Do we really know our hearts? Do you or I have an inkling of who we are and how detailed we are made? We are magnificent creatures.
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.
I was not aware that some talents do not involve actors on TV or singers or playing the piano. It took Word Press for me to finally get it through my head that my hidden talent was caring.
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)
If i could i would light a candle for you,,so a cyber one below,,, yes we all have talents of sorts,, it is finding it that is the hardest part.. I cannot even begin to understand, but I do have the highest regard.. always.. beautiful post.. 😉 gerry,
http://youtu.be/NoOhnrjdYOc for your music blog as well…..
Elton is so full of talent. Thank you for the song Gerry. I appreciate it. The fact that you read my post tells me you understand
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“It took Word Press for me to finally get it through my head that my hidden talent was caring.
Sounds pretty dull doesn’t it? It doesn’t get bring me stardom, so I will never be rich from it.”
What are you on, lady? Dull? You must be one of the most rewarded people out there. You have a heart so big that it encompasses yourself and your brother. You show a love with your care that a lot of people would be too scared to even look at. Most people would have stuck into a hospice and left him there and forgot all about except once a month. You don’t though. Your “hidden” talent is one of the most fantastic there is.
I just swallowed a lump from reading your comment. I am not on anything, too afraid. LOL. I hate to think that people put their loved ones in nursing homes, hospice, what ever and leave. That makes me sick. I can’t do that, it just isn’t in me. Hugs my friend
Sometimes there is no choice but to share the care with others. If you are the only person who can make a living for the two of you, for example. Sometimes it is not safe for the affected person to stay home anymore. People could get hurt.
I agree Deborah, for me, being a caregiver is my job, my life, so I win in all ways. hugs
being honest …add that to your talents…which would be a long list…
thanks Marilyn, I used to be the best liar when I was younger, but now I can’t do it. I feel too much guilt, but I still have issues in thinking I do things right. This was a hard post for me to write and then read back
Terry, I think this is the most beautiful post you have ever written, and I know I’ve missed so many, but it really touched me. Your ARE a caregiver–you’ve always been, and that is not a dull thing and the world should acknowledge all that caregivers do and focus less on pitiful Hollywood! Having a career in the non-profit sector after college, I know all to well that you don’t take the job for the money.
I was also touched by your comment about Al remembering. Yes, I have the same issue. It’s one of the harder parts, aside from my pain. I lost my beloved grandfather to Alzheimer’s and my aunt, who has early-onset, is in the later stages. It’s awful and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but they have no clue as to what is happening and no memory of the life they lost.
All my love,
Alzheimers is a terrible disease but God let’s the mind go along with the illness. For Al I wish the same, but his mind remains sharp, making him cry and sad alot, and there is not a darn thing I can do about it.
Thank you for a wonderful comment my friend
Yuu are so right, it really DOES take a special person to be a caregiver, and you are in that league, most definitely. And I agree that Al is a real hero as well, for his tenacity and strength.
yes, he is a real trooper even through the thousands of tears!! hugs Becky