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Hi All
I read this on another site and for the first time I saw a word that I think describes how most of us care givers are.

((But I do know that caregivers suffer from �HYPERVIGILANCE� ....we're always on alert...always ready to run, hop, jump, or respond to the person we are caring's exhausting)).

What do you think

Peace and happiness to all care givers where ever they find it

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Yes, I agree with the hypervigilance

My husband is in the hospital so much that he has come to accept round the clock care and someone to do for him every time he asks.

Unfortunately, I cannot refuse to do these things or delay them, because they involve his health issues which are overwhelming. He needs a pill, he needs a glass of water, he needs his eyedrops, he needs help in the shower, he heeds help getting dressed, he can't breathe and I have to call the doctor or take him to the ER, he needs his Coumadin checks at the doctor's office two times per week, and on and on. And he has about a bazillion other doctor appts.

It IS exhausting. But I love him, and I always try to put myself in his place. He is very ill and no fault of his. So I do what has to be done. To do less, well--I just couldn't do it.

I try to take some time each day in little mini vacations in my sewing room or computer/office. And I am able to get away for an hour or so, as long as I have the cell phone on.

He is a very good man and understands how demanding the caregiver role is, and he appreciates what I do for him. That means a lot to me.
Hi Dave:

That is truly a good word. Hypervigilance does tend to describe care-givers. I know, like SEAandSKY, that when our loved ones are very ill that we tend to take our role seriously and do all we can to care for them. We care very much and don't want them to suffer on our watch.

But, I have to wonder, where does this quality come from? Do you think hypervigilance is something that is inbred into our personalities from previous life experiences? Or do you think that the role of care-giver - with all its responsibilities - makes us that way?

Anyhow, just food for thought Dave... I have my theories based on my own experiences, I guess, but think it is a good subject that you have brought up here. Peace and happiness back at ya and to all!

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Hi, Dave et.

You have struck on an interesting word (and thread). It's the degree of vigilance, isn't it, that is exhausting - like being on red or orange alert all the time? I'm happily at a stage of mere vigilance, without the "hyper" aspect right now. But fear not that I'm ever ready to jump into "hyper" mode whenever the situation demands.

Sea and Sky, I'm sad to hear your DH is still in such bad shape. How are you holding up? Did you get those tests run yet?

And dear Glenda, are we the chicken or the egg? I keep going back to the quote - I can't remember its origin - that some men are born to be great, and other men have greatness thrust upon them.

Hmmm, I'm sounding very pontifical this morning... must be the pain meds. Yup, I think so. I'll shut up now. LOL!

Hugs to all you viligilants - hyper and otherwise.
I think it is a learned thing, at least in my case. My husband's health has been on a steady decline for the past 10 years. At each step along the way. I have learned how to take care of the problems of the day. When something new crops up, I learn how to take care of that too. So, for me anyway, it is like the layers of an onion, layer upon layer of information.

I have to say that along the way, I have been mightily instructed by my husband's doctors and other medical personnel. And I read constantly about all of the problems online. I know much more than the normal person about all of his various conditions, and I know what to look for and how to proceed (usually). I'm constantly checking him for symptoms of his various problems.

He has heart (3 valve surgeries), lung (two lung surgeries), kidney (chronic and acute failure), congestive heart failure, liver, spleen, and blood problems. Then on top of that he has clinical depression which is, for the most part, under control. ALL of this is due to his having rheumatic fever as a teenager. What a tragedy. But he has lived to be 75 years old.

Yes, I am on high alert all the time. Wasn't like this when I was younger, but I surely am now.

Bama, thanks for asking. I have one biopsy today. Fotunately, I'm not prone to depression.
Wow! You sure found the right word. My mother is 97 and if she asks for water 10 hundred times (a little exaggeration) day I'm there. My parents were poor in money but we didn't know it because they made up for it in love. We were ready to graduate from high school before we had our own house. Now is my time to give back love and care. Besides the normal daily care I also cut my father's hair, I have a day I take Mom to Rosalia's Salon (that's her hospital bed in the living room) and give her hot tea or coffee with little crackers while I do her nails and cut her hair.
Hi all
I think that SeaandSky has it right. Caring is a learned, how do you do it, when do you do it and how long do you do it. Who would ever think that we could or would be care givers with no idea how long it will last, many with little or no help, and we get to be pretty good at it..
But, beyond that, I think there is deep down in our souls a warm and loving feeling for the person we are caring for. The kind of love may have changed and we may feel unappreciated and some times abused. Many times they are of such mental capacity they do not know who is taking care of them.
But, we know we need to do this for as long as we can and still maintain our mental and physical health.
Good postings, thanks for sharing.
Wishing peace and happiness to all care givers, where ever they may find it.
Dave and Sue
Wow . .that is great . . . vigilant in caring instilled in nature? Wonder if some of us are biologically predisposed to caring and sensitivity . . trick is to learn to moderate and vigilantally (sp?) take care of ourselves too . . . sounds like you are doing a wonderful 'job' taking care of your husband . . have given me insight in my marriage to take care of it on a daily basis . . .before anything drastic happens!
'Cheers to all us vigilantes'!

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