Derek McGinnis: My Wife Is Not My Caregiver
The wife of Navy veteran Derek McGinnis, in a supportive and loving way, helped him become independent after his brain and other injuries. She acted like his wife, not his caregiver.
My wife is my wife. She's not my caregiver, okay? I needed to realize that, and she helped me realize that so I would not be her crutch, and she stood strong by that too with me. For example, "Hey, sweetheart." "I'm sitting here in my wheelchair across the room." "Babe, I can't remember my phone number." "I'm filling out this piece of form." "Can you tell me my phone number?" Well, a loving, caring wife it's so easy to--"Hey, sweetheart, let me tell you." "It's XYZ number." "No, it's posted on the wall." "Get up, get your crutches and go walk and go find out the number." It forced me to use independent strategies that the docs and the providers were trying to tell me to use, but it's so easy for a loving, caring wife to just tell you those numbers, and that's just a small example. She had to really practice letting me know you've got to be independent. You want to be independent. And it helped me realize that she's my wife, not my caregiver.
Posted on BrainLine July 3, 2012.
Derek McGinnis is an Iraq War combat veteran serving in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. He currently serves combat veterans and their families at the Modesto Vet Center. He advocates for veterans coping with pain through the American Pain Foundation and is the author of a book on pain management.
Produced by Brian King and Vicky Youcha, BrainLine.