Insights of Caregiving


The Journey of a Caregiver

Written by:  Kan See Mun

My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour in late 2008.  We did not have time to get a second opinion as his condition was life-threatening and he had to be admitted to the hospital days after where he had the neurosurgery.

After 2-3 months in and out of Intensive Care Unit (ICU), he returned home unconscious till today. Since the day of operation, it has already been more than a year.

The initial journey was very stressful and difficult for the whole family.  I almost had accidents while driving on the highways as I was really tired out physically and emotionally.  I often overlooked my responsibilities as a full-time worker, running to the hospital in the morning and in the evenings, staying overnight in the hospital whenever his situation seemed critical, taking care of 3 teenager children, doing household chores and monitoring the family’s financial issues.  It came to a stage that I was ill with fever every day, feeling impatient and exhausted not only physically, but also emotionally. I knew then that my body system was breaking down.

I decided to step down from my fulltime job, hire a maid and explained to my children to adjust to a simpler lifestyle.  I have gotten a part-time job, so that I would not only be able to have more time to care for my husband and run errands for the family, there would also be a source of income for the family.

Being a caregiver, support system, awareness and available resources have become significant in the care giving journey.  Care giving can be very tough and lonely.  I often cry in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep.  I do not know when my husband is going to wake up.  One day he may or decide to leave before saying goodbye.  I would do my best to provide for him as long as he still continues to breathe, despite his state of unconsciousness.


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