Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cheering the caregivers

When a person has a stroke, all of the attention, care and focus immediately goes to the survivor, but we often forget about the other person who is as affected as the survivor:
The caregiver.  A stroke survivor is often affected to the point where they can no longer care for themselves; They do not have the physical capabilities cognitition to stay safe, so they need help. We focus so much on how to keep the survivor healthy, both physically and emotionally, but we forget about the caregiver. Often the caregiver is a spouse, sibling, parent or child, some who cares deeply for the survivor.

While the survivor has to go through the grieving process to adjust to how different their life is now, the caregiver does too, we forget about that. These people, in some cases witnessed the stroke as it happened, sat afraid that their loved one wouldn't survive and waited, unsure of how affected they would be, on top of that, they take on a huge job, supporting and caring for the person that they care for most in the world.

It must be so difficult to watch ypur spouse change so much, it must be terrifying to recall the event that almost stole their love away. I know, around here, the thing Matt struggles with the most is the fact that my cognitive abilities have been altered so much, my brain functions differently now, so I react to things in a completely different way than I would have before, so, at times, I'm sure it must feel like he's married to someone different now.

So, anytime we hear a caregiver get short with their survivor, let's cut them some slack, they are probably tired and sad and have taken on a difficult and demanding task that tries the soul from time to time.

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