Amanda's StoryRunner Up
Amanda’s Story

I have been a nurse for about 17 years. Deep in my heart I always knew I wanted to be nurturing and helpful to others who needed me. I had no idea where this career would take me. I never did it for the money, although it certainly helped me during my most difficult moments. Nursing took me to another level as a human being. I discovered indescribable feelings about myself: motivation, drive, energy, devotion, determination, spontaneity, compassion, and the need to protect those most vulnerable and in need. Most importantly, I discovered unconditional love.

Yes, I am talking about caring for my mom. She had a stroke about 4 years ago; has right-sided hemiparesis and dysphagia; requiring total care. She's been hospitalized twice in her life during my lifetime for pneumonia and sepsis (a very frightening close call). My older brother, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, lives with her. He is also very sick due to his depression related to his diabetes and the fact that he does not keep up with his medication regimen. It is a very stressful situation for me, working full time (10 hours/day) and supporting myself, yet I make time to buy their groceries, cook meals, and do housekeeping for them.

I have to deal with a lot of drama with my own siblings due to their lack of support. I am the 13th out of 14 children, yet they leave it all up to me in regards to my mom's care, etc. Regardless of their lack of compassion and their busy lives, I have my mom's back and I know she is grateful, even if she cannot verbalize it. She was there for me and now I am there for her. She deserves so much for caring for her 14 children, always leaving herself for last. Growing up, I observed how she devoted herself to us and still made time for those in need. She taught me a lot, the most important thing being giving and helpful to those in need, expecting nothing in return.

This is why each time I do care for others, and especially my mom, I cannot help but feel this invigorating rush. And, at the end of the day when she's been changed, bathed, and all her needs met, I feel a sense of peacefulness and satisfaction. When I get ready to leave and bend over her hospital bed to kiss her good night, I ask her to bless me…….she struggles to say it……but she says it, "God bless you"…. and smiles. That is the greatest feeling ever! I am blessed to care and provide for her.

This is what caregiving is all about: whether it's your relative or not, giving part of yourself to someone in need and watching how it impacts them. Whether they are able to communicate verbally or not, one knows and feels their appreciation. It's priceless and so rewarding.

Shield HealthCare's
13th Annual
Caregiver Story Contest
Shield HealthCare recognizes the demanding roles and responsibilities of today's caregivers. Whether you are a family caregiver or a home health professional, we would like to hear your story about “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?”. Submit your story for a chance to win a prize!
Top 3 Story Winner Prizes
  • $500 American Express Gift Card
  • One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine
  • Commemorative Wall Plaque
Top 5 Runner-up Prizes
  • $150 American Express Gift Card
  • One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine
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