At times, Shayna’s caregiving responsibilities affected her performance at work.
One of the, one of the incidents that happened that made me really realize how much energy is lost and how you need those supports was I had a very important placement conference for a special needs child, and I took a lot of care in what I was going to say, how I was going to present, how I looked because I knew how I presented this case would have a tremendous effect on this child that I was working with and his placement. As luck would have it, the adaptable transit, came to pick up my husband for work. And the guys were always very nice and what happened that day I’m not sure, but as they picked him up on the lift, a fuse blew in the wheelchair, and the driver knocked on the door and told me he was not allowed to deal with it and I had to come out and change the fuse on the wheelchair, which I did and I became full of grease and dirt, had to change, became late to this very important professional interview. I lost my case for this kid and I felt terrible about it. And it just really reminded me how the systems impact on each other. I don’t know what would have happened if the incident with the wheelchair hadn’t happened, or if the driver had dealt with it himself as they always had in the past, and I had showed up on time and been in a different mental state and so on. I often think about it when I think about how an illness is not just for your little house, how it affects others. If you have a job, if you work, it affects—the ripples of it are tremendous.
- What is it like to be a caregiver? – Shayna Caring for someone with a chronic illness meant that Shayna was making different decisions from other families.
- Uncovering how and why caregivers care – ShaynaShayna started by trying to do everything, but realized later that it is hard to change.
- Society and caregiving – ShaynaWhen you are living with someone with a chronic illness, you cannot always do things in a ’normal’ way. Shayna learned that people can respond very strongly to this.
- Social impact and lifestyle changes – Shayna (2)It can be challenging for children to grow up in a situation where one parent is sick and needs continuous care. Shayna tried to find the right balance with her family.
- Social impact and lifestyle changes – 2 – ShaynaFor her son’s wedding, Shayna wrote a letter in her husband’s name to ask people to enjoy the day so his absence would not be a source of distraction.
- Resources – ShaynaThanks to the adjustments made through a government program, Shayna and her husband maintain a higher level of independence.
- Interaction with professionals – ShaynaShayna describes two negative encounters with health care professionals that had an impact on her husband’s ability to deal with his illness.
- Impact on professional life and career – ShaynaAt times, Shayna’s caregiving responsibilities affected her performance at work.
- Health system issues – ShaynaPrograms that help the care recipient remain functional in society are indispensible. Shayna finds it important to see the bigger picture.
- Effects of care recipients’ behaviour – ShaynaShayna says: "It makes a tremendous difference for the caregiver if the care recipient recognizes the caregiver’s efforts and well-being."