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What Color is the Elephant in Your Room?

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!!

When dealing with the medical community does it ever feel like a day at the zoo?  That visit to the zoo may continue at home when the pink elephant is sitting in your living room.  Okay maybe it’s not a pink elephant; it could possibly be an 800lb gorilla.  The fact of the matter is that there are things that you want or need to discuss but you hesitate because of fear.  The fear is about offending the care recipient, concerned that your concerns are doubt or pessimism when they are actually the touchstone of reality.

As a wellness partner you have a unique perspective.  You see the impact of the patient’s treatment or reaction to their diagnosis from a bird’s eye view.  Your view is more global.  You have the ability to take your 360 degree view and come up with valuable conclusions.  The viewpoint you develop is crucial to the patient’s welfare.  You’re ability to observe and report is a duty not just a possibility and that at times makes you unpopular with the patient.  How many times has the patient either avoided the doctor’s question or downplayed the severity of the question only to have you, the wellness partner, bring the focus back on the reality of the situation. 

We all have the need to look good in public, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  As a wellness partner you are the barometer and that’s a difficult position to be in so this increases the need to get rid of the pink elephant in the room and discuss your concerns.  Creating an agreement giving you the flexibility and space to speak your truth will honor your role as a caregiver/wellness partner and will preserve your health.  Do you have any idea the havoc wreaked by holding your feelings in your body? 

If you need a third party to help navigate this arena don’t hesitate.  Find a therapist, a coach or a spiritual director who can be neutral and allow all sides of the dialogue to be heard.  Creating a safe space to express yourself is critical to your role as a caregiver.  Denying the truth will not only cause you stress, and we know caregiver stress is a huge issue, but stifling your voice leaves you feeling powerless.  You need to be an equal partner in the process…it’s part of the wellness plan!

To help you navigate the caregiving process easier I’ve added a FREE e-course on the Surviving Strong website which you can access by clicking on the link in the righthand column.  My hope is to find ways to serve the caregiving community.