Dedicated to the Caregivers

Started by Tonia, January 06, 2015
11 replies for this topic
Tonia

Member
558 Posts
Posted on
January 06, 2015
Last night renewed my admiration for caregivers.

My husband and I were getting ready for bed when we heard a strange noise coming from our daughters' room. We ran downstairs and found one of the three-year-olds standing outside her room, mouth hanging open and making a horrible gagging, coughing sound. At first we thought she was throwing up, but then she kept trying to suck in air, and it almost sounded like she was choking. "Can you breathe?" She shook her head and tears rolled down her cheeks.

My husband donned his superhero cape while I grabbed her coat and hat. He whisked her into the car. I scraped the ice off the windshield while he buckled her into the car seat. And they were off.

I stood there and watched them drive away, feeling totally helpless.

How do caregivers do this?!?

Her sister had woken up, so that snapped me back to my senses.

Okay. Focus.

Get her sister back to sleep.
Run through nightmare scenarios in my head.
Check on the kids.
Feel like throwing up.
Fold laundry.
Check on the kids again.
Stare at the clock.
Calculate how long it takes to get to the ER, check in, see a doctor.
Check my phone to see if I missed a message.
Check on the kids 1,000 times.
Sit down.
Stand up.
Scroll through adorable pictures of the kiddos.
Turn my phone buzzer to max.
Stare off into space.
Jump out of my skin when I get a text.

croup text message

It's just croup, she's going to be okay. They will be home in a few hours.

Finally exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Focus.
Find humidifier.
Clean out humidifier.
Reflect on how caregivers live in this space of terror, being responsible and powerless at the same time.
Feel humbled and amazed.

I've been living with stage 4 lung cancer for a year and a half now. My husband has watched me struggle to breathe, seen me puke my guts out, taken me to countless doctor's appointments, taken over cooking a meal mid-stir when I was too exhausted to go on, run from floor to floor of the hospital parking ramp looking for a wheelchair for me, all the while keeping our household running and parenting our three small children. I have no idea how he does it. In sickness and in heath, indeed.

superhero

To all the caregivers out there, all you unsung superheroes, my admiration for you is greater than ever. Watching someone you love struggle to breathe, battle side effects, and deal with endless pain is its own kind of torture. We patients go through this because we have no choice. You do it out of love.

That, my friends, is truly inspirational.
 
 
Tori Tomalia is many things: a mom, a wife, a theatre artist, a mediocre cook, a Buffy fan, a stinky cheese aficionado. She is also, unfortunately, a repeat visitor to Cancerland. Stay tuned for her continued adventures (http://www.curetoday.com/community/tori-tomalia).
 
Superhero image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 06, 2015
Last night renewed my admiration for caregivers.

My husband and I were getting ready for bed when we heard a strange noise coming from our daughters' room. We ran downstairs and found one of the three-year-olds standing outside her room, mouth hanging open and making a horrible gagging, coughing sound. At first we thought she was throwing up, but then she kept trying to suck in air, and it almost sounded like she was choking. "Can you breathe?" She shook her head and tears rolled down her cheeks.

My husband donned his superhero cape while I grabbed her coat and hat. He whisked her into the car. I scraped the ice off the windshield while he buckled her into the car seat. And they were off.

I stood there and watched them drive away, feeling totally helpless.

How do caregivers do this?!?

Her sister had woken up, so that snapped me back to my senses.

Okay. Focus.

Get her sister back to sleep.
Run through nightmare scenarios in my head.
Check on the kids.
Feel like throwing up.
Fold laundry.
Check on the kids again.
Stare at the clock.
Calculate how long it takes to get to the ER, check in, see a doctor.
Check my phone to see if I missed a message.
Check on the kids 1,000 times.
Sit down.
Stand up.
Scroll through adorable pictures of the kiddos.
Turn my phone buzzer to max.
Stare off into space.
Jump out of my skin when I get a text.

croup text message

It's just croup, she's going to be okay. They will be home in a few hours.

Finally exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Focus.
Find humidifier.
Clean out humidifier.
Reflect on how caregivers live in this space of terror, being responsible and powerless at the same time.
Feel humbled and amazed.

I've been living with stage 4 lung cancer for a year and a half now. My husband has watched me struggle to breathe, seen me puke my guts out, taken me to countless doctor's appointments, taken over cooking a meal mid-stir when I was too exhausted to go on, run from floor to floor of the hospital parking ramp looking for a wheelchair for me, all the while keeping our household running and parenting our three small children. I have no idea how he does it. In sickness and in heath, indeed.

superhero

To all the caregivers out there, all you unsung superheroes, my admiration for you is greater than ever. Watching someone you love struggle to breathe, battle side effects, and deal with endless pain is its own kind of torture. We patients go through this because we have no choice. You do it out of love.

That, my friends, is truly inspirational.
 
 
Tori Tomalia is many things: a mom, a wife, a theatre artist, a mediocre cook, a Buffy fan, a stinky cheese aficionado. She is also, unfortunately, a repeat visitor to Cancerland. Stay tuned for her continued adventures (http://www.curetoday.com/community/tori-tomalia).
 
Superhero image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
Report
Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 06, 2015
Oh Tori, I had Ken read this as a thank you to him. I have had so many bad moments, moments when I might have been better than I chose to be. But. We are both breathing and the kiddo is breathing. So. Hurrah. Ken says he sometimes just thinks, "Don't go there. (as in remembering how I could not breathe and was throwing up all the time) She is fine now. Just stay right here. You wrote great blog.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 06, 2015
Touching and beautiful. You and your loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers, as are all the world's caregivers. God bless you!
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 07, 2015
Thanks, Tori. Amy really enjoyed this post. And I couldn't agree more...our caregivers are truly inspirational.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 07, 2015
I just lost my husband of 48 years on November 29, 2014. As tiring as it was, taking care of him 24/7 throughout his journey with Multiple Myeloma, I'd do it all over again, just to have him back with me but I know that he is in a better place now and is no longer suffering.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 08, 2015
Thank you.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 08, 2015
I lost my husband to lung cancer on Sept. 6, 2012 following a courageous 20 month fight. I have read many blogs and testimonies but your entry this morning truly touched my heart; beautiful, articulate, heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing! May God bless you and your family! XO
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 09, 2015
I'm tearing up after reading this. Thank you for sharing this.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 12, 2015
Thank you for your story. I very recently lost my husband to Multiple Myeloma and although it was a long battle for him, I wouldn't have missed being there with him through all of the ups and downs he went through, especially this past year.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
January 12, 2015
Tori- Another wonderful blog- eye opening and heart-felt. My husband didn't say much, but I could see the helpless look of pain in his eyes when he watched me crying from the pain, a side effect from my chemo treatments. I felt bad for him, but I know he doesn't regret a moment of traveling my breast cancer journey with me. Caregivers like the ones we've been blessed with should be recognized right along with the cancer patients/survivors. I love your blogs- keep up the good work!
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