A View From the Other Side
Since I was a little girl, my daddy had heart trouble. We have been through so much with it. Many times I did not know if he was going to make it. This was one of my life's greatest fears, which eventually came to pass in 2018. I want to share with you the view from the other side. As people, we often do the things we believe are best and there is nothing wrong with that. If we had a different perspective at the time, maybe we would have handled it a bit differently.
Caregiving from a distance
Living away from my dad was never easy, I felt like I was out of touch many days. Too far away to do anything, traveling was hard, and my family was not in a financial position to travel often. We would talk often and write letters (back in the day). As I grew up and our relationship grew too, there was one thing that was always very hard for me. My dad never wanted me to worry about it. As a parent, I have a great appreciation for this and a much better understanding than what I did have when I was younger.
I needed to know
Here is the thing though: I needed to know what was going on. The not knowing was so much worse for me. Getting to the airport to see him and having my stepmother tell me that he had more stents done, or that his problems were getting worse. It broke my heart into so many pieces while I understood that he was trying to protect me from it all. I wanted the choice, I wanted to be able to choose if I could make a plan to travel to be there. I would have liked to have been there to hold his hand and make his coffee in the mornings when he was going through something new.
Patients should let their loved ones in
For the loved ones in your life, it could be deeply important to be allowed in on a part of this journey. You never know you may even find the burden easier to bear when you share. It is okay to set boundaries, you do not have to divulge your every move and details. But try not to lock them out. It really hurts and even though we might not be able to do too much, let us be there for you. Often times it is all we are able to give. Giving them a little space to be there can mean the world of difference to the relationship you have with them.
Just being there to hold his hand
It builds trust and it allows the person on the other side looking in - who is petrified of losing you - a chance to hold your hand. If all they can do it make you a cup of tea and be around you, that is enough. If all it means is that they are in on the know of what is happening with your health, that is okay too.
Do you use exercise to help manage your heart failure?