Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Caregivers



Caregivers for the chronically ill are truly special people. I’ve heard countless stories of those who became disabled only to have their significant other leave them. But there are also many more that stay and take on this important role. But caregivers can also be a parent, sibling, friend and/or neighbor and to those people I say thank you for all that you do for your loved one. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have someone support us in our fight to regain our health. The chronically ill are warriors but having support in our battles lightens the load for us.

Having been the caregiver for my family in the past it’s very difficult to relinquish that role to someone else. It’s hard to admit even to myself that there are things I can no longer do.  I fought it for a long time right up until I fell and broke my hip a couple years ago and wound up in a wheelchair. I’m back on my feet now but only because I use a walker. I miss having that role but I do my best to help out when and however I can.

Recently I went away for a couple of days because we were invited to stay with another couple in a similar situation as ours. The wife has health issues not too unlike my own and the two husbands are our caretakers. Like me the wife was very athletic and capable. We both had very similar interests before our health issues took those from us. Both of us were injured by medical professionals but the circumstances are very different. Our spouses on the other hand are still very active and can do all the things we used to do with them. So the two husbands were able to leave for the day to go skiing and I’m happy they had the opportunity to do so. You see it’s important for caregivers to get away now and then and live their life too. They need a break to have fun and enjoy activities that those of us that are ill or disabled can no longer do. I used to call it a mental health day when I would take time out of my routine to do something like going skiing and I think caretakers need that time off too.

As a former caregiver I see both sides of this situation. I miss the days when I could be the one taking care of others. I’m sure that many like me do too. I also see how important it is for my husband to get a break from the routine to do something fun now and then so I do my best to give him those opportunities. I tip my hat to the caregivers of this world especially those that care for a chronically ill loved one. Thank you doesn’t seem to be adequate in this instance for all that they do for their loved ones. But I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Betsy

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