My Caregiver Warrior Journey
Caregiving is like going to war; every day we fight to keep our loved ones safe and supported. We fight for their dignity and quality of life. Like warriors, caregivers are fearless, courageous, and passionate about protecting those they care for.
As one Caregiver Warrior to another, I offer advice, helpful tips, and strategies based on the experience, strength, and hope I found while surviving my own caregiving journey.
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I’m so happy you’re here and hope that by sharing my story, I can help you feel less alone. I hope you find guidance and motivation to take care of yourself as you take care of others.
How I became a Caregiver Warrior
For over 10 years, I’ve been a caregiver to various family members.
My caregiving journey began one Christmas holiday when my dad got so sick in flight he needed to be escorted off the plane in a wheelchair. My dad, the tall stoic World War II hero bombardier pilot, gave us no warning that he was in such an exhausted and compromised state; we were now the ones shell shocked.
As it turns out, my dad was diagnosed with walking pneumonia because he was trying to care for my mother alone when she began showing signs of dementia. Unbeknownst to my sister and me, our parents had been dealing with and hiding her symptoms for some time. It was only when my dad collapsed that we realized they needed our support. When my dad recovered, I asked him if he wanted my help. He said yes so quickly, the magnitude of his desperation hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was from that day on that my life was never to be the same.
My mom, true to her disease, personality, and our relationship, became furious and said they didn’t need any help. Not taking no for an answer, I began to organize my plan of attack. I committed right then and there to find compassion when challenged, and love in the face of anger. My caregiving journey had begun.
I quickly realized I had a choice: I could be miserable or I could embrace my journey. By being present one day at a time, I could experience the ups and the downs of the ride, and perhaps experience the scenery along the way. Misery is not for me.
A lot of the territory I ventured into forced me to re-think how I do and feel things. In the 4 years I cared for my parents, I learned more about myself, life, and my relationships than I ever imagined.
Sadly, my parents are gone now, but I’ve continued to use what I learned caring for them to help me care for other family and friends. The lessons I’ve learned are invaluable.
Caregiving is not for the faint of heart, but you probably know that already. If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself and those around me from exhaustion, panic, anxiety, and heartache.
It this knowledge, wisdom, and experience I want to share with you so you can survive this amazing roller coaster of a ride and be open to scream, cry, laugh, and finally arrive home after the ride of your lifetime.
I am truly excited to share wisdom from the inside that may ease the pain, frustration, and worry of caring for someone you love. I believe we are Warriors fighting the good fight with the ultimate weapons of love and personal courage. Knowledge is power; by sharing our experiences, we can help each other embrace our journeys and appreciate the gift of caregiving. Thank you for being here and all that you do!