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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Caregivers: My Husband

© 2009 Jamie V.
My husband and I were married a year after my accident. We had been dating for over six years, when he proposed just little under two months before the accident.

While we were going out, Jeremy had taken care of me through seasonal sickness (colds, etc). So, I knew that he could be a good caregiver, at least on a short-term basis.

Once I was in the car accident, I hated to think that he'd be immediately placed into a caregiver role, once we were married. We knew that our married life wouldn't look like many other marriages between people our age. We were okay with that, though, because our entire relationship had "looked different" - our relationship was long-distance for almost 6.5 years, including the two months immediately following our wedding. But, it has worked for us (which isn't to say that it's been easy).

Jeremy has proven to be the perfect person for me in so many ways - my friend, my husband, my caregiver. I am truly BLESSED! He is loving, caring, supportive, perceptive.

He's always taken such good care of me. And, since I've been dealing with my chronic migraines, he's only done more. He allows me the freedom to do what I can and to try doing more / to regain some independence, but he takes care of the things that I cannot do anymore or that I'm struggling with due to the migraines.

He takes care of our Honey Bee (dog), and he takes care of the house chores (I try to help as much as I'm able). He often goes grocery shopping and cooks for us.

He's my biggest cheerleader, when I try doing more (though he helps me to not overdo it) and / or try things that I've struggled with since the accident. He helps remind me to celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments and to be thankful for what I have and what I can do.

© 2012 Jamie V.
Jeremy makes sure I take my medications on schedule. He works from home, if I'm starting a new medication or am dealing with a particularly bad migraine. He goes with me to all of my doctor appointments. He helps me determine when I should use my migraine meds, and when I need to get emergency care.

He knows me so well... the me behind the mask. He's been there for me through the best and the worst times. I feel his love through everything he does. And, I try my hardest to share my love with him in everything I do.

I know that God has placed Jeremy in my life to be my lifelong partner, and I'm so very grateful for him.

This post was written as part of the National Health Blog Posting Month (NHBPM), as well as the November PFAM blog carnival.

Caregivers: My Parents

My parents have always been a huge support to me. When I was in a car accident in October 2008, I needed to move back in to my parents' house. They became my primary caregivers, as my mind and body tried to heal.

There are some things in those first few months that are pretty blurry - I remember the day of the accident very well, but several months after the accident are only accounted for by my incessant note-taking of everything and my parents' notes and memories.

What I do recall, is that my parents were always there for me (as has been the case my entire life).
  • My mom went with me to every doctor appointment (and there were A LOT!) and meeting with the attorney, for at least the first year after the accident. She took notes during visits and asked questions that I either forgot or didn't think to ask. She was my caregiver and my advocate, and I feel that we grew even closer under very difficult circumstances. She continues to be a support by asking how things are going, asking for updates on how doctor appointments go, and being understanding of my limitations and needs.
  • My dad (and my father-in-law) came down to College Station to pick me and my car up (weekend of the accident). My dad offered care and support in different ways than my mom, but still so very needed. He had a car accident several years before that changed his life, too. He helped me to accept and work within the limitations that my illness placed on me (including breaking tasks down into baby steps), and to be able to ask for help (neither of us has ever been good at). We've always understood and related to one another in a special way, and this was just a different situation that we shared.
I will be forever grateful for my parents love, care, and support! I know that caring for me at some of my darkest points, and seeing me struggle so much with things much deeper than the pain, was extremely difficult for them. But, their presence and unconditional love will never be forgotten. Their unwavering love and support helped me through, as it continues to do.

This post was written as part of the National Health Blog Posting Month (NHBPM), as well as the November PFAM blog carnival.