I see so many caregivers every week, matter of fact, I see about 900 patients each month and most of them have caregivers with them. You can always tell who the caregivers are, they are the ones trying so hard to hide their worry, sadness and fear, that they show it in their actions and words. Some are angry and pushy, wanting to know why their friend or family member is still waiting to see the doctor after only waiting ten minutes. They are the ones that look as if they haven’t slept in two days, and are merely running on the fumes of a 5 am cup of coffee they had. They are the ones with the huge binders full of every word the doctor said, and are quick to question the doctor if they here something they think might go against their leanings from the internet.
These are also the people who give up their own self-care to take care of someone they love. These individuals find themselves getting sick easier, fatigued quicker and fighting insomnia because stress and worry about their loved one wont leave their thoughts. I watch these caregivers literally falling apart emotionally when their loved one is not around. I would love to say I have a solution for these caregivers, but all I have is this; there is no benefit in spending every day dying with your loved one, instead you should be spending every day living with them. I say this because I have helped check off bucket list items for patients, after they had already thrown out their list. Filling your loved ones mind, heart and soul with love and great memories is the best exit plan anyone could ask for, and I know this because I am a caregiver, I have held a loved one as they took their last breath, and I have heard that statement from many of my patients days before they past on.
Don’t hesitate to spread love, don’t fail to make great memories, pay attention to self-care and most of all, stop dying and start living because no one else can live your life but you.