Half cannot begin to describe the amount of time a caregiver gives. Whole is a must. Never half. Not in between. The patient is on the mind of the caregiver twenty-four/seven.
The first days of Gary’s hospital stay I didn’t try and spend nights at the hospital. He had good care, I needed to sleep. And I did. When he came home the burden changed.
Like the latest TV craze, reality is known by extremes, whether it’s extreme makeovers of houses and bodies, weight loss, or the well-known Survivor Series. The caregiver is a passionate reality fanatic.
The word passionate has evolved to something sexual in today’s world. The true meaning of passion is suffering. The caregiver cannot give half—they cannot stand on the fringes and not feel the pain. The one truly giving of self will work with a wholehearted passion. Totally involved. Never half.
Months into the twenty/four seven cancer demands, my friend Steve said, “The dedicated caregiver has an added program playing in the mind. You can never ever turn it off. Eliminate anything you can, especially if it causes anxiety.”
He has showed you, O Man (woman) what is good. And what does the Lord require of you Kat Crawford?* To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Lord, expand my mind in spite of the fullness of the caregiver role. Help me not to stagnate. It seems lately every conversation begins and ends with something about illness. Help me to stay healthy minded by using what I’ve learned to help others. Thank you for the opportunity to learn, to gain new knowledge daily—even if I don’t like the process. Amen
* Italics are added by the author. Not found in the original manuscripts