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Caregiving: The Brutal Part of Hep C

Caregiving: The Brutal Part of Hep C

Caregiving is one of the toughest, hardest jobs I think there is. Often times, it is demanding, grueling, thankless, and unforgiving. Recently, my foundation had a posting from a caregiver, asking where the support is for those caring for someone with hep C…

My experience: Being a caregiver and needing a caregiver

…This was one of the first support groups my team founded on Facebook (through our foundation sponsored groups). Reason being, I was first the caregiver to my mother, who had end stage liver disease and hep C. I was one of her primary caregivers throughout the day and my dad took the night shift. Many days, I would leave her house in tears; feeling so unappreciated and taken for granted. I swore that if anyone had to care for me someday, I would not be like this. To this day, I do my best to be respectful and kind to my kids, who are my caregivers; After all, it is not their fault I have hep C. Bless their hearts, they are only there to ensure my life is ok, not to be my lash post because I am frustrated at life.

Caregivers have needs too!

This is why I wanted a place only for caregivers to connect and vent. Keep in mind, I am a hep C patient as well, but from my personal experience, caregiving for my mom was brutal. From my own experience, I knew these caregivers needed a place to vent, but also a place where they could gain perspective and suggestions on what to do (with, for example, hepatic encephalopathy).

Recognizing our caregivers

Sometimes, we as do not realize the sacrifice, dedication, and love our caregivers give us each day. Because we are in pain, hurt, have brain fog, depressed and the list goes on, we can be pretty much intolerable to be around. Our sarcastic demeanor because we don’t feel understood is taken out on those closest to us… our caregivers. This comes across as hard, callous, and uncaring. We as patients MUST remember that life is not all about us and certainly does revolve around us.

Some of us married these caregivers long ago, took on a pledge to love, honor, and cherish. But going through a battle like we have, we lose touch with the important stuff… like loving, respecting, thanking those that help us each and every day. I know we might not be up to it , but we must muster strength to also be there for our caregiver. When was the last time you gave your caregiver a back rub? Or drew them a bath.? Shocking, when we step back and look at it like this, huh?!

Showing our appreciation

How long do you think you could care for someone this long of time without a thank you, or some form of appreciation? For some of us, it is time we get out of our selfish mindset and be there for our caregivers. Sure, it might only be a few moments in a day, but trust me, a little kindness and appreciation will go a long way.

Hep C is an ugly disease and it robs us of life, happiness, and our family. We do have some control over that. Today, let’s remember those that help us out and be there to show our appreciation and love.

To our caregivers: Thank you for being patient, understanding, loving, and forgiving when we fall short of being decent human beings while fighting this disease. We never want to take you for granted and someday when we are cured from this beast, we hope to pay back all the sacrifice you have shown and given to us. We LOVE our caregivers.

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.