Here's the scenario: I got the call Saturday night, I knew not to panic and rush to the hospital, but I still got the headache. Even though I knew it was from the stress and no amount of Excedrin would help, I took one anyway. The next day walking down the long halls of the hospital, eyes straight ahead because you don't want to accidentally peep into another's room yet somehow, someway, an image or two impresses on your psyche. My heart racing, terrified of what I was going to see when I finally got to my dad's room. Being so thankful that I had my fiancee by my side, from the first phone call up to that moment, he held my hand and walked with me down the long halls of the hospital. Finally, arriving at room 169, holding my breath, turning the corner… the incredible relief I felt when I saw his face light up as I watched a huge smile spread across his face. He was fine. Actually, he looked great!
This scenario was not the same 4 years ago. I spent many nights alone in the ER while my dad slept and I tried to stay comfortable in a chair. Needless to say, the learning curve has been huge, and it took me years to get it together and take care of myself first so I could be strong for my dad when he needs me the most.
I have been responsible for my dad since 2011, he has a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which resulted in short-term memory loss. While he has a wonderful life, I have watched his slow cognitive decline and today he is confined to a wheelchair.
While I learned how to self-identify as a caregiver the “hard way”, I am no longer afraid or embarrassed to get help when I need it. And I have a plan in place for him in the event something happens to me, so he will be taken care of.
You have the ability to make a plan too, and it's not as hard as you may think, I know because I created it. My fiancee and I spent years developing our program to make it easy for you. You don't have to do it alone, plan your story today and get the help you need.
We really are here to help, one family at a time.