Posted in Caregiving

Stop Breaking Your Back

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!

I know that some believe the big question is, “What is the meaning of life?”  Afer careful consideration I believe the big question is, “Why are we so afraid to ask for help?”  As caregivers you know how much responsibility you take on to make sure the life of your loved one is of the highest quality and least pain.  Unfortunately, many studies on caregivers show that not only do caregivers face emotional difficulties like anxiety and depression, but they also have a high degree of physical problems, particularly back pain.

Last night a story on ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer showed that help is available if you ask for it.  There are good people who are selfless willing to assist.  The problem is they can only offer to help if they know you need it.  The story revolved around a little 8yr old boy, Sam Parker.  Sam was born with Cerebral Palsy and is fed by a G-tube.  He’s immobile, doesn’t speak, and is blind.  His family was taken care of this 75lb boys needs since his birth.  unfortunately, his father had major heart surgery is unable to lift Sam making getting Sam up the stairs for bed difficult.  The family put out a call for help to the local high school and that’s where the magic happened.

The call for help was answered by the captain of the football team, Rudy Favard.  Rudy comes to the Parker’s home four nights a week at 8pm to carry Sam up the stairs to bed.  It’s interesting to hear about how Sam’s relationship with Rudy is developing.  Although you need help the patient may be a bit reluctant, but as we hear about Sam that uneasiness dissolves a new relationship/bond is formed. 

When Rudy Favard was interviewed he shares what a gift it is for him to be of service to this little boy and his family.  You can hear in his voice and his story how much joy the relationship with Sam brings.  When Rudy began helping Sam make it up to bed he was stiff and non-communicative.  Things have certainly changed; Sam now wiggles and giggles when Rudy carries him up the 14 stairs to his bedroom.

What if the family had never asked for help?  If they had tried to manage the situation themselves someone in the family could or would have been severely injured.  It would have increased the amount of stress in the family and that’s never good for a cohesive family bond.  Sam would have become the focus of the stress and that’s never a good thing.

Help is out there is we ask for it.  I’m sure some why we don’t ask for help is a combination of shame and pride, but let’s put that to the side an understand that it does take a village for us to move forward in our lives.  When a member of our tribe is ill or injured, others are willing to help ease the burden and keep the tribe together and moving forward on the journey to health and healing.

Looking for more caregiving tips?  Get your FREE e-course, The Courageous Caregiver at www.survivingstrong.com

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