WHEN? You Can’t Always be the Caregiver

Brain Injury Blog by Jodi Ginter

May 13, 2011

WHEN Can I Stop Being a Caregiver?

When do you as a caregiver stop ‘caring too much’? You know what I mean, when do you stop second guessing yourself about everything? A sniffle, a cough, a tired look… is it a cold? Is it something more? Are they tired? Are they over tired? Is this the beginning of a ‘new development’ in your journey? When do we  (here I mean me…) stop trying to fix everything before it is broken?

I have just drove 30 miles to where my son Sam goes to school to pick him up.

This morning when Sam woke up, he was stuffed up and not feeling so great. This is the product of a weekend of working at a cadet fundraiser and a late night outdoor birthday party for a friend — following a week of starting his new meds (for the new developments of seizures), outdoor football practices and then there is the ever pesky school and chores thing…

When he came down for breakfast I could tell that he was not himself, but he is 15 and needs to start making his own choices and start looking at his health from his side of it. He was to take a daytime cold pill to get him thru the day… so I asked if he was good to go to school and I got a “yep!”.

That “yep!” lasted all of about 2.5 hours and then came a phone call from Sam.

“I am not feeling too great mom, I need to come home…”

That is when I found out from him that he forgot to take the cold pill this morning (short term memory loss due to the seizures) and I forgot to check if he took it (due to the fact of trying to get 3 other kids out the door for school, cleaning up kitchen and getting myself out the door to check and feed the calves!!!) So off I drove to get him… 30 minutes one way…

I tried to tell him this morning about not going to school, but I had to let him make the final decision. I tried to explain to him how if he doesn’t start to look after himself that he will be missing out on a lot of things.

“Ya mom. I know…”


When do we stop ‘caring so much’ and trying to fix it all before it gets to this point!? As parents I know we have the final say and for the most part we do, but he is also only a few short years from leaving home and needs to learn how to ‘stop’ himself and do these self checks… but I still find myself second guessing everything that happens with Sam.

One response to “WHEN? You Can’t Always be the Caregiver”

  1. It’s always hard to step back as a Mom and let your children grow into the adults they are becoming with all the risks and choices that face them. This is hard for any parent, but even harder I think for the parent who has survived the emotional trauma of a child’s injury. Independence is scary for everyone and it is perhaps even harder to let go after a child has been hurt – no matter how long ago that was, the memory is still there.

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