My intention when I started writing this was to blog about medical challenges, as we all know there are numerous ones to choose from. Then I got thinking about all the pieces that must come together for patients to heal. I asked myself, what makes people better? Proper access to medical treatment, good follow-up care, provider follow through, strong communication, and extensive education…the list goes on and on. Yet no one can underestimate the importance of a consistent caregiver. Being a full-time caregiver is a huge commitment, and for many of us, it means our lives are changed forever.
No matter the need of your loved one, being a caregiver is stressful. Having a child with special medical needs takes caregiving to another level. Days are filled with such intense emotions, large enough to move mountains, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Jaden has given me so much joy, and he makes my heart swell. Yet there are times I am filled with an overwhelming loneliness that only the isolating task of being a caregiver can produce. Despite the daily roller coaster of emotion I am on, the greatest gift I have ever received is to see my baby smile and hear his laugh while playing with his brother.
Being a caregiver is like being an ever present cheerleader. I spend my days working hard to give Jaden the love and attention he needs, shuttling him back and forth to various therapy sessions. We caregivers are responsible for helping the ones we love make improvements to their individual qualities of life. These improvements may take years of tireless work, often wrought with doubt that things will ever get better. But I have learned that healing is a process. And nothing means more than seeing Jaden’s pain and helplessness turn into his successes. Through all of this I have realized that no matter how hard the situation may be at the time, it will get better with hope. Over the years I have been so close to losing hope and accepting defeat in this never ending battle. Yet the reward is much larger than I would ever know. It is my wish that everyone has an experience with a caregiver. Whether you act as one yourself, or are special enough to have one in your life; it is important to understand their sacrifice. I can say, through all of these emotional hurdles, that it has been my honor to care for Jaden.
Colorado HealthStory Storyteller