Who will take care of me when I can’t?

Who will take care of me when I can’t?

A concern most people have…I’m sure. Something, which insurance companies prey on…and, in hindsight understandably so (I’m sure they would justify it with “it’s the risk we take at the cost of making our money”).  With that said though, no insurance company will touch you with a feather if they know you have a condition like Hydrocephalus…they could just as well have already signed your death certificate.

We are all going to die, right?  It’s a necessary part of life…but I digress…

I for one, have been thinking about it more and more. Before I was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, in 2007, it was the furthest thing from my mind. As I get older and become more and more aware of the cognitive challenges I have, I have a fear rising inside of me. I left a country whose Government simply doesn’t look after its people. A country where my parents and grandmother still live…I fear for their well-being. It gets me thinking about myself…this new country I’m in. Will I really be better off?

I somehow don’t think so. Yes, it appears the government does look after the elderly in terms of benefits. But, will that “benefit” be enough to sustain me should I no longer be able to work and provide financially for myself? What happens when my money runs out? Would any amount of financial planning really be that beneficial especially since my date of death is unknown?

Some might even argue that the medical system is “good” and that you’ll be taken care of.  Having experienced the medical system, that may be true for someone who doesn’t have a (as I’ve been nicely told)”complicated condition” as me…I have no faith in the care here either.  More on that in another post…

These are morbid thoughts, I know.  But, as a friend told me, “one cannot help but have morbid thoughts when living with a chronic condition“.  Also, no amount of brushing it aside because of this fact will change any of it.

I have a husband and, God willing, should he survive longer than me, will take care of me. Or will he?

I briefly touched on the topic with him, telling him about people in the Facebook groups I had read about, who either don’t/can’t work, work part-time, made job changes or have had to quit because of their Hydrocephalus. His response “Oh s***, looks like I’m going to have to work harder for longer and have everything rest on me“. A charming response, wouldn’t you say? Admittedly, it’s not quite the words I anticipated to hear. In fact, I know for sure, if the roles were reversed, my answer would not have come close to his.

In all fairness, I do wonder though…Is there some understanding I can gain from what he said, some perspective? If I were to put myself in his shoes, I guess he is justified…? It hurts to have heard him give such a response. And, as I am true to my nature, I analyzed it and justified the reasons behind his choice of words and came to the conclusion that “he didn’t mean it that way”. As usual, I camouflaged my response and just said, “Don’t worry…I’ll try to push myself harder and make sure I keep my job.  Mind over matter as my Grandfather used to say“. The truth of it though is, I don’t have any guarantees that things will work out that way.  Also, with this condition, it’s easier said than done ’cause quite frankly I AM NOT IN CONTROL OF HOW I FEEL  ON A DAILY BASIS.  

I told him that “I will try to figure it out and once I have a solution, I will share it with others who have Hydrocephalus…so they too can benefit“.

Truth be told, I don’t have the answers but…I do have a “backup plan” (well…sort of). Knowing that I have had to fight a few battles with my health issues, I realized that I might require some changes to be made. I am prepared to do what it takes to survive and provide for my family. If it means giving up the office job I have to pack shelves at the local store then so be it. I will not let my Hydrocephalus or cognitive challenges stand in the way of being a functional human being.

I am a strong-willed and independent woman.  This has sometimes been a “not so good” (though not bad) trait. However, it is the one thing that has seen me through some of the toughest situations. I believe this, together with a determination that is second to none, will get me to where I need to be.

So what if I end up giving up my office job? So what if it means I need to earn a little less? I believe that at this very moment in my life, I am giving the best of my ability to keep my kids happy, healthy, fed and in school. Their future is what I am here for. My only desire for them is that they make a success of their lives so that they can take care of themselves when the time comes. I might not even need to put my plan into action…but the fact that I have thought about it gives me some form of peace.  I have mentally prepared myself if nothing else.  More importantly, it gives me acceptance of not being able to change certain things…And, reminds me of the Serenity prayer hanging in my Grandmother’s living room.

I discussed the matter again with my husband later that day but only because he brought it up. He wanted to know if I would take care of him, should the need arise. (It showed me that I had hit a nerve with my question and that he had been giving it some thought). I had the chance to tell him: “Unlike your answer to my question, I would not hesitate to take care of you. No matter how bad it got…I would be there for you. Even if it meant I had to feed, dress or bathe you“. He got the message and apologized for his earlier response saying, “Of course I will take care of you. How could I not? You’re my wife“. I take some comfort in knowing that at some point (if need be), he will take care of me.  The point is, no one really knows what they’ll do when the time comes.  Circumstances at the time might dictate your response or reaction, regardless of your relationships AND despite what you say now.

With that said though, I pray that I may never need to be taken care of. But, I will trust that I am surrounded by people who love me enough to do what’s right.

Have you thought about it? Do you have some insight to offer?



    February 29, 2016 at 10:47 pm Reply

    All the things you speak of I can relate top and then some. I used to wonder about this when I was a boy, some 40yrs ago asking my mother who will take care of me, what will happen to me when she dies. That was a long time ago. I’m a lot more knowledgeable and older now, and live my own life, but the question is in many ways still relevant in as much as having at the very least an advocate that has the inside scoop on whats happening and why, someone who just understands…. without having to explain. The loss of my mother will be incalculable in that respect, let alone everything else, but that moment will come. My sister doesn’t really understand as much in all as she tries to do so.
    Like you I’m strong and independent almost to a fault, and don’t like asking for help. I do as much as I can to help myself, living a simple life, and try to keep my little job as a cashier at the supermarket……with the help of long standing employer
    Anything can and does happen, nothing is a certainty. My landlord died last year and his family are selling off his holdings.What the future holds I don’t know. I just have to trust that my various excellent testamonials stand me in good stead for what may come.
    Keep up the excellent writings, well done.

    • skyewaters

      February 29, 2016 at 11:36 pm Reply

      I’m glad you liked the post Karl. You are correct in saying nothing is a certainty…

      Thanks for commenting.

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