Category Archives: men as caregivers

Fibromyalgia and Caregiving Strain

” It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play”, Pema Chodron

What is it that prevents many of us from changing our thoughts, emotions, and ways of being in the world even when we know that what we do, think or act upon is deleterious to our health? I have been a caregiver for most of my life and it has taken a toll on me in many ways. How do I learn to set boundaries and stick to them? What makes me think that I can mother the world? Isn’t that arrogance and self sacrificing? These are my thoughts on this humid summer day as I reflect upon what new crisis I will face with my parents in the coming days, particularly with an emotionally abusive father.

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Male caregiving for the spouse with fibromyalgia

“Caring is pivotal to keeping the human enterprise going, yet its function is invisible in the organization of our daily lives”, Sheila Neysmith

This is my 50th blog and I have never yet discussed male caregivers! In my book I discussed with the women living with fibromyalgia the issues regarding the people who supported them (or in many cases, those who did not provide support or understand what it meant to be living with fibromyalgia) . Their answers often surprised me. I am one of the fortunate ones who has a husband with a caregiving nature. 2010 019He is my biggest supporter and without him I don’t know how I would survive the pain and fatigue. I generally feel guilty about the limitations of my life and how they have impacted on him. I have long wanted to write about the caregiving strain of coping with people who have invisible dis-eases while the work of the carer is itself often invisible. It can’t be easy since those of us with fibromyalgia usually look  healthy, and even the caregiver must wonder at times if we really are suffering as much as we say we are. The irony of all this is that women with fibromyalgia are usually in this state of hyperarousal of the nervous system because they themselves were once super-carers of others! Furthermore, the guilt we experience because others are taking care of many of our needs is a conundrum we are forced to live with.

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