Becoming a caregiver


He was about in his early 50s and my mom and I had to go away for a few days for a conference and I came back. And the situation was getting worse. So we took him to the hospital. Actually, we took him to his doctor’s first and, as good as they could, they gave him a clean bill of health. Well, for his conditions that was as clean as it was going to get. And then, that very night we took him and we found out that he had—we didn’t know about the condition of heart failure at first—but we found out that he had several silent heart attacks. 

Right away it was a frustrating experience because we just saw the doctor and she didn’t see anything wrong with him. Not that she gave him any x-rays, but I would have assumed that she would have caught onto that. And then a few days later I was at school and I got pulled out of the classroom and was told by the nurse that my father had a heart attack. 

Just getting to the hospital was about half an hour away and just nerve racking— “am I going to make it? If he dies is he going to be by himself?” So it was a very nerve racking half an hour ride, and when we got there, it was not fatal; he was going to be good. But, more or less, that was when the youth caregiving experience began.

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