As I have mentioned in earlier posts such as ‘My Spouse and My Caregiver’, I had questioned whether a spouse could also be a caregiver. I believe that it is possible, but only if the spouse is well aware of what they are getting into.
It was not until well into our marriage that my spouse and I realized many of the problems and issues associated with epilepsy. We were a little naïve about the condition when we got married. When I started having medical issues about two years ago, my spouse assumed the role of caregiver because of obligation not choice. I was undergoing a change in medicine, which took a considerable amount of time to successfully finish. By that time, my spouse was a nervous wreck after witnessing many seizures. We both experienced some trauma as a result. At this point you may be thinking that I’m blaming my condition for what happened, but I’m not. It did not make things easy for either of us, and caused trauma on both my spouse and myself.
We might have been able to deal with the issues related to epilepsy if we had more common interests and goals. In the years we had been together, our interests and goals have slowly changed. It had been so gradual that neither of us really noticed. I found out a lot of information about myself with a gifted therapist assistance, which I consider to be an essential part of one’s care team. The eventual decision to get a divorce was mutual. The relationship that we had at the time was not one of husband and wife, but something else.
I find myself attempting to set up a life for myself that is not too dependent on others. I don’t want a handout from anyone, and want to succeed on my own. However, I live in an expensive city full of extremely competitive people. Would the stress be worth it? Moving closer to family is always an option, but my pride is stopping me. I am currently attending graduate school and want to finish with a degree. I feel as if my self-esteem needs this accomplishment.
(This was posted late due to lack of internet access)
I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, but many negative thoughts were floating through my mind including every possible worst case scenario imaginable. However, I was determined to fly by myself and without any help.
So I tried to think of a few positive thoughts. I thought that security would stop me to search my luggage and take away my medicine, but that didn’t happen. I thought that I would have to make an emergency phone call to my neurologist, but that didn’t happen either. By the time that I got to the gate, I was starting to believe that this might go well.
When I got into the airplane, I started meditating almost immediately. It was difficult to maintain because there are so many interruptions on an airplane such as: the people sitting next to you or the flight attendant. I made it to my final destination without any seizures!
Success! A year ago I probably would have been calling my spouse and caregiver for help on the smallest of decisions. I flew to my final destination by myself and didn’t call anyone for help. Being dependent on people is not a bad thing. However, in my case, it had paralyzed me to the point where I was not making many decisions for myself.
What do you think?
I wrote in a previous blog post ( Epilepsy and Dependency ) about some feelings of dependency that I have developed because of a series of traumatic events. In an attempt to regain my sense of independence, I am getting on an airplane without any friends or family with me. Although this may seem like such a small insignificant step, I have NEVER flown by myself since my seizures started acting up a few years ago. Now that they are stable, I feel like I can fly in an airplane again.
My flight is less than a week away! I want to prove to myself and others that I am perfectly capable of taking this trip without anything happening.
I have taken certain precautionary measures, but flying in general is a little stressful for me. Why? Cramming 200 or so people on an airplane for long periods of time and with no food is a little stressful for anyone. I plan to practice my meditation techniques almost the entire time on the airplane. It is not that I am afraid of flying or anything. Stress is a seizure trigger for me, so I need to find ways to cope with stress. Do you have any suggestions? What are some great stress-reducing activities that you practice?
I will keep you updated on how the flight goes!
If you have a chronic illness, you need all the help that you can get. However, there are some things that you need to do yourself. I had always thought of myself as a fairly independent person. However, in the last two years, I have become excessively clingy and dependent on my spouse and caregiver.
What happened? I’m not particularly sure myself. For a year, I underwent a series of medicine changes, which were not very effective. The series of failures caused a lot of emotional and physical stress. A member of my care team has said that the series of failed medicine changes caused me to become excessively clingy and dependent on my spouse and caregiver. This member of my care team described it as a natural occurance that happens after you have experienced a traumatic event.
In an effort to get my independence back, I bought tickets to fly somewhere by myself. I have been encouraged to get to know myself well and try not to depend too much on others. I think this will be a great first step. I will keep you updated on how the flight goes. Wish me luck!