"One thing that has become increasingly evident to me is the unexpected outcome of providing exceptional care: the continuation of life. It makes me question whether it is always the right decision, but how can I possibly do otherwise?"
These words were spoken by Dave Iverson, our guest this week, in his thought-provoking book Winter Stars. Within its pages, he delves deep into the circumstances that led him to realize when it was time to step away from being his mother's primary caregiver. He painfully recognized that his mother and her care had become the fulcrum on which his life teetered precariously. This soul-searching occurred twelve years after his Parkinson's disease diagnosis, a condition he had managed quite well. However, the prospect of countless more days dedicated to caregiving left him feeling despondent.
Their life together was straightforward—two individuals dependent on Social Security and Medicare, residing under the same roof. The activities that used to rejuvenate Dave no longer held the same effect. The coping mechanisms he had relied on for years appeared insufficient to sustain his sense of self. Despite receiving every form of support available to a caregiver, he couldn't shake the feeling of being perpetually bound.
Eventually, after exploring every facet of his role as a primary caregiver, Dave arrived at a profound realization. He understood that he needed to step out the front door and return not as a caregiver but as a son. He recognized that he could no longer undertake the impossible, albeit fulfilling, excruciating, and life-altering job.
Now to pay some bills!
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