September 23 – How Do I Pace Myself?

by Doris Jean Shaw

How do you pace yourself for the emotional roller coaster that illness brings?
The doctor and nurse came to the house to see how my husband Bud is doing. They had just left, after assuring me I was doing all the right things; it meant he could stay at home where he wanted to be for a while longer. Why didn’t I feel better?

Everything revolves around taking Bud’s blood pressure, giving him his meds and seeing that my husband stays hydrated. I operate on auto pilot. Thinking can put you in a mood where thoughts like “I should have” and “what if” crowd in and take over. I avoid that rut if at all possible.

Things take longer and I struggle not to get frustrated or overwhelmed. Our morning routine of breakfast, meds, and shower takes over two hours at least and must be completed in time for my husband to watch his favorite TV show. The day is half gone and I have not had time to sit down and drink my coffee. How do I pace myself for the long haul? I just take it one task at a time and not worry about what comes next.

Next, is lunch. My husband has become a picky eater, only wanting things he can hold without using a utensil. A nap and a beer round out the afternoon. Where has the day gone? When I start getting him ready for bed it takes between 40 minutes and an hour. Occasionally, I let myself get down but I just have to remind myself of the alternative to get back on track.

If you are a care giver and need some support try “Help Caring for the Caregiver” on Facebook.
Doris Jean ShawDoris Jean Shaw is a life coach, educator, author, and member  of The Ink Blots. She presents workshops that help anyone find direction; and writes about her travels, children’s stories, devotionals and romances. When not traveling Doris continues her life-changing transformation journey to self-discovery. She blogs at


One response to “September 23 – How Do I Pace Myself?

  1. Oh! how I empathize with you. I had a parallel saga with my second husband who died 2010. HIS needs became all consuming. Why we even invited Wolf Blitzer to join us at mealtime. I hope you can find a way to eke out some ME time. My retreat was in a hammock with my pet cat.

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