Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!
We hear and read about the stories of famous people who are fighting a particular illness, but what about the caregivers? Why don’t we hear about the families of the famous person? There have been few interviewed, Tracy Pollen, Michael J. Fox’s wife has certainly been one to speak about her experience with Parkinson’s Disease. She’s one of the few, but there are hundreds-of-thousands of caregivers whose stories aren’t told and it’s about time.
You, the caregiver/wellness partner, is a partner in crime in the “Caper of Health and Healing”. It’s true, you are a partner in crime in this mystery tour. Some may wonder if you’ve been hiding in shadows, but the reality is that you’ve been right there, front and center, with the person you’re caring for and offering support and encouragement. It’s as if you’ve been wearing Harry Potter’s cloak cape, and to your credit this gives you the opportunity to look at the big picture.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that your vantage point is unique. You get to see the patient and the illness from multiple angles. You see the patient at the best and the worst. You know when the patient has been good and bad about following their treatment regimen. You can offer support and healing energy. You are there as a voice for the patient when they may really want to be anonymous or feel intimidated by their medical team. Ever feel like you’re a multiple personality?
As a partner in crime you have to watch out for one thing; the desire or enticement to collude with the patient in denial or self-defeating behavior. It’s your place to give the patient what we in coaching call “the caring truth”. When I was in graduate school my family therapy professor told us, “Pat them on the back before kicking them in the ass”. Those words have served me well as I work with people who are often resistant or defiant to treatment plans.
Once again I want to thank you for your caring, support, and compassion. You are a team, like Batman and Robin, Cagney and Lacey, and Lilo and Stitch. Know your attention and encouragement are a huge component in the patient’s journey to wellness.