Viewing: Caregivers

Feb 16

February 16, 2017

The Warrior’s Crown

The Warrior’s Crown

I’m a fighter.  At least, that’s what I’ve told myself over the years.  I fight in the sense that I won’t let you down or I will not buckle under the external pressures of life.  I will not be deterred.  I will do what needs to be done, what must be done.  But would that persona translate to battlefields of... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Chronic Life, Love | By

Dec 1

December 1, 2016

When the Other Shoe Drops

When the Other Shoe Drops

Not long ago, I sat with my daughter on my lap, holding her arms down while she screamed. The first attempt at a blood draw had failed and we were moving on to the second arm. She’ll be five next month. She usually does quite well with these things. She hops up into the chair, thrusts her arm upon the... Read more

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Oct 31

October 31, 2016

Did You Just Cough In My Face?

Did You Just Cough In My Face?

I avoid germs like the plague because for me, well, germs pretty much are the plague. What may be just a little virus or an annoying little cold for one person is a show-stopping, game-changing, progress-reversing, month-stealing seriously big deal for me. I try to explain this to people. I stammer on about my compromised immune system as I spray the couch... Read more

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Aug 18

August 18, 2016

How to Cope With the Train Wreck of New Diagnosis

How to Cope with the Train Wreck of New Diagnosis

As I lay in the darkness, my fingers poised on the keys of my laptop, tears run down my cheeks  as I listen to the sound of my son’s feeding pump a few feet away–a constant reminder that my normal isn’t really normal at all. In a recent trip to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, I sat in a chair watching... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Chronic Illness and Diagnosis, chronic illness; support, Parenting and Chronic Illness | By

Aug 1

August 1, 2016

How to let go of doing it all by yourself

How to Let Go of Doing It All by Yourself

My disability hearing is Monday morning. It feels more like a sentence imposed upon me than anything else. I picture the judge as a monster from a Stephen King novel, his gavel an instrument of punishment posed to administer my lashings. And what was my crime, you ask? I’m not sure, really. Maybe it was asking for help, wasting the... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Chronic Life, Disability | By

Jul 28

July 28, 2016

To Melanie, from Your Future Chronic Illness

To Melanie, from Your Future Chronic Illness

You’re an adult now, newly 18. You’ll leave for college soon and it won’t be easy. The adjustment won’t be too bad, you’ll make a few friends and earn good grades. But as the year progresses, the real difficulty begins. When you can’t use the restroom without crying because of pain and your mom comes to pick you up to... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Chronic Illness and anxiety, Chronic Illness and Diagnosis, Chronic Life | By

Jul 14

July 14, 2016

Dear Husband, I wish you knew how strong you are.

Dear Husband, I wish you knew how strong you are

Dear Husband, I wish you knew how strong you are. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. Every day I wake up and watch you defy odds. The way you live your life is so much more than popping a pill or taking a shot. I don’t know any other 10-year-old boy who has announced to his mother... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, chronic illness; support, Love, Marriage, Physicians, Relationships | By

Jun 20

June 20, 2016

3 Tips For Loving Your Chronically Ill Spouse Well

3 Tips For Loving Your Chronically Ill Spouse Well

For most spouses, the thought of handling kiddie transportation, Thanksgiving dinner, and birthday parties solo would never cross their mind. But in the world of the spouse who cares for a chronically ill better half, such is the typical reality of day-to-day life. In fact, reconciling these dual and dueling worlds can prove incredibly challenging. Below are three tips that... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Love, Marriage, Relationships | By

Jun 9

June 9, 2016

That Faithful Friend

That Faithful Friend

Befriending those with rare and chronic illnesses is not for the faint of heart. Your job description—should you choose to accept it—will include: walking with us through the plentiful highs and lows, learning a new language (the language of our illness), grieving alongside us, possibly purchasing a medical dictionary, no longer pretending it’s all okay, and last (but not least)... Read more

Posted in Caregivers, Chronic illness and relationships, chronic illness; support, Physicians, Relationships | By

Mar 31

March 31, 2016

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Our Journey Back: My Teenage Daughter’s Battle with Anxiety

She was only 16, but she was convinced she was having a heart attack. Although I assured her she was a healthy young woman and it was highly unlikely she had heart problems, she was terrified something was seriously wrong. From her repeated visits to online medical sites, a practice we had teased her about for years, she recognized all... Read more

Posted in Anxiety, Caregivers, Parenting and Chronic Illness | By