I am not a certified caretaker, but I wanted to share this life changing story with you all. Three years ago, my grandfather unfortunately suffered a stroke in his bedroom.
At the time, I was home alone with him. Out of nowhere, I heard a very loud bang. My family had quite a few pets at home, so I just assumed one of them knocked something over. As I went through room to room, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But for some reason, my gut told me to check on my grandfather.
I knocked on his door but strangely I did not hear him answer. I opened the door slightly to check on him only to find him lying face down on the floor. My first thought was that he passed away. I was only 25 years old at the time and I was all alone with him so I panicked. I immediately called my father and told him to come home right away.
When I went back to my grandfather’s room, I noticed that he was slowly getting up and seemed very disoriented. At that point I thought then perhaps that he had only fainted.
After my father came home, we took him to the hospital to get him checked out. Five hours later and after numerous tests, we found out he had a stroke and lung infection. They kept him in the hospital for a week and then transferred him to a rehab center for three weeks to help him with physical and speech therapy.
Since my schedule was flexible, I stayed at my parents’ home to help with my grandfather’s treatment. He had an anti-bacterial fluid that had to be administered into his arm 16 hours a day for three weeks. We had a nurse come over and show me to how to clean and insert the needles into his arm and how to connect the bags to the machine so the fluids could run continuously.
On top of all of this, he also struggled with the bathroom. I had to constantly change his clothes, clean him up, and change his sheets. It may not have been a pleasant thing to do but it was something that had to be done.
As you can imagine, I barely slept much in those three weeks. At 25 years old, the thought of having that much responsibility scared me to death. My parents were working at their jobs full time so I decided to take over full time and care for him.
You may be asking yourself why did I take on this task? The truth is my grandfather was scared and I wanted to be strong for him and let him know it was going to be okay. I was fortunate enough to stay home with him as the nurses said he would recover much better at home where he was comfortable.
The nurses at the facility and the ones who came to my parents’ home were absolutely wonderful. They were very helpful and patient which was invaluable in this situation. They even gave me their phone number so I could contact them personally and came over every chance they could to check in on me and him.
To this day, my grandfather is still around, he is now 97 years old. He is walking and talking like nothing has ever happened. He struggles from time to time with his memory and speech but otherwise, you would never know what he went through. His recovery has been absolutely remarkable.
I wanted to share my story with you all because I felt compelled by all of the other stories I read here on this site. No matter your age, certification, or lack of one, you can truly help anyone whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Just trust and believe in yourself.
Thank you Amanda Taylor for contributing this article. Even though you aren't certified as a caregiver, you are still considered one of us and that is something to be proud of. If only there were more people in this world like you. I wish you and your grandfather all the best. I'm sure what you have done has touched his life in an incredible way.