In honor of National Caregivers Month, I want to send a word of encouragement to anyone that is a caregiver. It doesn't matter if it is for transplant or any other illness/situation - the role is the same. Although I am not an active caregiver and Wayne just celebrated his 4yr Liverversary, I still see the importance of letting others know that they are not forgotten!
I want to remind you to not be afraid or forget to take care of yourself in the process. If you read my book, you know back then I had kind of slacked off on a few things like getting a physical and bloodwork etc until post transplant. It's like you want to make sure your loved one is okay and then it's your turn. This is your reminder that you can do both!
Everyone deals with things in their own way. It's important that you acknowledge your feelings, and allow yourself to feel! As a caregiver, no, you won't get everything right! That's a harsh truth! Your loved one is in a traumatic place, and you as their caregiver are also experiencing trauma on a different level so trying to understand each other can sometimes seems impossible. Again unless you're in those particular shoes - you won't get it. The emotional and psychological effects are everlasting!
During the time my grandma was taking care of my grandad up until recently, I recall how we would always (and still do) remind her to still go to her appointments, make sure she's eating and drinking enough water daily, and making sure she tries to get back to activity that she enjoys doing. You can say all you want to a person but unless you're living through it, again you don't understand the lack of motivation that you may have. As a caregiver, know that it IS okay to accept help from other people!
In case no one has told you lately - you are appreciated and you are doing an amazing job just by being there for your loved one! You are going to feel lots of things, some good and some not so good! There will be times where you may feel unsure if you're doing a good job, or didn't do enough. Know that you are and if you need help - it is okay to ask for it. The best thing you and your loved one can do during this time is be honest about your needs.
I hope this helps someone! If any of it resonated with you or you want to share anything please do so below. You never know who may be experiencing something similar.
Have a great day😘