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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Push Me, Pull You, and/or, Putting an End to Shame

How to be a caregiver/ how not to be a dick- I can't stress that more strongly, unless I put it in bold, italicized, dark red 60- point font.

1) I am not Flash Gordon when I feel something coming on. As much as I get accused of leaving people in my dust if I'm walking with them, I become rather shaky and a bit jerky in my walking movements.... Do the robot!- I find it very annoying, and occasionally painful when someone pulls me by my arm or pushes from the back. Some do this... and the shove to look around you- whereupon, you're against a wall, and thinking unkind thoughts like, "Bitch! Ask me to move or to sit for a while!" - without any conscious thought or malice. It's my responsibility to say, "I don't like that," to the pushing/ pulling, or, "I need to sit a moment,".

2) Don't ask if your friend or family member is going to have a bit of a problem, or a seizure, in a hushed, shamed voice like they just told you that they find hedgehogs listening to industrial metal with headphones to be relaxing, or like they admitted to a serious crime. I am not the most shameless person. And during my mini episodes, (8/7 central on Hulu!) I am apt to be very snippy right back. Whereas, in my "normal", I'll just be a snot.
This is also why I tend to avoid people when sick. I'm a lousy, meanly-sarcastic brute who delights in using newfound cusswords- NOT crosswords, although I love those, too-  of all nations, because I found that it tends to be a distraction/ pain reliever. There's great relief in Catallus' epic set down, which begins with "Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo, ".

(Because Catallus means puppy, and he did tend to write love poetry, my brain seizes (no pun intended.)on a lovestruck, mischievous puppy snarling.)

Basically? Just carry on, avoid putting pressure on a person... It's one thing to say "You shouldn't be stressed," another to avoid BEING a stress. Physical force is sometimes painful and scary. Sometimes, if a stranger hugs me, it might be scary for me, not comforting, now's not the time to talk about manners. Sometimes, a person I know well- no, it always is... using force and grabbing, pulling, and shoving is scary and I'll be too shocked to do anything. This stress will lead to more symptoms.

3) if I can't hold onto anything because my hands shake, shame won't make that go away.

ETA: do NOT speak over them. Do NOT speak FOR them UNLESS THE SITUATION *ABSOLUTELY* CALLS FOR IT. In a normal conversation, people like to voice their own opinions, likes, dislikes, and anticipating is not listening. This behavior also serves to tell the person, "You are not capable, and I don't like what you say, so you will be a breathing ventriloquists' dummy." If they can't speak, then you must. Before an emergency, discuss what needs to be said, to paramedics, doctors, and\ or cops.
*Understand that "please stop" and making the patient feel guilty is harmful. 
*Understand that the patient is a human being with real feelings. Not JUST a patient. 
*Overprotective behavior is just as harmful. If I am feeling well, I might love a walk in the snow,  a hike, a trip, or bungee jumping. Being scared to let them, and making predictions and wringing your hands... Will not aid them in trusting you or feeling protected. It says "You can't." 

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