Losing Our Way in the Weeds: A Caregiver’s Journey

A columnist urges parents to take rest when they can, as problems will return

Cazandra Campos-MacDonald avatar

by Cazandra Campos-MacDonald |

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Weeds. They’re inevitable. In the desert of New Mexico, where we live, fighting weeds after an active monsoon season means pulling them from xeriscape yards.

The yard rocks make it difficult to eradicate weeds. It’s a tireless task to complete in the desert heat, especially when that active monsoon season creates an incredibly high concentration of weeds in my backyard. Before I know it, a small forest of them inhabits the grounds of my home.

The growth of my weed forest resembles the caregiver journey. The brush comes quickly and is overwhelming. Where does a person begin pulling pesky weeds when the entire area is covered? Once a plan is developed, touching some weeds causes cuts and scrapes. Many weeds are sticky, and the tiny fibers of the stalks get under the skin.

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Gloves are usually needed to pull these painful weeds, but sometimes they’re short and easy to remove with bare hands. These are the easiest to pull, revealing a clear space among the rocks. A sense of accomplishment quickly ensues.

Caring for chronically ill children is similar to the art of pulling weeds. The issues that arise and are quickly handled with confidence are like the short, easy-to-pull weeds. In these times, a solution is found, and all is well.

When caregivers experience difficult times with their children, they often begin to feel overwhelmed and anxious. As a result, caregivers repeatedly doubt whether they’re making decisions in the best interest of their children. These doubts resemble the taller, stickier, and more painful weeds.

There are times when the yard is clear of weeds. The ground reveals the color of the carefully placed rocks that show walkways leading to gardens and hot tub decks. It’s a time to breathe.

The ups and downs of caregiving are like the weeds that grow around us. They can quickly overtake a family in crisis. Yet there are times when the family joins together and pulls every weed in sight. They take control of their child’s condition, and everything aligns perfectly for a time.

The weeds don’t entirely disappear. They’re under the surface of the soil, waiting for the right time to pop their sticky heads out as they revel in the beauty of the sun. Until those weeds come, enjoy the calm.

When all is well and children are thriving, allow the soul to soak in the beauty. Appreciate the rocks as the soil recovers for the season. The weeds are guaranteed to reappear. Yet having a season of rest from an illness should be respected.

In these quiet times, caregivers must allow themselves to rest before the new crop of weeds appears, and we begin to advocate and fight for our children again.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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