I used to dread Monday and Thursday mornings. It seemed no matter how hard I would try, I would find myself unable to sleep well the night before, and during Steve's bath I would be in the moment trying to absorb some of the pain from Steve, that by the end of the 40 minutes I would feel so sick that I would need to lie down.
This happened for months, I would try to meditate the night and morning before to be in the right space, I would actively seek the positive to try to change my attitude on it; I tried all my tricks on turning my negative reaction around, but nothing seemed to help ease the dreaded bath times. Things of course got worse before they got better...
"Did you see this sore back here?" Monica asked during Steve's bath one slow moving day in April.
"No?" I'm immediately concerned she never has me look at his booty, "Here can you come hold him so I can look."
My heart sinks. That's easily a stage 4, I think to myself. She can tell by the look on my face, that I'm concerned. As the reality sinks in, and several people are added to the list of people looking at my husbands butt, while I'm standing beside them, grows. Actively making a plan of wound care 5 days a week.
"I won't live through this," Steve says seriously concerned.
'He might be right,' I'm thinking trying to come up with the right words. "Yeah babe it is going to take all you have, but if you want to you can do this. Remember what all you've overcome thus far. You can do this." Really believing the words as they were coming out. "Plus who knows maybe all this moving will loosen up some junk in those lungs, and get your body used to moving." We both smile.
Each wound care/turn after this began a little easier, and a little less dreadful. The wound was real, the pain was real, the time and energy we would be spending on wound care was real, all very real very heavy. However, we started making it through, without falling apart because instead of seeing this as, "It's so awful I have to move him so much," "It's not fair he has to go through this," or "man my back hurts from doing two days of this in a row." It was now, "Wow look how much your lungs are allowing you to clear," "Your hips just bent in a way they haven't done in 3 years," & "That went really well actually..."
Changing our perspective of the reality that really we weren't going to change. Wounds take so long to heal, it's not like we could just trade this reality for a new one. We could have continued to dread wound care and baths that we were doing 5 days a week and now do only 3, but that's not the life either of us had in mind for ourselves.
Writing this after a 45 minute bath and wound care session, I feel grateful. Grateful for another chance to help send healing love into Steve's wound while I cleaned it, put my love infused magical cream, and bandaged him up; all while laughing and chatting with my nurse aide, because Steve was laying on his side, with manageable amounts of pain, instead of inconsolable like he once was with moving.
Suddenly wound care is another thing we do with intentions of healing, and it's not dreadful. It's not a picnic of course, but it's manageable. It doesn't make me sick and it certainly doesn't ruin Steve's day anymore. In fact on off days, Steve wants rearranged. Not in over a year would Steve allow you to move him if he didn't absolutely need it.
With that perspective change, this wound became our new norm without destroying us. In fact, it only made us stronger, and much much more patient people.
If you're struggling with something in life, try a shift in perspective. Trust me, it can change any situation. Any.