church. My church family knows that Daron has moved back to the Battle Creek VA facility & that led to lots of questions. Here are a few that I heard:

--"Did he move back because his health is declining?"
--"That's farther away. Did Daron think of that?"
--"Why did he make the choice to move back?"

Now, how am I supposed to answer those questions without sounding like a horrible wife? Should this be my response?

"No Daron's health isn't declining. Yes it is farther away, but to be honest with you, Daron only thinks about himself these days. He could care less that he is farther away from his family & friends. He chose to move back because the nursing home in Lowell wouldn't cater to his every demand or offer activities that centered around him."

Or is that way to honest? Can you see my predicament?

The above response is the honest to goodness truth & I feel that I have every right to share that with people. However, I also understand that that would be airing my dirty laundry a bit to much. But how do I remedy the predicament?

I am not the kind of person to always dip everything in sugar before sharing it with people. Granted I have gotten better as the years have gone by. Thankfully I have grown up a lot through this. So I don't always say the first thing that pops into my head (or at least I am getting better at it). When this whole situation started two years ago, I was extremely careful of what I said & what I didn't say. I trusted a very small group of very close friends with the truth. When people outside of that trusted group asked how things were going, my answer was "We are still hanging in there. Thank you for your prayers. Daron is doing ok." I figured that as long as I was vague, everything was good.

Now that we are over 2 years in, I am tired of being vague & wearing that happy go-lucky mask that goes along with it. I want people to know what has happened & why Daron is no longer in the home. I want people to know the honest to goodness truth of being my husbands caregiver. There are days that I want to stand on my soapbox & tell everyone I meet what has been going on. I want to do all of that.....but I also want to protect my family. I don't want to speak ill of my husband. I don't want to make people think he is a horrible person. I want people to remember Daron the way he was before the MS completely took over.

So I guess the big question is......How do I roll all of my "wants" into a perfect answer to all of the questions I receive? How do I honestly answer those questions without throwing my husband or my family under the bus? How do I honestly answer those questions without sounding like a bitter wife?

Honestly.....I have no clue. I will just have to let God speak through me each time someone asks me a question. I will have to constantly pray that God will speak through me on a regular basis. Until the time when my words are completely from God, I will have to guard my answers & pause before I respond to anyone.

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