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Caregivers or Carers, and the important Role They Play

I was reminded recently of how important people who care for us really are. A friend inspired me to write about this subject, which has always been close to my heart because of my regular contact with spouses, partners and loved ones who have cared for someone living with hepatitis c. There is no special designation that identifies or gives status to someone who cares in the way that these people do. Labels are never all that reliable despite our inclination to assign them.

Caregivers are in a class of their own, to use a well-worn cliché. They are important!

I could share stories about the people I have met over the years, and there are many.

There is a common thread woven through the narrative-they care enough to walk with the people they care for through the difficult and challenging struggles that people can face. Some act as outspoken advocates while others quietly support through their support and actions. These actions take many forms and are as diverse as the people are who do this work.

There are as many positive stories as there are stories that end in tragedy.

I am not keeping count, but there have been many cured and many others who have lost their battle to HCV.

Some of the people reading this will know me and they know what being a caregiver is about. The challenges in dealing with the medical system and navigating through the maze that HCV can bring for many of us.

You will have heard here about people with lived experience, as having an insight like others don’t. I have read it and spoken it myself for years. We talk about how others cannot know what it is like to live with hepatitis c or treat.

There is truth in these views, but if there is any group who we can point to as having lived experience it is those who are our caregivers.

I am not talking about nurses or Dr’s when I talk about carers or caregivers. It is not to suggest that healthcare providers don’t care because many do and strictly speaking they do provide “care” but there is a difference I believe.

I will share one all too common example of a story about a spouse who struggled to understand what was happening to their better half as the illness progressed over time. They asked many questions and worked tirelessly doing research in an effort to be the voice for their very ill spouse, along with providing daily care. There dedication was inspirational and although I had some answers for them, mostly I offered emotional support when I could.

Their spouse eventually succumbed to the ravages of HCC. They remained strong even in the face of great loss and showed great courage and grace. Again I say inspirational because it is so fitting to me.

Conversely, I could talk about the many uplifting and inspiring stories about people who were able to be cured and go on to resume their life both free of hep c and free of the effects of living with a potentially life-ending illness.

I think there is an important role for caregivers in the continuum of care with HCV, and if you are one of these people I salute you for your efforts in whatever form they take. Thank you all for making an incredible contribution in helping and caring. It is important!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.