Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Does Caregiving Make You Just Slap Crazy?!

Ok…so, let’s say we’re all in a big room and I’m up on the stage doing a caregiving seminar and you’re seated in the group. I ask everyone, in a wonderfully cordial, Southern style, “How many of you think caregiver stress can just make you slap crazy?”

Would you raise your hand? When I’ve done it in the past I’ll bet 80-90 percent of the folks in the room will raise their hands.

However, it’s interesting to watch the reactions of folks in education or health care. They’ll often get a horrified look on their faces. If they are from the North or West they don’t get slap at all. They think it means to strike. In a Southern vernacular, slap, used as I’m using it, as an adjective, means absolutely or totally. As in, “That is just slap ridiculous!” I think it probably came from the hand gesture some people make--slapping a table--when they want to be emphatic.

They also won’t like my use of the word crazy. As I’ve noted here, crazy is used to refer to a state of being brought on by the stresses of caregiving. It refers to the fact that we often feel, think, talk or act in ways we might normally not, due to caregiving pressures.

It’s ok to know that this stuff makes you—makes life—CRAZY!…and to say it. Just realize, though, that you might have to explain it every now and then.

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