Caregiver’s Log, October 29, 2017

Fearing our worst fear

By Samra Jones Bufkins

For some unknown reason, I became deathly sick to my stomach last night. Because of the timing, I’m blaming it on the 9th inning implosion of the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the World Series, but I digress…

During one of my trips to pay homage to the porcelain god, the thought crossed my mind: “What if this is serious and I need to go to the hospital?”

It’s possibly the most-reported fear of family caregivers–what if something happens to us?

I might as well be alone in the house. Bill can’t use the telephone anymore, and I’m not sure he’d know to go to a neighbor for help. Plus, I’m wondering if it’s food poisoning or a virus (we ate from the same pot of chili) or something he could get.

We caregivers can’t get a break. We can’t even get sick without worrying about a zillion things.

But then something comforting happened.

I was curled up in a fetal position on the bed, and Bill came in with a cat. He brought the kitty to me, put him down, and stroked my hair, not saying anything.

A couple minutes later he came into the room with a glass of ice water. ice water

After my last trip to the Temple of Earl, Bill was waiting with a washcloth soaked in cold water.  A box of Kleenex was on the bed.

I crawled into bed, groaning, and he turned off the bedside light, something he NEVER does.

About 2:45 am I got up to get some ginger ale out of the kitchen. He had turned off most of the lights and turned off the TV before coming to bed. I can’t remember when he did either of those things.

Somewhere, in the remains of his intelligent, funny and compassionate brain, there was still a spark of concern, of the ability to lend assistance, and to care.

It was a brief but welcome flashback to the guy I married.



2 thoughts on “Caregiver’s Log, October 29, 2017

  1. Samra, thanks for sharing your experience. I just lost my mother to this horrible disease in August. I can relate to much of what you are saying in terms of processing the changes you see in a loved one, but cannot begin to imagine watching a spouse go through these stages.

    My mom made it through to the final stages of the disease. Many don’t. If there is anything positive about the disease, it was that my brothers and I were grateful for her release. That final stage was heartbreaking. All stages have their share of heartbreak, certainly, as you are learning.

    I’m so impressed with your willingness to use your awesome communication skills to broaden awareness of this disease. Truthfully, I wasn’t capable of doing that. It was just more than I could handle.

    Know I’m thinking of you both, and wishing you the best.


    1. Thank you for your kind words, and accept my condolences on your mother’s passing. It’s difficult to deal with, and nobody gets it unless they’ve been in our shoes. If you ever have anything to add, feel free to email me. I’m being encouraged to write a book, but right now I’m focusing on my blog.


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