“I feel if there was a support group, someone may have kept in touch with me… that would have helped me feel that someone understands what I am going through”
Anuja, had just given birth, and went from being a patient to caregiver overnight. Her daughter was born with severe birth asphyxia. Shocked by her condition, they admitted her to another hospital with neo natal care. Anuja’s trauma had just begun with their decision to put her daughter on a ventilator… as the daughter would end up being in a vegetative state for the next 3 years till her death.
While she dealt with her own post-pregnancy situation, she had to move to another hospital where she stayed for 3 months to look after her daughter. While there, her husband , met with an accident and needed her help too.
On her return home, she spent the next 3 years taking care of her daughter 24/7. Anuja recounts how her life stagnated and she had become like a robot, showing no emotion, just getting on with day-to-day caregiving. With no support group at the time, no one to check on her occasionally, she was completely drained and stuck.
Years later, when her son was unwell she joined a spiritual and meditation group which helped her calm down. She had a visitor from there everyday, and the chanting helped keep her at peace. Had she known about such a support group earlier, she would have been able to handle the tough journey with her daughter even better. In her story, Anuja highlights the importance of support groups for caregivers.
If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.
Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team.
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