The other day I met with a friend who has IBD. The shared conversation dealt mainly with our common struggle with IBD, hers as a patient, and mine as a caregiver. Of course we talked about all the usual stuff concerning IBD. Which medications that each was using. We discussed what we knew about the current research on new treatments out there. What kinds of food to eat. Surgeries. Scopings and all the horrors of prepping for them. Of course we talked all about poop and mad dashes to the bathroom. And we even talked about how as mothers we had to be strong for our children.
When I get together with the parent caregivers I know, we talk all about the same things – treatments, research, food, etc. There have also been many a conversation about how we as caregivers need to put on our game face for our kids. We need to be strong and positive for them. Hold all those fears and tears inside and reassure your child it is all going to be okay.
But listening to my friend the other day, it really hit home how my being strong for my kid is very different from her being strong for her kids. She would be going into surgery and, despite her child’s concern, she would tell her it was nothing, easy peasy. She didn’t want to worry, upset or disrupt her child’s life. Wow! Now that’s what I call strong. Facing the pain, the fear, and the struggles that a person has to deal with on a daily basis all alone because they don’t want to worry their family. That is just not the same kind of strong that a caregiver has. My hat goes off to my friend and all those who are like her out there. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.