Appointment Adventures With My Dad

I was chatting with some friends this week about all the crazy adventures that are involved in  being a caregiver. As I move from being mostly a patient, to also caring for aging parents. Did you know

"The majority (83%) are family caregivers—unpaid persons such as family members, friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative."1

I realized how much my parents went through with me. I had so medication situations, between the crappy lungs, major back surgery and all the things that come with being a preemie. I had so many appointment adventures. I thought highlight some of these, would be a great way to say thanks for father's day.

Being an asthma caregiver can be demanding

I was one of this kids that always had something  going on. There were the many appointments at the children's hospital, many runs to the ER, family doctor and specialty clinics. My dad was an executive and had a more flexible schedule than my mom, she definitely came to all the major appointments but it was mostly my dad and I. We lived in a commuter suburb and appointments at the children's hospital involved a trip into the city. We usually made a day out of these appointments. Like many of you have probably experiences, appointment at major institutions can take forever, and you really need to pack your patience. My dad made these times so fun, we played games, I always got to pick out a new book to read. These books were usually obtained from the scholastic book club order at school. My dad often brought work to do during some of the down times. For example if I was getting testing done. As an adult, I realize how crucial it is to multitask while waiting for appointments. In the age of telecommuting, it provides parents and caregivers so many more options to keep on top of their work, while still being able to be there for loved ones.

I probably did not appreciate how much was involved in flexing your schedule, taking your child to an appointment and keeping them entertained. Especially, the keeping your child entertained part. These times were before televisions were common in patient waiting rooms. The main sources of entertainment were really old magazines, a few toys and all the things you brought on your own. The best part was partaking in snacks. My dad always had a bag of snacks on had I still love snacks at appointments to this day. For some odd reason, I am always eating an apple at the eye doctor. I have no idea why. I think this is learned behavior for my dad.

Later in life in I learned how much my dad was dealing with as the caregiver, as the parent on the front lines he was the first to hear the news if I was not doing well, if I required oxygen, infections, surgery, when it came up. He needed to make decisions, managing my whining or watch me cope with an illness. We think our parents are invincible but really they are just human, and needed to be celebrated for being awesome.

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