“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” … Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
Monday, April 02, 2012
empathy and caregiving
As I sat on the bathroom floor from my first and only fall during recovery (and with only my pride injured), I could hear echoes of my own voice asking Patti … “why are you still trying to do things you can no longer do?”
Recovering from surgery has been eye opening. Through a quarter century of caregiving for Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis and physical decline, I’ve never experienced physical compromise myself.
Yes, my pain and challenges are only temporary and in less than a month will be gone but daily I find myself feeling staggered by the seemingly endless ripples of change.
Even riding in our car or our wheelchair accessible van as a passenger is so rough on my ribs it feels more like a roller coaster. Shoulder harnesses may be safe but not ‘kind’ to ribs healing from being spread apart for lung cancer surgery. Thank goodness for faux-down vests, the next best thing to bubble wrapping yourself. J
Seeing, dealing with, and adapting to physical change from the caregiver’s perspective is incomparable to living it.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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