It’s nearly every caregiver’s worst nightmare: when something happens and the caregiver becomes the one needing care. This is a scenario that David is all too familiar with. David is the caregiver to his wife who is a wheelchair user. In 2014, David fell through an open manhole and experienced damage to his spinal column.
“I went from being able to pick my wife up and put her in the car and to lift her from bed to her chair and countless other tasks to laying beside her in our bed and hurting.”
Thus began a new chapter in David’s and his wife’s life. David had fusion surgery on his back following his accident. Then he had a stroke. This was all followed by a stay in rehab to help David regain movement and function in his right. Not only was David unable to care for his wife during this time, but he was also discovering how to deal with his own disability. How to come to terms with one day being able “to carry up to 180 lbs on my shoulder” and the next “not being able to even climb stairs now unless there are handrails.”
Through his efforts during rehab, David has made progress in his physical strength and is back to providing care for his wife. And though things certainly aren’t the same as before, David talks about how together they have adapted to their new life.
“We have grown in our consideration and love for each other. We have learned that in spite of our disabilities and setbacks, we are by no means the worse off. But we survived ... because there is nothing else we can do. Just keep going on and keep striving to gain a little ground each week.”
Are you a caregiver who has suddenly found yourself needing care? How did you manage? What tips do you have for other caregivers in this situation? Send us your thoughts so we can share them with other AbleThrive readers.