A little creativity can help balance the scales between the givers and takers of a relationship.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed by feelings of guilt when you are very dependent on others for all of your care, basic needs, and sometimes even to stay alive. These things cannot be helped though. They are a simple fact of reality. However, that does not mean there is nothing to be done to change the dynamics in a relationship where you are always relying upon the other person for help.
There are a lot of ways to give back to those who are helping to take care of you. A little creativity can help balance the scales between the givers and takers of a relationship.
I have found creative ways to give back to all of the people who give so much to me and improve my quality of life. For example, even though I am not actively helping, I always keep my mom company when she is putting up Christmas decorations. She is always sad that no one wants to help her, so I do what I can by being physically present even if not physically active. In addition to my charming company, I always have brilliant ideas to contribute. Even if the brilliance of my contribution is a slight exaggeration, my mom appreciates that I am helping in the best way that I can.
With my father, I have found it keeps him in good spirits if I play along with his antics, even though I honestly just think they are weird. My dad has an unusual and quirky sense of humor, you see. While my mom is usually annoyed by his games and rolls her eyes when he starts to get goofy, I play along because it keeps the mood light and fun when things could easily turn stressful. For example, my dad insists on calling my wheelchair either “chair-y” or a “wheels-chair” because it has more than one wheel. I know you are thinking, like the rest of my family, that this guy is a really strange character and there is really nothing humorous in his nomenclature. However, my sisters and I have found that smiling and even using those idiotic names once in a while keeps him in a much better mood than exaggerated eye rolls.
When I have a nurse taking care of me, I like to do little things to help my parents. I try to periodically make dinner, or do other errands and household chores. By using my resources to ease their burden, I am able to give back to my parents and show them my appreciation. Because my nurses help me show appreciation to my family, I, in turn, make sure to find ways of showing them how much I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to give to others.
Even though I require assistance to do most things, that does not diminish my desire and ability to offer a helpful gesture. Typically, my gestures of appreciation require some creative thinking and show that I pay attention and listen to the person. A gift, which demonstrates that you really listen to someone when they are talking and that you pay attention to what is happening in their life, is truly the best way to show that you care. Taking the time to notice the small things says more than any grandiose gesture. The effort to care and notice does not require any physical assistance.
The views expressed by Loa are not necessarily the view of the Ventec Life Systems, its members or the clinical board. These blog posts are the personal experiences of Loa. The blog posts are not intended to provide clinical advice or training related to VOCSN. Always consult a physician or trained clinician prior to using VOCSN. Please refer to the VOCSN Clinical and Technical Manual for detailed instructions, including indications and contraindications for use. VOCSN is available by prescription only.