Monday, 14 March 2016

THE PERKS OF CAREGIVING: MY STORY

From time to time, I host guest writers on my blog.  Today, young caregiver Henry Kingston shares his story. Thanks for reading and sharing! Donna



MY FAMILY STORY

My father was my best friend as he was very well aware of my life inside out. He never scolded me even when I was entirely unreasonable and that’s why I could never let my father down. My Father George Kingston was a depressed and anxious child. In his later years, my father suffered from Alzheimer’s and he believed I was like his mother.  This was the most unbearable fact of my life. My mother was the kindest and most giving woman I have ever known but she wasn’t physically stable at that time, so I became my father’s primary caregiver.
 
When I got to know that my father had Alzheimer’s, I was in severe shock as I had no clue what this disease was about. Later when I did some research, I got to know some awful facts about this disease which actually brought tears to my eyes and fear to my heart. Alzheimer's disease can last up to 15 years and sometimes longer, which can make a patient get really fed up of what he is going through and that’s when depression kicks in even more. Alzheimer is a very devastating disease. In my father’s case, it went unnoticed for 9 years. In the second stage, he was totally aware of what he was going through and got angry at himself quite often as he wasn’t able to remember what he said.  The third stage for him was a bit more relaxing as my father didn’t remember that he was going through Alzheimer’s and it no longer bothered him. Alzheimer’s disease can last up to 10 to 15 years and in my fathers case, it lasted 13.5 years. Sadly, he passed away two years ago due to a severe heart attack.

MEMORIES



One fine afternoon, My dad was in his condo watching his favorite movie and all of a sudden when I entered the room, I saw a frightful look on his face. His eyes were opened wide. He started yelling at the top of his lungs, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

I was standing in the corner in a dilemma, not knowing what was happening or what to do. I felt really helpless looking at my father in such a state of mind, but it really kicked in as I realised how my dad was looking up to me for care and that gave me a bit of a boost too and made me realise that i shall stand up to his expectations no matter what it takes. I ran to my dad and held his shivering body really tight. I asked him calmly “Dad what’s wrong?” He said strange creatures had intruded. I never saw anyone so scared and anxious.  He was shivering and crying helplessly. The pressure on my mother was quite devastating. I sent her to L.A for four months to spend some time with my sister.

I feel glad that I was lucky enough to spare time for his caregiving, cooking for him and hoping to make him feel better. I used to buy his favorite movies and his favorite foods to make him feel as good as I could, which seemed to help. That’s when I felt really good about the fact that my dad was recovering and I was able to manage things and stand up to his expectations. That feeling had no sufficient words to describe and I really feel good about what I could do for my father. It eventually made me feel like a proud son, I will always be proud of myself as I do realise how vital a role my parents played in my own upbringing. I will always be thankful to God for making me so strong that I could stand by my dad in those harsh times. 

Henry Kingston is a passionate blogger and loves writing. He has written on various topics such as healthcare, home care for the elderly and about different other aspects of life. Follow @Henrykingston30 for more updates. 




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