I Didn't Plan to be a Caregiver

I didn’t plan to be a caregiver. Traveling around the country in an RV and seeing first-hand all the places previously viewed in pictures and movies; hand-in-hand–still in love after years of raising children and working hard to make ends meet…that was our dream of growing old together.

God’s plan often differs from ours.

My husband, who had always been the picture of health, strong, bigger-than-life, loyal, loving, and my soul-mate became seriously ill in the fall of 2009. It all began with a visit to the Urgent Care when we thought he might have a bladder infection. He was diagnosed with a UTI and sent home with medication. As the hours passed, his pain increased. Urinating became extremely difficult and painful. I wanted to take him to see our doctor, but hubby wanted to give the meds 48 hours. So, we waited. Nothing improved, but instead grew increasingly worse. I contacted our family doctor. Without seeing him, the doctor said to continue giving the meds, make sure he drank plenty of fluids, and if he wasn’t better the next day to bring him in.

I did.

By this time, hubby was in extreme pain. The doctor did a blood test and after lecturing me on waiting so long (um, yeah), sent us to the hospital so hubby could be catherized. When we arrived, I was in a near panic. I thought my husband was going to die before they treated him. All I could do was repeat the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm over and over again as we waited and I clung to my faith. I prayed for God to hold us close and prayed for his loving mercy.

Finally, we were escorted to a room where they put in a catheter and drained two liters of fluid from his bladder. They sent us home with the catheter in place and we were scheduled to go back to the doctor in two days.

This was my first experience with being a caregiver…but the story is only beginning…

“I didn’t plan to be a caregiver, but God had a different plan for me. I accept it with a happy heart, thankful that my love and I are still together.”


I Didn't Plan to be a Caregiver — 8 Comments

  1. Oh, Carol – what a nightmare…but I take hope in your final line….that you accept your life with a happy heart, glad that you and your DH are still together. My father’s health failed quickly over the last six months before he died…and after 56 years of marriage, my parents were one unit. It was time consuming, draining and heartbreaking to contend with his declining health, but we wouldn’t have done a single thing differently. There was a beautiful grace to be found in being there for him and uplifting him and supporting him, and my mom.

    • Absolutely, Marianne! God never gives us more than we can handle and He walks with us through it all. I’ll be sharing more about how I became a caregiver and about the part of God’s plan for me. Thanks so much for stopping in.

  2. My heart goes out to you. I’ve been a caregiver since I was 10 years old, when my mother had the first of three more boys. My husband had three occurrences of cancer in the late 80s into the 90s and this past fall developed heart issues. When I was ready to leave my job and be a writer full-time, my daughter was pregnant. I’ve taken care of that grandson and his sister since he was born. No complaints. God orchestrates the people in our lives. He extended His grace, we need to give some of it back by extending grace to others.

    • Hi LoRee! Thank you so much for stopping by. Becoming a caregiver at such an early age has shaped you into the loving servant you are today. Through the years you have blessed many people. I only pray that I can bless others through sharing my experiences. God blesses me so much every single day.

  3. Hi Carol I understand what you are going through. My husband has multiple illnesses that make looking for a full time job a bleak thing. I was just saying to my sister maybe working overnight would be the way to go. I would be free to take him to dialysis, his doctors’ appointments and other things. He is blind in one eye and has cataracts in the other so the old addage blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other fits him. I am elected to drive. We have no children just the two of us. That is what makes it hard when he goes into the hospital like he did in Oct, Dec, and in March. No warning Oct and Dec were heart issues, March was bacterial pneumonia. He was diagnosed with a neuro endocrine carcinoid tumor in the fall of 2005. Well they knew he had cancer but not what type then. We went home after that diagnosis and never went back until he lost his vision in one eye.
    NO he’s been diagnosed with a defibrilation, has kidney failure, and dry gangrene on his toes. My current schedule consists of Mon, Wed, Fri take him to the wound care dr, Tues, Thurs, Sat take and pick him up from dialysis. Not to mention we’re stuck living with my sister that drives us both insane. God will pull us through somehow I know. My husband is fighting all of this and going strong.

    • Hugs to you, Kathy! You certainly have a heavy load. Sometimes sharing with one who knows can ease the burden just a bit. I will add you and your hubby to my prayer list. Take comfort in knowing that you do not walk the path alone.

  4. My prayers go out to you Carol – and to Kathy, too! Praise God that you have embraced the path He’s chosen for you and that you are leaning on Him through it all.

    My mother has been a caregiver all her life – from the time I was young – first her father had cancer and lived with us, then my father had cancer and she/we cared for him, then she remarried and her mother-in-law has alzheimers/dementia, now my mother is going through the same thing and my step father is caring for her (they live in a different state). I’ve often wondered if God is trying to teach her something through it all, giving the lesson over and over again.

    I will never know, this side of heaven, but I’m sure there are many blessings that will be given for all those who have cared for others. God bless you all!

    • Hello Donna, thank you for stopping by. Your mother must be a very special person. We might think our purpose in life is one thing, but only God know what He has planned for us. Embracing it is our choice. Through the years, I’ve been an impatient person, and I believe God is showing me how to be patient. Sometimes the lessons are hard, but He certainly knows how to get my attention, and through it all I am thoroughly blessed. Hugs to your mother and to all of your family who have experienced and are experiencing the role of caregiver.

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