Throughout my illness I have had a wonderful support network. Family, friends and even strangers have come forth to wish me well, pray, help where needed, and provide encouragement. I certainly appreciate that. Unfortunately however most people forget that there is somebody besides the patient who needs a lift now and then; the caregiver.
My caregiver is my wife, Terry. I always knew she was strong but I never could have imagined how strong until she stepped up and took care of me when I needed it. She is amazing.
In my case, as I imagine it is for most patients, my caregiver is a loved one. That means that the caregiver suffers an emotional hit upon diagnosis just as the patient does. So the caregiver is going through the same thing the patient is. But the caregiver goes through more. The caregiver has to step up and take care of the patient. In my case this meant driving me to doctors, hospitals and testing facilities, pushing me around in a wheel chair, cooking special meals, arranging appointments, cleaning up after me, keeping friends and family informed at every step, providing love and support and countless other things. Terry and I own a business together so she also had to cover for me in business.
Caregivers need support too. They need to be acknowledged. At one point during a long period when I needed a lot of care, Terry had become worn out and depressed. Then, out of nowhere, her son surprised her with a visit from Arizona. That visit lifted her spirits tremendously. She was thrilled. It was just what she needed.
Please, if you know someone who is sick, call them, visit them, give them whatever encouragement you can. But don’t forget to do the same for the caregiver. And thank them.
Don't forget them. They are sent by God. Mine happens to be the best.