Caring for the Caregiver

“If your kidneys fail, you won’t be much help to your wife.” Those were the words of the urgent care doctor during a visit in July 2019. I was arguing that I could not go to the hospital because I had to take care of Kay when she said those words to me. I went to the hospital.

There are times when you as a caregiver will need care, and it is best to be prepared for it. I was not and Kay ended up spending the night with no one to help her while I was kept overnight at the hospital. Under the same circumstances today, we would be able to call someone in to help from a local caregiver service we now use.

As a caregiver, please take care of your health too so you are able to be there for your loved one. You can read my story by visiting Steve’s Page to find out what I am doing to care for myself. I also encourage you to read the “Caring for Yourself When Caring for Another” page on the CDC site. Included are some good ideas and links to resources to help you find time for yourself without jeopardizing the care of your loved one. Check out the other resources on this site’s resource page for more.

Back to July 2019. I was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). I spent the night getting pumped full of sugar water and insulin while they drew blood from my arms and fingers throughout the night. Turns out the cause of my condition was the combination of my ketogenic diet and one of my diabetes medicines – Farxiga. The nurse practitioner spent the time to discuss how I ended up in the hospital, listened to me, and recognized that this is one of the listed side effects of Farxiga.

I was discharged the next morning, told to continue the diet and stop taking the drug. I’ll never forget the words of the urgent care doctor: “If your kidneys fail, you won’t be much help to your wife”. If it happens again I at least have a backup plan, make sure you do too.

Sitting in the hospital bed before being discharged