My Caregiver Left

Yesterday was my nurse/caregiver’s last day. She’s moving out of state, and beginning her new life in semi retirement. I’m a bit anxious to find someone to fill her very large shoes, but truly excited for her and her new journey ahead. She has earned it after a lifetime of looking after people.

She began her nursing career by working in every single unit in the hospital, but in more recent years, she’s done the difficult job of a home healthcare worker. She will take on a patient if her church has been contacted with a special need in the community, but more often, she does home hospice care. She’s good at it.

You wouldn’t believe the stories she has told me! I love listening to her stories.

Like the one about the old man who she realized was in his final moments, so she ran upstairs to get his wife. She encouraged his wife to crawl into the bed with him, and tell him everything she wanted to say. So his final breath was taken in the arms of the woman he spent his life with, as she whispered her love for him into his ear.

Another story is the not-so-old man who was fighting so hard to hang on. Finally, she asked his family to gather around his bed and tell him out loud that they were all there, and one by one they told him how much they each loved him. He hadn’t been conscious for some time, but he must have heard them because he let go that night, surrounded by his family.

(She says sometimes at the end, people wait to hear from a particular loved one before they can let go.)

Or the one about the woman who was rushed into the ER after a terrible car accident. Later, she was finally stabilized and unconscious when my nurse was cleaning her up.

Then suddenly the woman sat straight up, with her eyes looking wide in front of her, and said out loud,Jesus, you’re here!”

Then she fell backward and flat lined. Gone.

This is how I see her. There are nurses and birthing coaches whose job is to help give birth to babies, but on the opposite end of life, she is there to help ease terminal individuals out of this world in their own natural time. Kind of beautiful, isn’t it?

She played a very different role in my life, however. She came in to assist me with errands and personal hygeine tasks. For me, it eases some of the stress on me and on my relationships to have a professional who I feel comfortable asking for personal assistance, as well as for the additional things I wouldn’t be inclined to burden someone else with. For example, if I’m feeling nauseous, on a rare occasion, I might ask her for a cup of herbal tea. I wouldn’t ever bother someone else to make me hot tea (literally never), but yesterday, the tea kept me from having to take my anti-nausea medications which sedate me, and it enabled me to eat something.

It might be a small favor from her perspective, but it’s a luxury most people in my position simply do without. I tend to ask for necessities like food, drink, and clothing, and have learned to let most other extras fall to the wayside. If you have someone in your life, whether it’s a spouse, parent, friend, or professional carer who is happy to do the extras on occasion, then you know how special those people are, and how much they care.

I can’t tell you how positive it is for a person’s mental health and well being to be given some options and control back… especially if they’ve had many of their personal freedoms taken, such as by disability or illness.

When she came into my life as a part time carer/helper, she understood what it’s like to be in that “in-between” stage after a divorce, and she also had the benefit of knowing me as a headstrong teenager before I got sick. When I told her my secret– that I was hoping to move into a nearby apartment/ shared house, she was one of the few people who responded with excitement!

Amazingly, she didn’t ask if I was able, instead she saw it as a matter of making it possible. And then she helped me make it possible!

Together, we spent this entire last year planning, packing, moving, and then finding the right assistive devices to make the apartment accessible and safe. She was far from the only one, of course, but her belief has been an incredible driving force and confidence builder.

This year has been such a positive growing time. I’m very glad that I took the leap toward independence, regardless of the obstacles. Looking back on the last 2 years with her, I have to believe that her placement and timing in my life has been purposeful.

I’m going to miss her friendship the most, but as her friend I’m happy she’s having her own big life adventure. Maybe it’s silly but any sadness is being drowned out by the excitement I feel for her.

Now I’m praying for someone new- the right someone to come and lend me a gentle hand.

It can be a scary prospect, but I’m choosing to trust that whoever it is will be the right person once again.

Thank you for visiting.

Take good and gentle care of yourself,

πŸ’™MaryπŸ¦‹

About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 15 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has had a powerful effect on my life through meeting so many remarkable teens, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Eight years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of secondary chronic illnesses. A procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. Over the years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces about spiritual wellness and finding quality of life inside of ongoing illness, I also share health research, awareness information, poetry, memes, art, and this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibro, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard ;)

Posted on September 4, 2019, in Being Myself, Caretaker, Growing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Good luck finding the right person, hope this one has some interesting tales too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danielle Raymond

    Mary,
    You are one of the most beautiful and STRONGEST women I have had the pleasure of befriending since being diagnosed with The Beast. I have learned so much from you. You are truly quite amazing.
    God is going to bless you with the most special, warm, kind hearted, and loving , person to come help you, she will have hours and hours of stories for you, you deserve nothing but the best!!! Much love, Danielle ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danielle! thank you….you have blessed me with your beautiful message 🧑 You are the STRONG one. I have no idea how you remain as loving and caring as you have after all you’ve been dealt in recent times, but God has definitely given you an extra dose of grace to keep your beautiful spirit through it all. I’m so happy to see your precious comment πŸ™πŸŒΊ
      Love you, Mary

      Like

  3. God’s perfect timing for a new person will be there. He has this covered too πŸ˜‰
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a heart warming post about your friendship with her and how she helped you with so much. I’m praying you will find another compassionate person like you deserve. Sending a gentle hug and much love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so sweet, Kathleen🧑 Thank you, friend. I’m praying the right person God has will find me. We might have to wait on the Lord, but His plans are always worth holding out for.
      I hope you’re feeling strong and at peace today, Kathleen 😊 Hugs and love to you too!

      Like

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