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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / An Undeserved Burden /   Editorial List

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An Undeserved Burden

I must say that the first event of the rural Fearless Caregiver tour is off to a great start. I woke up yesterday morning in Wisconsin Dells at the hotel in which the conference was being held and threw open the curtains to find what that is had been raining for some time. Not a good sign. But there were only five participants that did not show up and they had all emailed the night before with apologies and there were five walk-ins to make up the difference. There were so much good advice from the caregivers in attendance that it would take ten newsletters to scratch the surface, yet one comment did stand out.
One participant was seeking advice about her mother who twice turned away ambulances after showing signs of what seemed to be minor strokes. A discussion followed but learning that there was not much that this caregiver could do that she had not already considered, attempted or set into motion, one of her fellow participants stood to share the following words. She said "Things go wrong sometimes and we caregivers can't always make things be 100 percent the whole time. Sometimes you have to say, 'I did the best I could with the help that was out there and the best I knew to do at the time' and not have to live with the guilt the rest of your lives."

At first, I was taken aback by the frankness of this comment, but after a while it hit me: of all the burdens that we caregivers place upon ourselves, doing the best we can do with what we have at our disposal at the time, even if it doesn't solve the situation, should never be one of them.


Gary Barg

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