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#424 What Raiders of the Lost Ark Taught Me About Loving Someone in Chronic Pain

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2020 7:27 pm

#424 What Raiders of the Lost Ark Taught Me About Loving Someone in Chronic Pain

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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June 24, 2020 7:27 pm

Teachable moments often appear in unexpected places. For example, a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark drove home a core principle about being in a relationship with someone who lives with pain. 

This episode is part of series we're doing on chronic pain, suffering, pain management, and other issues that affect us as family caregivers. Feel free to add your thoughts ...and share this with someone you know who lives with a suffering loved one. 

Peter Rosenberger hosts the nationally syndicated program: HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER.  

Hope for the Caregiver is the broadcast outreach of Standing With Hope, a 501(c) 3 organization. Donations are considered tax-deductible by IRS laws. 

 

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Or to see chickens and other animals to donate, go to crittercampaign.org. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberg, and this is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver. For those who are knowingly, willingly, voluntarily putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. How are you doing? How do you hold up with that?

What does that look like for you? Where's your head space in this? And these are the things that we talk about on this show on how you can navigate to a place of safety. And it is a challenging experience for those of us who are putting themselves in these situations. There's not a solution, but there is a path. Because even the solution, I think sometimes people mistakenly think, oh, well, we'll just get through this.

And then, you know, when mama dies and goes on to be with Jesus, then we'll be okay. And it doesn't really work that way. Because even after your loved one passes away, the residual impact of you dealing with these things and facing these challenges last sometimes a lifetime for folks. I've honestly believed this for some time that caregivers suffer from a type of PTSD. And I don't have any science to prove that.

This is just my opinion, and you take it for what it's worth. But I believe that there's some real evidence to support that, is that the conditioning, it depends on how long you do it. I mean, if you only do it for a couple of months, probably not as much.

But when you do it for a decade, two decades, I'm in my fourth decade now, and I'm up to 34 years I've been doing this. It changes the way you look at life and the way you do a lot of things. And so anyway, we're going to get into that today. We're also going to talk about pain, chronic pain. What does chronic pain do to you as a caregiver?

Not your pain, your loved one's pain. We're going to talk about that as well. 877-655-6755, 877-655-6755. If you want to be a part of the show now, if you're watching on Facebook Live, we podcast the show as well as put it on Facebook Live at the same time. And then we also, we do a broadcast every Saturday morning live on nearly 200 stations. We are kind of a unique show in that regards is that we are pushing and pushing and pushing to get information to fellow caregivers on how to better navigate through this. What does safety look like for you as a caregiver?

What does that look like? How do you deal with that? And as a caregiver, when you're in a relationship with somebody who's in pain all the time, and I am, my wife had a severe car accident back in 1983 before I ever met her. And by the time I met her, she'd had 20 surgeries or so. And after we got married, they just kept growing. The surgeries kept growing. And to the point now where she said that I can count 80, both of her legs are gone now. And she's had about 150 smaller procedures.

And her body orthopedically is just a train wreck. So when you live with the kind of pain she lives with, and it's relentless, and it's nonstop, my question for myself and then others who live with this kind of thing is, okay, what does this do to the caregiver? And I've learned a lot about being in relationship with someone with chronic pain over these years. I've studied a lot about it.

I've read about it. I've asked about it, talked with medical professionals about it, and it's not what I thought. It does affect us as caregivers. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that chronic pain is a family issue. It is a family affliction. It is not limited to the individual who's suffering.

Yes, they are bearing the acute part of this. Gracie deals with pain on a level that is just mind numbing to me. And she deals with this. That is her pain. I do not own her pain, and I can't take it away from her.

It's hers. But it does affect the people in her orbit on how she deals with it and how it affects the relationships and everything else. In fact, I'll go into basically three areas that chronic pain permeates every single area of a caregiver's life, of the chronic pain sufferer's life. And you don't get to engage in a relationship with that individual, particularly if you're married to them, without having to encounter their pain. I cannot embrace Gracie without embracing her pain.

And I want you to picture this for a moment, that you're walking on hot gravel barefooted while carrying a heavy pound of sackcrete, you know, dry concrete mix on your shoulder on a hot day. How much patience do you show with people who want to engage you at that point? How much tolerance or heart-driven conversations are you going to have in those kinds of moments? And that's a picture of being with somebody who is in pain, who's in chronic pain. Now I'm not talking about periodic pain or episodic pain. I'm talking about relentless, intractable, it doesn't go away, this is not going to be fixed. So how do you do that?

What does that look like? And can you forge a marriage in this? Can you forge a parental relationship in this? Can you engage with your parents like this?

Can you have friends and relatives engage with you in normal relationships? And I say to you, yes, you can do all those things, but it won't necessarily be normal. There are some workarounds that you're going to have to do. There's going to have to be some patience. There's going to have to be some understanding that getting them out of pain is not necessarily an option.

Well, let me back up. You can get somebody out of pain at any time and any place, but will they be able to function as a human being? And that's the issue that we face. That's the issue we deal with, is okay, what are we doing here?

Where are we going with this? And so when you look at the permeation of pain and how it spreads out into every relationship that you'll have, if your chronic pain suffer, understand that every relationship you have is going to be touched by this and feel the impact of this. It's not necessarily a recipe for gloom and doom, but it's something that I don't think we think about a lot and understand what it does to us as caregivers. And the goal cannot be just because they're in pain that they get a license to treat you poorly.

But it also means that you have to be aware of just how difficult their journey is in order to better function with them. And then you have to understand that it is conditioning your responses, particularly if you have children growing up in a chronic pain household. It is conditioning them. If you have an addict or an alcoholic in the family and you raise children, those children are conditioned by that disease, the alcoholism or the addiction. They are conditioned by this. They learn to develop responses and interact.

And when you have a chronic pain suffer, any chronic impairment like that, but particularly chronic pain suffer like this, guess what? It's going to create its own set of rules on engagement. Those rules can be broken.

They can be modified and all that, but you have to know what they are and you have to know what it looks like. And if you don't, then you're going to be playing. It's like playing Frisbee in the dark.

You know, every now and then you may grab one and be able to sling it, but catching it and finding them is going to be a little bit challenging. Do you feel that way? Do you feel like sometimes you're just, you know, you're just stabbing around in the dark trying to find where solid ground is?

I know that I have. And you know, there's a great illustration of this in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. And if you go back and watch the movie, after all the stuff is going on and he's been beat up and everything else, and Marion is on the ship with him.

They're hiring some type of merchant ship to take the ark to this, wherever they're going to go. And she's helping him take his shirt off and treat his wounds. And she tries to touch him on one part of his head and he's like, oh, don't touch that. And she tries to touch one part of his shoulder.

Don't touch that. You know, everything is only hurting. And finally she just gets exasperated. Well, where doesn't it hurt? And he shows her his elbow.

And you remember the scene. And he kisses her and she kisses his elbow. And then, you know, it goes to a different direction after that point. However, that's an indication of what it's like to be in a relationship with someone. Where does it not hurt? And it hurts all the time. So it's not like one area just hurts.

It's the body hurts and it hurts constantly. So how do you embrace somebody like that? What does that look like for you?

How do you navigate through that? How do you carve out any kind of intimate relationship? How do you carve out any kind of romantic relationship through this? And these are questions and hard things that Gracie and I have had to work through. You have to learn that she's not going to respond in a normal fashion because she hurts all the time. Her body is just simply broken. And her spirit's not. Her heart's not. And she wants to be able to, but the body just will not do what she wants it to do.

Or feel the way she wants it to feel. And so you have to be patient. But I think the thing for us as caregivers is learning that headspace of saying, OK, I didn't do this and I can't undo it and I can't carry it.

I can care for them and I can learn to give more sacrificially. But I also have to realize that I'm going to have unmet expectations. I'm going to have my own needs.

I'm going to have my own desires. And I can't look to her as if she's not able to respond, then what do I do? Get mad? You know, and get frustrated? You know, just go for a walk down the street can be very difficult.

Going to a movie. These are things that are hard to do. Getting a good night's sleep when somebody is tossing and turning because they're in so much pain or they can't sleep or they get they're trying to do anything they can to kind of run away from the pain. And all these things happen. And those of you, if you don't know anybody with chronic pain, you're not going to really get what I'm talking about. But if you do, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And so you have to adjust the way you think on these things. Hey, this is Larry the Gable Guy and you are listening to Hope for the Caregiver with Peter Rosenberg. And if you're not listening to it, you're a communist. Get er done.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-24 01:43:02 / 2024-01-24 01:48:28 / 5

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