A look inside a caregiver’s mind
Being There, by Aimi Medina, is a wonderful book that gives us a glimpse of the thoughts and emotions of a family caregiver. This book comes from the journal Aimi kept while caring for her father, who suffered a massive stroke in January 2012.
The diary format lets us follow along as her journey unfolds. We’re there as Aimi and her family struggle through the big decisions and challenges of hands-on caregiving. She also talks about their biggest regret and important lessons about preparing for end-of-life.
After her dad’s massive stroke
In January 2012, Aimi Medina’s father suffered a massive stroke. After the stroke, he became paralyzed on his right side, incontinent, and unable to express himself. He also had stage 3 renal failure and suffered from psychotic depression. His behavior became extreme and unpredictable.
Aimi and her family cared for him in skilled nursing rehab facilities, at home, in a nursing home, and finally, in hospice.
Lessons Aimi learned
1. The feeding tube was their biggest regret
Aimi and family thought the decision to put in a feeding tube was temporary and could be removed when her dad was able to eat again, but it was never removed.
If her dad didn’t have the feeding tube in the first place, he could have died naturally and avoided the deep suffering he endured for 20 months after the stroke.
2. Consequences of not having a durable power of attorney
Because Aimi’s dad hadn’t given durable power of attorney to anyone, Aimi’s mom was forced to go to court to get a conservatorship in order to manage the family finances.
This added to an already stressful situation. It forced them to spend time and money getting court approvals, creating budgets and plans, hiring lawyers, and paying court fees.
This book is worth reading for anyone who is or will be a caregiver. It’s full of compassion and love, but also tackles big, important subjects.
The best thing is that we get to experience how Aimi’s family worked through one challenge after another and coped with the emotional rollercoaster. Caregivers will appreciate Aimi’s guilt, pain, secret wishes for death to relieve suffering, and moments of happiness because we’ve all been there too.
Next Step Buy the book Being There, by Aimi Medina
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Aimi Medina
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