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Don’t Forget About You

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 10:36 am | By: Susan Coyle, Contributing Columnist
Caregiver’s HandsThe day his heart stopped, yours did, too. You followed the ambulance to the hospital, praying the entire time. You waited in the lobby, as they attempted to bring him back, swearing that if he made it, you would take care of him. You would make sure that the junk and bad habits he had been sneaking and you had been ignoring were no more. You would personally see to it that the next 25 years were years of health. And when he pulled through, that’s exactly what you did. You took him home from the hospital and started taking care of him, devoting your days and nights to his heart health and completely forgetting about yours.

A study of more than 500 caregivers found that those who provided most if not all of the care were putting themselves at a significant risk.  They were likely to show signs of psychological distress – stress, depression and the like – and eat less than heart-healthy meals. In taking on the responsibility of coping with another’s ailment, they were separating themselves not only from others but from their own consciousness, ignoring they’re own needs in favor of the loved one and setting themselves up for a similar condition.

If you are caring for another as he recuperates from a traumatic health condition, do not forget about yourself. Your loved one is not the only one who needs to monitor his health, eat properly and be mindful of detrimental habits. You need to do the same as well. You need to stay healthy, if not for you, for the patient. After all, where would he be without you?

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