This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good. All opinions are 100% mine.
Caregivers are essential to any community. Being there for people during hard times is not only difficult, it is sometimes a thankless job. That’s why it’s important to find ways to let caregivers know just how much we truly appreciate them.
Some of you know that I’ve lived for years with a chronic illness, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I’ve been insanely lucky to have many amazing caregivers over the years. The two who have done the most work are two of my favorite people, my mom, and my husband.
My mom, Lisa, was my main fighter during the worst years of my life. She took me to countless doctor’s appointments, researched alternative and holistic treatments, and stood up for me when I didn’t know what to say. There is a lot more awareness and education about POTS now (not that we don’t have farther to go!), but 10 years ago when I was diagnosed, we had an incredibly difficult road. We went from specialist to specialist leaving without answers.
She spent hours and hours putting together an application to Mayo Clinic, which is where I was eventually diagnosed. And at every appointment she was there to speak for me and say “I know something more is going on here and we won’t stop until we have answers.” When we did have answers, she helped me to reach out to organizations to raise awareness and tell my story. Her persistence in telling my story has led to multiple people reaching out to us that ultimately were diagnosed with POTS because of reading about my experience. She has literally changed lives, beyond my own. I could never do enough to give back to her.
Lars has taken up the mantle of being my primary caregiver now, and he couldn’t do a more wonderful job. We both seem to know each other better than we know ourselves, and he often realizes that I’m not feeling well before I do. He is always there to help me on days when I struggle, regardless of his other commitments. Despite his limited experience with the medical world before he met me, has learned my treatments and triggers and the reality of living with a chronic illness. He reminds me to advocate for myself and advocates for me when I can’t do it myself.
Lars and I lived with my parents for a few months last year. I had one day where I woke up with one of the most terrible migraines I’ve ever had- the dreaded horrific migraine that I luckily only get about 1-2 times a year. But on those days I absolutely cannot function and spend the entire day on the bathroom floor. They can last more than a day if I don’t get some more heavy duty medication that I don’t have at home.
On that day, I had both my caregivers there by my side. Lars brought me a pillow while my mom called my doctor. They actually argued over who would take me to the doctor, even though they both had to work that day. Lars won in the end, and he made sure that I got some relief that day. My caregivers are amazing.
And their caregiving didn’t stop at helping me function- they have been incredible with emotional support. This can be one of the most difficult aspects of being a caregiver. A lot of people are up for the task of helping someone function or complete tasks, but being there to help deal with the emotional stressors that chronic illness creates takes someone special.
I can’t think of a better thing to be thankful for this holiday season than the caregivers in my life.
That’s why I am so excited to be partnering with Create the Good to spread awareness for this amazing caregiver appreciation- 25 Days 25 Ways to Care. You can nominate caregivers in your life for a chance to win gift cards ranging from $25-$500 dollars. To nominate someone, all you have to do is submit a short video (less than 60 seconds) explaining all they do to care for others.
One Grand Prize winner chosen by a panel of judges will get to choose a charity of their choice for a donation of $2500.
So if you know an inspiring caretaker, nominate them today! It’s the perfect way to let them know just how appreciated they truly are. You can learn more about official Contest Rules here.