When It Takes Two to Canoe – Part III

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been exploring the rivers of caregivers verses care receivers and have noticed that each crew member shares many of the same feelings and stressors.

If you have missed the two prior blogs click here: https://www.lorettaschoen.com/2019/uncategorized/2033/when-it-takes-two-to-canoe-part-1/


Those that are caring for someone with medical adversity and those that need care find themselves unprepared for the rough waters they must navigate together.  Thrown together in a canoe trying to maintain some semblance of a “normal” life, while learning what it takes to do so can often destroy or alienate those we love the most and relationships may be changed forever.

Here is a list of suggestions you might keep in mind as you travel the waters of medical adversity.


  • Ask and accept help to care for your loved ones.
  • Educate yourself on the medical condition your loved one is facing.
  • Write down what you are learning, keeping a medical record, fact sheet, and medications.
  • Take time to care for yourself. Go to church, stay in community, and exercise.  If you aren’t well, you cannot be an effective caregiver.
  • Know yourself and what you can and cannot do. No one is good at everything but everyone can be good at something.
  • Grow a funny bone. Use humor to get through the difficult moments.

Care receivers:

  • Accept help with grace and gratitude and stop the guilt that a care receiver feels of being a burden to others.
  • Take an active role in your health. Continue to do what you can do physically and mentally.
  • Count the blessings and do not dwell on the sorrow.
  • Take an active part in living each and every day of your life. Stay involved in your church and community as much as you are able.
  • Use whatever products or medical equipment necessary to continue to be involved in community.
  • Make sure the caregiver’s role is shared.
  • Make end of life decisions while you are able to actively decide what your desires are.
  • Grow a funny bone. Use humor to help deflect pain.

In addition don’t forget about two additional pieces of equipment. 

Both the caregiver and care receiver need to work hard to maintain open communication.  Sharing their feelings using “I” rather than “you” such as “I feel angry” and not “You make me angry” goes a long way to working out emotions.  And should the conversation turn to tears, well, tears caused by grief or stress contain toxins and stress hormones that exit the body through tears.  Hence, the phrases “have a good cry”.

Keep faith in the equation.  Staying focused on the Holy Trinity: Father, Son & Holy Spirit while learning all you can about your body, mind and soul will bring about God’s peace for you throughout the medical mayhem.

Whether you are a caregiver or care receiver remember that God doesn’t call the equipped, but He does equip the called.

While neither caregiver nor the care receiver wants to be where life has placed them; together, with faith, time, trial and error, on-the-job training, group support, humor and love for one another you will both be paddling on calmer waters.

How do you survive the rough waters of being a caregiver or care receiver?  How have you handled feelings of guilt when it comes to taking care of yourself as a care giver?  How do you help provide care to a loved one even when you don’t live in the same town or state?  How do you balance your role as a caregiver for a loved one with work, family?  If you are a care receiver what do you do to help your caregiver?  How do you handle the loss of independence?  How do you overcome your fear when dealing with insurance, medical facilities, and healthcare professionals?  Please share so others might benefit from your experience.  Please help make a difference.


Buy my book Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When it Hurts and for every book you purchase through my website at www.LorettaSchoen.com your name will be entered to win a $50.00 gift card that is honored at Carrabba’s, Outback, Bonefish Grill or Fleming’s Steak House.  That’s right, each book is worth an entry for a chance to win!  So buy a book for yourself and buy one or two to give to friends.  Perhaps you know someone who is struggling as a caregiver or a colleague going through a medical adversity.  Give them something that will empower, educate and make them laugh as well.

A winner will be selected at random on April 30th.  Notification will be by email so be sure to include your email with your order.

Okay, place your orders today and enter a chance to win a $50.00 gift card and make plans to go out and share a meal with friends.  Good luck!

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