Caregivers Part 2: Family and Friends

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
12/01/22  12:45 PM PST
caregivers part 2 family and friends

Recently, I shared about an incredible experience I had at Providence Hospital. You can read more about that week on my previous blog (Caregivers Part 1: Healthcare Workers). I spoke with over 2,500 caregivers – medical professionals who have gone into this line of work. These nurses, doctors, and therapists have chosen to give their life to service. However, there are then the caregivers that take on this role due to the relationship they have with the patient.

The unsung heroes, especially in my case, are the people without the fancy title or medical degree that have stood by my side through thick and thin. My first caregiver was my mother, Laquita. I nicknamed her Toots when I was little, to get out of trouble, and in the end it was she who saved me. She passionately wrote in her blog, Spinal Cord Injury from a Mother’s Perspective:

“Being proactive assisted tremendously with my ability to cope, knowing without a doubt that if I did not take this kind of action, once again that the initial prognosis would be true. I passionately believed that if I could be Aaron’s arms, his hands, his legs and alleviate even one of the devastating myriad of frustrations he was experiencing, this would allow him to conserve his limited energy and to channel that energy to his rehabilitation.”

Toots never left my side, and to this day she is my greatest supporter, motivator, and friend. We have accomplished so much together – athletic endeavors and starting a business are just a couple. She wrote two other blogs on the Shield Healthcare platform if you would like to read:

As I progressed in my life and in recovery, I met Katelyn. As we built our relationship, she took on the role of caregiver as well. We have now been married for 7 years and have a twenty-three month old daughter. Katelyn shared in her blog, The Life I Chose – The Road Less Traveled:

“I write this blog to express my gratitude to other partners who have chosen their significant other and their injury… I am proud to have chosen this “road less traveled.”  I have learned more about myself on this road – to be more patient, aware and grateful. We still have our bumps and bruises along the way, but they serve as learning tools for us to grow from and get better.”

With the caregiver role, there can be mixed emotions. What comes first? The caregiving, or the familial, emotional relationship? It can get tricky, but with open communication, it can work out!

I am lucky to have made it work with both my mother and wife.

My hope is that each person faced with adversity can find their team to rally around them. There is strength in numbers – it may be a team of ten, or a team of two, but mighty nonetheless!

In Health,

Aaron Baker

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I have c6 injury and I have lots of spasm in my whole body. What can you suggest to help?
Rahul
I have found that consistent stretching, light exercise, plenty of water, quality food and rest all affect my spasticity.
 

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