wife vs caregiver

In yesterday's blog I talked about removing my ego from taking care of Steve, and today I want to touch on the balance of wife vs caregiver.

Someday's it's more important that I'm his caregiver and less important that I'm his wife; and the struggle to go back to wifie is sometimes a challenge.

Some of the intimacy that once happened as husband and wife, are no longer there.  It hurts him to lay with him or hug him too hard, can't really "make out" when someone has lock jaw and can barely open his mouth, and life with a full time catheter makes the hanky a rare and sterile procedure.  

While, the need to be caregiver increases; suctioning, moving, wound care, medications, picc line care, feedings, antibiotics, cutting fingernails, toenails, wiping nose, brushing teeth, wiping butt....

The balance then leans towards more caregiver less wife, naturally.  The one thing that brings the 2 together is love.  I'm his wife because I love him, just as I'm his caregiver because I love him.  So love helps me readjust my perspective to find ways to still be equal parts wife and caregiver.

Kissing may be different, cuddles may be different, hugs, hanky, etc...but they can still exist. Showing the love of a wife can still happen even if it's vastly changed from 4.5 years ago.  They are still there.  Just in different forms, and that is a beautiful thing.  

I'm thankful that Steve shows me love and appreciation as a wife and caregiver and that I'm able to find the balance in this wild world of ours.  I'm thankful that although it's vastly different;  that we still have our special times, and that nothing, not even ALS can take that away from us.