I have realized, as a caregiver, that I’m the one who holds onto the hope in our family. Or rather, in my relationship. Our five year old has tons of hope and has even stated that she knows daddy is going to get better. That, however, is a tough pill to swallow for my husband who does not believe it. And at times, it’s tough for me as well. But I’ve realized that in order to keep going, I have to hold onto hope.
I had an interesting exchange with a paraplegic (or he may have even been a low level quad) about current research and a future cure. He is unfortunately under the impression that there will never be a cure and that his best bet is figuring out the best way to live. I agree with him. partly…. I, too, believe that those who are injured need to figure out the best way to live. However, I KNOW, there will be a cure. Now, I’m not sure if this will cure everyone and really, I’m not even thinking cure but more treatment. Cure means that all who have it will be fixed and well, I’m not sure that will happen within the next 5 to 10 years. I do believe that there will be a treatment option that will help my quad. It will help him become independent and no longer require me, his wife, to help him bathe, dress, eat, go to the bathroom, scratch an itch, drink some water or anything else that he would prefer to do himself.
I believe this because I still hope. The quad and I were discussing the para’s response in our exchange and he admitted (my quad) that he agreed with the para. But then explained why… Living his life in the chair takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of mental, emotional and physical work. And although, he did admit that being a caregiver takes just as much, his focus is on living and he cannot focus on hope and a treatment. He just can’t. So, I shall do it for both of us.
Think about it… Who is typically the loudest in fighting for a cure? The parents of children who have terminal illness… Families of those living with cancer… Families of those with Alzheimer’s… and now, a wife of someone living with quadriplegia.
I will be loud. I will be heard. I will have hope and continue to hold onto it with all of my might. It is the reason why I get up in the morning and why I go through my day knowing what I have to do. It is why I no longer cry as much as I used to… it is why I can smile… it is why I can laugh… It is why I continue to put one foot in front of the other every single day.