Being a caregiver for a chronically ill person is a full time job. It can take all of your emotional and physical energy. If a caregiver is lucky enough or has the right insurance, there maybe some support in the home like a home health aid to assist with personal care.
Caregivers never know what each day is going to bring. Some are good and other days not so good. Friends and family support is helpful to get through the harder days.
I was reminded of how incredible caregivers are yesterday when I had lunch with Allan and his wife. I have written about Allan before. He went to Mayo Clinic and was given a diagnosis for his neurological disorder. Allan has stabilized enough for a holiday lunch out. He looks stronger but still has eye, hearing and balance problems requiring him to use a wheelchair. As always, he made me laugh with his sharp wit.
I was kidding with his wife about submitting information for “Extreme Home Makeover”. Here is how our conversation went.
She said she had thought about it. She commented that so many people on the show were worse off than her family, especially those without water or very cramped quarters.
I said, her home could use some improvements in terms of size and better accessibility.
She looked at me for a moment and then said, But Hari, I feel no burden from Al’s illness or what is going on… There is no bother.
I looked at her in such awe and amazement. Here is the caregiver who’s live has been turned upside down but it doesn’t matter. Her commitment to her family is so strong and loving nothing gets in the way. I was speechless and humbled. And once again, I felt very lucky to have met this amazing family and assist them with their struggles.