New caregiver

New caregiver

Posted by SheliaE on Apr 7, 2015 9:03 pm

I am new to all this. My husband suffered a C-2 fracture 4 weeks ago. He just moved to select Specialty Hospital yesterday to start the second phase of his recovery. I must admit that my head is spinning with all the information all the doctors have given me. From wanting me to make 'quality of life' call , to seeing some controlled movement in his legs.
I really don't know why I am writing this, maybe just knowing there are others out there that have been in my the beginning of this new life. Feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Feeling so alone, but also feeling smothered.
thank you to any who listened to me ramble on.
And thank you for such a wonderful organization 

Re: New caregiver

Posted by AskNurseLinda on Apr 8, 2015 8:14 pm

Hi, SheliaE, welcome to the site. I hear from many new caregivers. What your spouse is going through is something but it is the caregiver who is the one to carry the family at least for awhile. The decisions that have to be made are more than overwhelming. Don't put pressure on yourself to know everything all at once. You will have some time at the Specialty Hospital to learn. The staff will help you in incremental stages. If you don't quite get it today, you have more time to figure it all out. When you transition to a different care setting, it is like starting all over but you will do it because you can.Reading the site, you will see many others who lead successful and productive lives. You will, too.  We are all here to help you. Nurse, Linda

Re: New caregiver

Posted by Eileen on Apr 14, 2015 9:14 pm

Shelia, Take time and breathe! Take one day at a time! You will learn what you need to know! It is overwhelming and will be for some time. Be patient with yourself! You are NOT alone! I have been caregiver of my husband of 36 yr for almost three years since his C6 injury. When I think of what little he could do day one and what he has accomplished in 3 years, I never would have dreamed it possible. Do NOT be afraid to ask for what help you need! People want to help but you will need to tell them what you need. Most of all, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! I am still learning that. A new normal will begin to amerge! Different, but good! keep your spirits up! This site is  a wonderful resource not just now, but even more so later when you have the time and need answers! Good luck! You are both stronger than you will ever realize. YOU CAN DO THIS! Never feel alone. There is an entire community here who have walked a similar path as you and  always near! The rehab hospital staff will be amazing too! Learn all you can from them. You are on the most challenging journey of your life, but you and your husband can live a productive life again! Eileen

Re: New caregiver

Posted by Neecee on Apr 26, 2015 4:55 pm

Dear Sheila,

It is normal to feel overwhelmed, overworked, sad, despressed, frsutrated, scared, etc. I have been in your shoes and know what you are going through and what it feels like. My husband was injured in a body surfing accident over two years ago and have been through it all.  However, things WILL get better. You will learn to adjust and will get the hang of it in no time. I wrote a lot as therapy and even started a blog to cover off on this very topic. You can read it at  I even have a "Caregiving" tab that discusses some things you might need to know. Once your husband is ready he will start outpatient therapy. Talk to the other families there.  This is where I learned a lot about spinal cord injuries by talking to others who are also injured or family memebers of SCI patients. Never be aftaid to ask questions. Confide in a friend what your are feeling, It might make you feel better. Take time for YOU. That is also important. I wish you well, and if you need anything you can contact me via my blog. Best wishes! Denise
Denise Stephens

Re: New caregiver

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on May 20, 2015 2:49 pm

hi Sheila,

please note how many people not just responded but opened their hearts to you. It takes weeks for a caregiver to get over the shock of the initial event. And anyone in shock by virtue of trauma is unable to process information. So the advice you have been given is correct. You must care for that woman named Sheila. Care for her with kindness and compassion. Care for her weary body and exhausted mind. Care for this good woman who is in shock. Care for her broken heart as though you would for a young child you love.

Take many breaks during the day. They don't have to be long and they could even be 3-5 minutes. Just notice that you are breathing. Notice how your body feels. Notice if you are suffering that moment. And if you are, rest your hand on your heart and allow your heart to feel the warmth of a loving hand. Like I said, it only takes a few minutes. But please, care for this good woman.

As long as I making requests, please tell us all how and what the 2 of you are doing these days.
Thanks so much

Daniel Gottlieb PhD

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