New Caregiver Stories!
November 20, 2017
The following “teasers” (be sure to link to each entire story) present a diverse range of experiences and wisdom. The full stories — often told through exhaustion and frustration — express hope and love through the caregiving journey. We hope you find connection and encouragement in reading them.
We extend our many thanks to those who submitted their stories and we welcome your story, too! Visit www.caregiver.org/submit-your-caregiving-story.
“The decisions were hard but I would never want to do it any other way. It was difficult to impossible at times but the choice to me was clear and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to help her any way I could.” — CW
“I cannot afford to stay home and care for her and it kills me more and more to leave her. … Britani is the strongest person I will ever know, we cannot figure out what keeps her going day after day with very little complaints.” — RC
“I felt a feeling of love so deep that it needed nothing in return. While neither of us was remotely prepared for this sudden shift in our lives, I knew that I needed to be present for my wife—that I couldn’t try to control the circumstances, I just had to be in the moment.” — JD
“I know how hard it is to sacrifice, and so many others know, it is very, very hard, but you can do it, however, there has to be some help, some compassion, everyone needs to get involved … it’s everyone’s problem. We need to take action now to help with those that have chosen to open up their hearts to be a caregiver.” — ME
“Taking it a day at a time.” — TD
“I have been taking care of others since I can remember. … I enjoyed doing it all. But … my mom was the last to die two years ago … and I feel lost … empty. It just seems to being hitting me now.” — DM
“I met an elderly couple who were in the home together. Not a day would go by that they wouldn’t be together. I grew a bond with both. … They make coming to work enjoyable.” — SH
“My friend just died prematurely and alone because her spouse was incompetent. He ignored physical symptoms she had and did not get medical care for her until she was critically ill.” — BB
“My world is crazy, my body hurts, my mind can’t stop spinning, but for the first time in my life I have finally understood what real love is and how it feels to show it as well as to receive it.” — JC
“She starts yelling and telling me to get out and that I’m trying to hurt her and in those times my heart just cries out for her because she is so lonely and scared. Then you have the good times, the memories that are forever engraved in your soul.” — SP
“Back and forth between her bedside and his chair… I am dizzy. How do I spread my comfort? How do I do right by them? How will I survive?” — GW
“Caregiving days are numbered, and the number is a secret. I’m not going to miss a minute, or let the number be decided by my lack of attention. I’m willingly on call 24 hours. The phone goes everywhere but in the shower, then it sits on the bathroom counter within earshot. I check wounds, change lightbulbs, evaluate skin color, and organize pills. Doing the best I can.” — PW
“During the slowing-down season, I learned something about Super Hero capes and the caregivers who tend to wear them long after they’re tattered and dragging in the mud. I learned that I needed to say, Yes, thank you, when kindness was offered. And I needed to ask for help.” — MJ
“I will be caregiving for nephews and nieces who have the dreaded disease of Huntington’s. I am able to be a better caregiver now as I have skills, knowledge and most important a support group that will listen. There is a saying, ‘I am doing the best I can with the knowledge I have.’” — DG