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Caring For Others

Caring for others is always hard. It’s especially difficult when you, yourself are living with a condition. It’s hard to find a good balance. You want to be there for the person you love, but you also just need some time for yourself as well.

Time for self-care

You need time to settle down and rest. You need time to think. Take in what you’ve been through, take in what they’ve been through. You need time to process everything and simply take care of yourself. You can’t provide for someone else what you don’t have for yourself. There’s no way to pour from an empty glass.

Coping with the diagnosis

When my grandfather was first diagnosed with Cancer I was angry. I was so mad. I couldn’t tell you who or what, or even why I was mad exactly. I was just mad. It infuriated me. I wanted to throw something, but instead, I sat and cried – off and on. For days. To be honest I’m still not done crying and I don’t think I will be anytime soon. While I love being around for him, it’s a lot on me and my body.

Multiple stressors

Sadly, this is not the only condition I suffer from. I also have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which I was diagnosed with, years ago, at seventeen. The stress of being of caregiver, on top of the stress of living with multiple conditions is certainly starting to wear on me. In short, I don’t rest. I haven’t had time to rest in days. Even the day the doctor told us, I was in the library until early morning. It’s hard to rest with so much on your mind. It’s hard to rest when you know the person you love is in pain.

Caregiving and managing chronic conditions

I didn’t think this would affect my Eczema too much, but unfortunately, it seems to be affecting everything. Because I haven’t had a good chance to actually sit, or lay down, or sleep well, I’ve been groggy, cranky, and achy. My skin was clearing up and feeling better, but since this news has come around, it seems like all of that has been undone in a very short amount of time.


Not to mention my skin has touched so many things within the past week – random people, hospital chairs, hospital beds, random computers. So many things. So many germs. Between the stress and the germs, I honestly don’t know what is killing my skin the most or the fastest.

Better at being a patient

When my Ulcerative Colitis would flare in the past I would get upset, but never too worried. I knew there was always something. I counted on my doctors and my care team. It wasn’t that difficult to be a patient at the time. When my skin is irritated I usually don’t worry. If I do anything about it at all it’s usually a relaxing bath and (rarely) moisturizing my entire body. I understand being a patient. I’m almost good at it, but being a caregiver has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.