Caregiver Shout-Out!

This Shout-Out goes from pulmonary hypertension patient Graeme Warner to his wife and caregiver, Jean.Graeme and Jean Warner

My name is Graeme Warner. I am 62, have had pulmonary hypertension for 19 years and live in Edinburgh, Scotland. I live with my wife of 15 years, Jean (65).

I depend VERY greatly on her. I am becoming less mobile, more limited and cannot do as much now as I once did. All the same chores have to be done — the supermarket, the garden, our coal fire, all the usual domestic chores. The supplies for FlolanTM must be organized and put away in an upstairs cupboard to be retrieved throughout the month as required. The list is endless. Anyone with PH or caring for someone with PH will know what I am talking about!

It is so easy to begin to take your caregiver for granted. I try very hard not to do so. However, I realized very recently just how very much I have come to rely on — indeed depend on — Jean for my day-to-day life. She went to Australia for about six weeks to visit her younger son and his two daughters, one of whom she had only previously seen on Skype. I did not travel with her. We made an honest assessment and decided it would just be too difficult. I was, therefore, on my own for six weeks. If anything was to be done, only I was available to do it. Boy, was that ever hard work!

Let's acknowledge with gratitude and praise what our caregivers do for us, how much we depend on them and how different our lives would be if they were not around. Let's hear it for caregivers!

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.