A story from Stay At Home of Lee County, home care franchise located in Ft. Myers, Florida
written by A.J. Canfield
I returned a phone call to a client that was referred to me by a local rehabilitative center. During my short conversation with the wife of the client, I learned that her husband was being re-admitted into the hospital due to complications. Just on hunch and the sound of her voice, I knew that she personally needed comforting. I told her that I would be happy to meet her at the hospital to see what I could do to help her and her husband.
Walking into the emergency room, I recognized her immediately. She was standing in the hallway beside her huband who was lying on a gurney. At first glance I could tell that she was scared, alone, and out of sorts. It was at that moment I realized our care was for her as much as it was for the man whose hand she was holding.
It took about an hour to get her husband settled into a room. As soon as he was asleep, I whisked her off to the cafeteria for some much needed nourishment. It was obvious that she had not eaten all day and she was starting to fade. We enjoyed light conversation over our meal and she was so appreciative of all my help. This is where my story begins.
You see, Rose (an alias) has been the primary caregiver of her husband for several months while he has been recuperating from a C2 fracture of the spine. And for explanation purposes without medical jargon, the C2 vertebrae essentially holds your head on your body. Up to that day when I met Rose in the hallway, her husband spent many nights in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab facilities. The doctors are confident that her husband will recover, but it will be a long and arduous process; a process that sometimes could be interrupted by unforeseen circumstances.
Circumstances like pneumonia, reactions to medications, and infections. Yes, since my two month assignment with Rose and her husband we have experienced many scary situations that required 911 calls, emergency room visits and hospital admissions. It has been a difficult and stressful road, but Rose has been there for her husband every step of the way. She feels that it is her duty.
Rose is a breast cancer survivor. Years ago her husband was by her side, caring for her, and nursing her back to health after her many chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. Today, Rose is cancer free and one the strongest 83 year old women I have ever met. I admire her greatly for her dedication and devotion to her husband.
I decided to pursue a career in the home care business because I was looking for the opportunity to help people. I never knew that caring for people like Rose and her husband would be a life changing experience for me. I have a new appreciation for love, life and family. I feel so blessed to have met Rose and her husband.