Monday, April 18, 2011

Caregiving from a Caregiver's Perspective

In Sunday 'Coming this Week ..." I wrote ... What is like providing 24/7 care to a loved one by Diane Forrest.  A series about Caregiving and the Caregiver from an amazing woman who provided 24/7 care for her husband for over ten years.  Her story is insightful, interesting and heartbreaking – we hope that you will take time to read the entire series and share your experiences with us.

Introduction

Diane Forrest received her license in nursing in 1993 at the age of 30.  She began her nursing career as a single mother working in the orthopedic department in a local 180 bed hospital.  After a few years she started working part time with a home health agency in addition with her hospital duties. She married in July, 1995 to a wonderful man.  Tragedy struck in December that year when he was injured at work the week before Christmas.  He ruptured 3 thoracic discs that immediately caused numbness in his "saddle" area and would eventually leave him paralyzed from the chest down.  As his conditioned worsened, Diane had to leave her employment and stay home to take care of her husband.  In 2008, he acquired a decubitus ulcer from sitting on an improper wheelchair cushion.  He was placed on bed rest to allow the sore to heal, and even though the sore healed after 6 weeks, he lost the use of his arms, and was never able leave the bed again.  She remained by his side taking constant care, providing medical attention, ordering supplies, dealing with insurance companies and attorneys, doing the cooking, cleaning, house maintenance, yard work, and mother to their combined 5 sons without the assistance of outside help.  On November 10, 2010, her husband passed away from sepsis, an infection in the blood.  He was 52 years of age.  Diane now is sharing her experiences and expertise to others who face similar challenges in their care giving roles.  She welcomes any questions and comments and can be reached through this blog.

Tuesday morning will be the first of several post that capture's Diane's experience.

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