Today I would like to introduce Elaine Benton, who has been my guest blogger a couple of times:
Being a caregiver is probably one of the hardest tasks I can think of. To stand by helplessly watching as a degenerative disease grabs hold of a loved one, is a heart-breaking role to play. Trying to comprehend and understand what someone is going through on a daily basis is far from easy. Accepting this unexpected and uninvited position in life, which changes plans for the future and throws everything awry, yet being able to continue loving unconditionally whilst caring for someone who’s suffering a debilitating disease, takes great heart and shows immense dedication. In difficult circumstances, somehow we manage to find great inner strength and courage. I am sure that many people have walked in these shoes, as I have done. I took care of my mother for several years as dementia slowly and cruelly stole the wonderful, vibrant, competent woman she once was, leaving a shell of her former self behind, that I barely recognised. The only saving grace was that when my mother was starting to lose touch with reality, I was diagnosed at the age of 44 with Parkinson’s disease, and strange as it may sound, due to the dementia, she was spared the heartbreak of knowing this information. I said “goodbye” in my heart every time I visited my mother, as she daily slipped away from us, unable to communicate or comprehend. It was a long farewell, over several years that pulled at my heartstrings; I couldn’t bear visiting her in this condition, yet couldn’t stay away.
(Written by Elaine Benton, author of “Parkinson’s, shaken, not stirred” www.elainebenton.net
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