I have had the opportunity and priviledge to experience a few miracles in my lifetime. None more powerful than being my Mother’s caregiver as she was gifted a Heart Transplant. The entire experience has been overwhelmingly exceedingly and abundantly more than my mind can conceive. My experience as a caregiver,who just so happens to be a physician, is actually why I started this blog in the first place. Yep, Dr. Smith saves the day! It sounds so awe-inspiring doesn’t it? Well, maybe you don’t know Dr. Smith…..
If you had told me I would have become a carrgiver I would have called you crazy. Not me, never me! Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a kind and empathetic person, but just didn’t think I was right for the job. You see, Stacie grew up on the careless and slightly clumsy side of life. I have misplaced things right on front of my face. Did you know I wasn’t allowed around glass, knives or fire as a child, and that was in high school! I didn’t think I was very domestic either. I would have never placed myself in the roll of caregiver to a plant, much less a person. (Except for babies and children. I always loved little children. They’re so cute!) Do you want to know what they told me? They said, ‘Stacie has book sense, but not street sense’, and I believed them. It turns out we were all wrong!
As it turns out necessity and a little stress exposed my true character to me. I had the opportunity to meet myself on road, and I liked who I met. It’s nice when life teaches you somethings about yourself, you didn’t know, about yourself. Did you know I’m an excellent caregiver? It’s partly because of the clinical skills I gained from practice Medicine, but mostly because that’s the kind of person I am. Guess what I figured out?! Just because you can provide and prescribe care TO a person doesn’t mean you are doing it FOR that person. We’ll discuss that in another blog. Do you know what? I’m surprisingly very domestic. Who saw that coming?! Guess what else? I’m pretty good with fire and knives too! I’m still cautious with glass though. 😆 I’m glad I was given an opportunity in life to pause and see myself with fresh eyes. I’m still learning new things. I hope you’ll get that chance too.
Do you know else I learned about myself? How about that anger?! There are over 10 million unpaid caregivers in the United States of America. The intensity of the work varies. For some it’s a short term project. For most, it can be an overwhelming soul-draining experience. The work is invisible, thankless and quite frankly looked down upon. It’s very stressful too. Most people have no idea what it entails and it can be hard to explain. Plus, you have feelings too. Not to mention fatigue that you can’t shake sometimes. How about this, usually you actually care for the people you’re caring for, and it’s hard to see them sick . It can create a nice emotional soup. Can make a girl just a little bitter sometimes. Just a touch. Just a little salty…
Today, I’m at an appointment with my Mother. We’re learning how the medications that protect her heart may possibly be damaging her kidneys, ever so slightly. Booooo! That does not make me feel good at all! It makes me feel a little sad, actually. At moments like this, clinical knowledge flies right out the window. Things have been going so well, for the most part, I took it all for granted. Tomorrow I will realize this is a small setback. Today, I will head to the pharmacy and adjust those meds….