We are inundated with Coronavirus 19, as we should be, it is a pandemic. Thankfully most people are taking it seriously, while there are still others that are not. I said to a friend of mine – that I wouldn’t know what I would have done if my mom was still alive and caring for her at home with this virus. I would be ridden with anxiety. My mother was maybe 50 pounds when she passed, and I was extremely diligent in staying away from her if I had a cold or flu.
I started to think about all the people who are caring for their loved ones at home. I understand that long term care homes have protocols in place where there are no visitors, due to flattening the curve, so that hospitals have a fighting chance to treat people afflicted by the virus.
There is a lot of misinformation going around about Covid19, what we do know is how it originated, but there is discrepancy on how long it stays on surfaces. There are articles out there, but some aren’t peer reviewed, but what is known is that those that have pre-existing conditions are more at risk if they contract the virus.
A person posted that her father with Alzheimer’s disease said, “I hope I get the Covid19, so I can die.” That post, although brutally honest, encapsulated what Alzheimer’s must feel like if you have it. A lucid moment in time, but wanting to be over the confusion and fogginess that comes with the disease. The lack of dignity is especially is the saddest part of the disease. I also read from a person caregiving for their loved one with Dementia who wrote. “Social distancing- please I have been doing that since I started caring for my loved one”.
The reality of my mom’s passing still hasn’t hit me. I have a lot of paperwork to complete and I haven’t really slowed down to process it. I am trying to get into a new normal.
I think caregivers are heroes. They didn’t sign up to be a nurse, or a personal support worker, but their loved one got sick, and they stepped up. I know watching countless seizures that my mom had, and witnessing other things that I will not speak about, but are forever etched in my mind, traumatized me. So I know intimately what a caregiver goes through- (the unpaid ones.)
It is a labour of love, but it is thankless. I am here to tell you though; you will be better for it. You learn skills you never knew you had. It is a huge sacrifice, and it is challenging and hard. I never knew if my mom knew it was me, until I held her hand and although she was so tiny, she would squeeze it hard, and just for a moment that was enough to know, it was all worth it.
So trust me when I tell you, in the end you will be so proud of yourself for doing the one job, that many don’t- caring for a loved one- unconditionally.
My thoughts are with all the unpaid caregivers at this challenging time.
We will get through this.