Thursday, April 01, 2010

Interview with the Caregiver, part 1

CY: In the mother of all interviews, Anne Rice’s vampire, Louis, remarks “I saw my last sunrise. I remember it completely … I watched its whole magnificence for the last time as if it were the first. And then I said farewell to sun light, and set out to become what I became.”

Do you remember the moment you ‘became’ a caregiver?

Patrick: Whoa! I did not see that segue coming.

Yet interestingly I do remember vividly the hours before ‘becoming’. That evening before bed was everything we wanted and dreamed. Playing with our healthy happy child, in 'our house', two jobs, two cars, “two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard.”

From the moment Patti awoke in the morning unable to walk and barely able to see or talk hours of chaos unfolded. If I became a caregiver it was only because I was the only was left standing and holding our 18 month daughter in my arms as Patti was hospitalized with her first MS exacerbation.

CY: Do you think becoming is like that for other caregivers?

Patrick: There is no cookie cutter caregiver. Some are adults suddenly caring for their parents, others are parents learning they will be caring for a special needs child for the rest of their lives, and others like us are one moment partners and the next moment one dependent on the other.

Age, abilities, education, resources, and more make it impossible to predict a reaction.

Fate has dealt your loved one the cruelest hand, and you are thrust into a life that will never be the same.

CY: Did anyone help guide you?

Patrick: No, in 1989 there were no brochures sitting on counters about caregiving at any medical office or MS organization.

Even if there were I am not sure it would have been helpful, differences often exceed similarities.

You react intuitively. There is simply too much too quick to absorb and accept. Don’t obsess over getting it right or wrong.

Focus on being there, and 'I care'. A simple hug may be the best possible first step.

to be continued …

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:

1 comment:

  1. interesting interview Patrick, looking forward to the continuation of it. Is CY "Caregiving Yours" or is this being published some place in a magazine or online some place?



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