The first time one of my son’s many medical specialists asked how I was doing, I began describing his daily and medical ups and downs. She stopped me mid-sentence. “NO, how are YOU doing?” I suddenly began fighting back the tears that threatened to expose me. I chose to edit my gut reaction: “one minute I feel I got this, the next I worry I am not asking the right questions or know enough to make the best medical decisions, I feel guilt for considering my feelings when my son has significant medical battles, sadness when he looks into my eyes and I can’t just fix this, responsibility to be the best parent I can for him, and what about time for my other son?” to a simple “I’m fine”.
Caregivers manage. They also advocate, cheer, tend to, schedule, transport, meet, research, meet again, and hold onto hope. They are constantly in motion, constantly planning, constantly caring. How are YOU doing?
Theresa Tetrick Haugen