In one of the most difficult moments, Kai and his father met an excellent doctor who was honest and made Kai feel included.
It came to the point where we had this appointment with the doctor and I remember we were in the, like, in an office probably a little bit smaller than this room, with my dad, my mom, myself and the doctor, and they basically gave us the option of amputation. But because of somebody in his condition, it could take years—he estimated maybe like 5 years just to adjust, because of his condition—to adjust to not having a leg with rehab and things like that. And because of his heart condition, he would most likely pass away on the table—because of his heart disease—because of the anesthetic they would have to use. Or go off dialysis and within 4 days he would pass away.
So basically it was a death sentence. There wasn’t really any good news there, but what I loved about this doctor, and this was the only doctor that I remember that didn’t beat around the bush. All the doctors we had sugar-coated everything. It made us feel there was hope, there were other options. But this doctor just said it like it was and I loved that. I was already tired of everything else that was happening in a medical field that—like our doctor saying he had a clean bill of health and then congestive heart failure—so I was already tired of listening to doctors, but to have this guy not only give it like it was, but then he asked, he went and asked us personally “How are you doing?” He just made you feel like you were included in this, like […] not only was this a major affliction for dad, but this was also afflicting us. So I really felt that he made us feel special in that sense, that he was looking after us.
More from: Kai
- When care changes over time – Kai Kai’s father decided he would go off the dialysis. Kai describes the positive effects of this decision.
- Society and caregiving 2 – KaiKai was a youth caregiver. He would like the government to recognize that youth are often responsible for caring for someone too.
- Society and caregiving – KaiWhen Kai got a job, he didn’t tell his employer or colleagues that his father was ill. You don’t want to let everyone know that your family is not perfect.
- Resources – KaiKai became involved in a pilot project to raise awareness about youth caregiving and helped to create a youth support group.
- Providing support – KaiDuring a week-long training session, Kai and his mother learned to run the dialysis machine overnight.
- Personal growth and transformation – KaiAlthough caregiving is hard, Kai thinks we should embrace the experience and learn from it.
- Interaction with professionals 2 – KaiKai suggests that healthcare professionals get to know their patient and family, especially when visiting their home. Get to know their likes and dislikes, and how they like things to be done.
- Interaction with professionals – KaiIn one of the most difficult moments, Kai and his father met an excellent doctor who was honest and made Kai feel included.
- Impact on professional life and career 2 – KaiKai became involved in a video project to raise awareness for youth caregiving, and helped start a youth support group.
- Impact on professional life and career – KaiKai started working to help out financially, but was so distracted by the situation at home that he was eventually fired.