From me to you: Day9: Caregiving

  • As a parent with health conditions or parent to a child(ren) with health conditions, what do you hope you’re doing right?

As I am neither a parent with health conditions, or one who has a child with health condition, hell I’m not even a parent at all, I decided to ask mine to write something for this question. I also asked them to say a little bit about the challenges they face as well, as I think this is an important aspect when we talk about the carer. I know what you are thinking… why didn’t I just answer the 2nd prompt (which I will tackle also). That’s easy, because this disease, although it is mine, it does not solely affect me. So I thought that this was a great opportunity to show how hard this can be not only for me, but also for my parents, my sibling, my friends.

So here is what my mum had to say:

As parent to a teenager with a chronic health condition the things I hope I am doing right are:

giving unconditional love 
being an understanding support
being a sound board when needed
getting out the way when necessary
being enough in the way when called for
 
The challenges include letting go of my own expectations of the future for my child and allowing this to unfold as it is, right here this moment.  It would have done so anyway, but a chronic illness takes away the illusion we all cling to of having any control over this journey we call our life.  Watching one’s child in pain and distress, and not really being able to relieve this effectively, is one of the most difficult things I have had to face.  If I could I would exchange bodies but the best I can do is be someone to lean on and as much as I can, be a heart open enough to love and care unconditionally.
 
The daily journey I walk in this is encompassed by the work described by Angeles Arrien in her book the Four Fold Way.
show up and chose to be present
pay attention to what has heart and meaning
tell your truth without blame or judgement
be open, not attached, to outcome
I asked my dad to, but he is busy, travelling for work. so I will update this with his answer, once I have it.
  • Patients, what advice or tips do you have for caregivers out there – professional or otherwise!

I think for me the thing that I find is so under appreciated, but which often helps the most, is to just be there and listen. To have someone who is willing to hear my rants, to listen when I am upset, angry, confuse and happy. To let me say all that is on my mind, and to not feel judged. That is the greatest gift. It makes me feel understood, safe, comforted and most importantly heard. Everyone needs someone to talk to. Someone who will listen.

I think the gifts are so often in the small things. If someone goes out of their way to help me, is thoughtful and does something (like open a bottle) which they know I can’t do, without me having to ask, or them making a fuss about it.

Kindness, is one of the most important things to be, as a caregiver. And it’s not hard to do. A smile, a nice word, a joke. Anything that will brighten up my day (and yours).

To all the care-givers out there, thank you for what you do. For being there. For caring. Thank you

 

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2 thoughts on “From me to you: Day9: Caregiving

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt; Share the Love | terry1954

  2. Reblogged this on livinglifewithpassion and commented:
    Having been busy and not writing for some time I thought I would re-blog a brief entry I wrote for my daughter on a daily blog challenge she is writing.
    We all have so many parts to our lives. We have professional lives, private lives, and also just life. In my life it seems many of these strands have often woven themselves together challenging me to truly live a non-dualistic life that seeks to integrate everything that unfolds before me. The journey of being caregiver to a daughter who is now challenged with a significant illness of her own is such a journey. My solace – she has learnt early on the power of kindness. Of receiving kindness and of being kind. We all inhabit the roles of carer and receiving care in one form or another.

    May your day today be blessed and may you receive much kindness both as a caregiver and as one being cared for.

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