Each of us, having been designed with some hidden talent, just waiting to show the world. I was one of those for years that didn’t know I had a talent. I was brought up to never praise myself in front of others; to do this would be considered bragging.
Sounds pretty dull doesn’t it? It doesn’t get bring me stardom, so I will never be rich from it. No one notices outside of those who know who I am. But caring for others replaces the “Me” thought and places it on he or she.
I used to think over twenty years ago that being a caregiver was a piece of cake. I wasn’t in a factory. I wasn’t outdoors in the freezing weather climbing poles. I was inside a warm house, sharing meals and conversation with strangers.
Strangers is such a short-lived phrase. It doesn’t take long at all when you sit and listen to the patient talk that you are drawn into their earlier life. You learn to feel their dreams, and cry with their regrets of growing old and dying.
Yet not everyone can be a caregiver. It is one of those jobs that you best not take it if you are doing it only for the money. Care givers work from the heart for the most part. The physical load I carry is much less than the broken heart watching someone you love or respect or maybe both get worse and die.
Once I discovered the hidden path that makes up me, Terry, I was more content. I was never ashamed again to speak up and admit I am a caregiver, not “just” a caregiver. It is a proud position and I thank God that he chose me to do this type of work for him. When he made me, he put all the right ingredients and he knew I would not fail him.
I have taken care of strangers and I have taken care of family. Of course family is the most difficult by far. More love and emotions, strings attached from years gone by are naturally attached.
Now I deal with Multiple System Atrophy. There are days I cry. There are times I wish it was over. There are moments where I am beat and just want to sleep, but I always go back to the patient, who for me now is my brother, and I look at how brave, a real warrior, he is.
For I have only sat on the side lines and looked through the window and tried my best to understand how he feels. How can I possibly do that? I don’t have this terrible disease. He is the great and mighty fighter. He has fought greater wars than I have my entire life.
Each day when I hear his breathing as he struggles to get in that wheelchair one more time I feel his will to live. Each day as I see him with fork or spoon in mid-air, and realize that inside he is telling his hand to continue to move towards the mouth, I weep.
The brain is not affected with M.S.A. Al remembers very well that he didn’t used to wet his pants. He remembers driving and working. He remembers having time to himself doing the things he enjoys.
Every second he is awake he is never alone. How humiliating it must be to have your own sister bathing you, changing you, feeding you, but he never says a word. I will ask him if he is enjoying his bath and he will say yes but then begin to cry.
M.S.A. sucks and any of us that are affiliated with it know this. But for my brother, he is a warrior, and for me, I have discovered that hidden road, that secret that was kept silent for so long; until I started to blog
- Caregiving (utsandiego.com)
- Teaching “Teach-Back”: Empowering Patients & Caregivers by Confirming Comprehension (engagingthepatient.com)
- Who Will Care for the Caregivers | by Linda Brendle (lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com)
- Compassion Fatigue: 5 Sure-fire Ways of Recognizing and Preventing Caregiver Burnout (musicwithharry.wordpress.com)
- Program that uses role-playing helps caregivers cope with loved one’s dementia (globalnews.ca)
- Help for Caregivers in the Form of an iPhone App (homeinsteadhamilton-blog.com)
- What’s the caregiver support ratio and why does it matter? (ltcipartners.typepad.com)
- Follow Friday: Terry1954 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Increased Life Expectancy Among Family Caregivers: Johns Hopkins-led Study (medindia.net)
- New Tools That Help Caregivers Improve Preschoolers’ Developmental Skills (howtolearn.com)