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Newly disabled Caregiver: How to deal?


Littlest_Lushie
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Hey guys- Lil Dovah here! A few weeks ago my wonderful Daddy was at work and was temporarily shifted to a different department for one day- just to help out the other production line. Needless to say, this was a new type of work for him and now has a badly injured back as a result of too much strain on his muscles.

 

He truly is a wonderful caregiver to me, but now due to his back injury- he's finding it super difficult (almost impossible) to do what he used to engage me in little space and just interact with me over all. Hugs, bath time, playing, coloring, and more have really taken a hit. He is mainly restricted to a comfy chair and laying down in bed. This also impacts how he performs as my Caregiver, physically and mentally/emotionally. He is getting more frustrated, hence not feeling well enough to engage himself in any sort of Daddy space.

 

I've been struggling with a bit of depression before his back injury and have found it difficult to get into little space, and now since his injury- things have gotten even more difficult for me. Regardless, as any good little should, I take care of him to the best of my abilities and show him daily how much I love/care for him. However, I feel like my needs as a little have been completely forgotten. And to facilitate a little space by myself is very difficult because well- Daddy is right near by, so it only makes sense to interact with him and help the littleness flourish!

 

So my question is- have any of you experienced something similar? Any advice that you can think of? Could be ways to engage in little space without too much strain for my Daddy or even ways to help me cope with lessened little space!  

 

 

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I doubt any of your needs have been forgotten. I'm sure he is very aware off all the things he cannot do that he probably misses as much as you.

 

What about reading stories, or playing some sort of game together?

 

Please make sure that it's clear your frustration is with the situation, and that you aren't upset with him for being hurt.

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True, he hasn't forgotten about them and I think most of his frustration is due to the fact that he can't be the Daddy that he would like to be. Its understandable that his back is priority. And he and I both know that each other is frustrated at the situation- and not each other. I think its easy to get resentful, but he and I try to remind ourselves that all of these things have been out of our control.

 

We always do bed time story, and I always read him his favorite book when he needs a pick me up. Hmm. Game. We like to play video games together, but thats not as little intensive as I would like. We can maybe do like Go Fish or something of that nature for like card games? 

 

You best believe that he knows that I don't fault him for being hurt :)

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This too shall pass - it can be a huge change for someone who is used to being active to have something crop up, and I hope this injury shall pass. Adjustments can be made however, and while I hate to project scenarios, once a back injury is acquired, it can be a bit of a stubborn beast, so it's worth looking at some possibilities for when issues crop up again. I can understand that a change may feel like, since the former things you associated with being little aren't happening, that your needs aren't going to be met for a while. But I can assure you it just needs a temporary shift of focus, and a fair bit of creative thinking. Many people tend to get into the mindset that if they're not doing things like they used to, it must mean they are no longer able to do things at all.  I have the same problems even now, but I've had to change my approach, and learn to compromise. There are things I literally cannot do anymore, but that doesn't make me less of a person, less of a little, less capable. It just requires a bit of a mental shift for everyone involved to adjust to the 'new normal' and get creative.

 

For example, getting a tablet might be an idea - I have chronic illnesses which means I am not often able to do much with my son, who is hyperactive. So we compromise by playing games on the tablet, watching videos and CGI clips.  It's an investment, but I've found them immeasurably useful, especially when I have really rubbish days. Audiobooks, cartoons, sketching, and so on, can all be done with a tablet or iPad. There's tonnes of apps for darn near everything now, and we always have a wide selection of things to do.  I love my Audible app! So many stories to listen to.

 

If your Daddy can sit up, then he can brush your hair, which may be something you find enjoyable. It may take a lot of supportive pillows or a wedge pillow behind him to make sure he keeps good posture, but it's worth investing in. You can colour things for him, of course, and he can still hug you - just adjust so there's no pull upward or downward. Is he struggling with standing? Do you have an office chair with wheels he can sit in? This way he can sit down and be with you during bath times and also be able to wheel about a bit (this is what I did for the longest time when my son was younger).  Again, posture, posture posture!

 

Non-disabled tend to freak out at the mere idea of using mobility aids - aids are to help you move about and make life easier, NOT to advertise to everyone you're an 'invalid' - what an awful phrase, in-valid. Ugh. Again, mental shift; if using a cane would help your Daddy move around a bit then it might be worth him tucking his pride away for a bit and get one so he can move round the house with a bit more ease. This may help with regard to him also feeling a bit more independent (I don't know if you're having to steady him from one piece of furniture to the next, so I'm making an assumption here, but it's something I thought of as it's something I also had to get my head round when it first became part of my Me). 

 

These are just a few ideas of things I currently do. I hope it might help, and may help fire some ideas you can create together. I wish you both healing and patience (from an impatient, sometimes very stubborn person!)

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True, he hasn't forgotten about them and I think most of his frustration is due to the fact that he can't be the Daddy that he would like to be. Its understandable that his back is priority. And he and I both know that each other is frustrated at the situation- and not each other. I think its easy to get resentful, but he and I try to remind ourselves that all of these things have been out of our control.

 

We always do bed time story, and I always read him his favorite book when he needs a pick me up. Hmm. Game. We like to play video games together, but thats not as little intensive as I would like. We can maybe do like Go Fish or something of that nature for like card games? 

 

You best believe that he knows that I don't fault him for being hurt :)

It sounds like you both have a healthy attitude about what's going on. Is this likely to be a long healing process? Maybe a brand new game, or card game is in order.

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@LolitasDaddy:

 

We surely do. I'm not sure how long the healing process will be. He went to the doctor yesterday, xrays have come back wonderful and there is literally nothing physically wrong with his back. Just extremely overstrained muscle. He has some muscle relaxers waiting for him at the pharmacy- but since the doctors visit his back has been feeling lots better. But, we aren't out of the woods yet. 

 

@SpinSpinSugar:

 

Thank you for that wonderful, thoughtfut reply! He and I do currently bring his extremely comfortable and supportive computer chair into the bathroom with us for bathtime. It is a fair compromise for us both. And a tablet is a great idea regardless of whether or not he improves sooner or later. He can walk indepently for short periods and standing is not usually a huge issue. As I had said in my response to LolitasDaddy, he visited the doctor and its seeming to be improving steadily. No major issues with spine or discs in his back- simply very strained muscles. I'm not sure how much of this was dilligent care or just a shift in mental outlook. But, I'll continue to try to apply these suggestions until he back to his good ol' self :)

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