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Episode 36: Caring for a spouse with ulcerative colitis while pursing her passions with Diana Winkler

In this podcast, you have the pleasure of meeting Diana Winkler.  She wears many hats including caregiver.   You'll hear how crazy, busy she is but also her gifts, talents and passions.  Diana works her full-time job, pursues her passions and is the primary caregiver for her husband.   She shares her challenges and struggles openly with us.   

Diana Winkler is a singer songwriter and I'm an abuse advocate.  She uses music as one of my healing tools and facilitates Meaning The Soul healing groups.  She is also a podcaster of the Wound of the Faithful Podcast.

She is married to her husband, Brain for 11 years who struggles with severe ulcerative colitis.  Diana is very transparent about her own health struggles with memory loss too.  

In my interview, I ask Diana to share her everyday schedule.  She is figuring it out by juggling her schedule, pursuing her passions and finding time for herself.  

I ask Diana to unpack her caregiving journey.  She shares her spouse’s 10 year journey with ulcerative colitis, from the initial diagnosis,  remission and through the pandemic.  She talks about the stressors of his disease and how it impacts her as a caregiver.  

She shares her gratitude of both being able to work from home but also the stress there too.  

As a caregiver, Diana has had to be that advocate for her spouse's healthcare too.  She has a strong persistence to make sure her Loved One gets the best possible care.  

Then, we shift the interview on Diana and I ask her to share the pressure, stress and anxiety caregiving puts on her.  She shares the added responsibilities she takes on now that her spouse can’t do.  The grocery and meal planning needed.  

I appreciated Diana’s stories of where she lets the little things fall.  As caregivers we may need to just do that.  

Our conversation then led to the frustrations felt as a caregiver.  I am grateful she share this and then her awareness of her situation.  She knows that the disease is what she is most frustrated about, no her spouse.  

To end the interview, Diana and I talked about “filling our cups”.   She shares what really works for her - from her hobbies to martial arts to gardening.  

One last thought she shared is spending time with your Loved One and the importance of that.  Love how it could be a simple act of watching a rainbow or eating and ice cream cone.  Just those small moments of joy. 

You can find more about Diana Winkler at https://www.dswministries.org

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Cathy's Book Recommendations

Two books that helped me in my caregiver life.  

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