That child could have been me, I thought as I read through one of the responses to my survey about stress and compassion fatigue in caregivers. The respondent said her 60-year-old child lived with intellectual delays caused by an untreated Rh factor blood disorder. The mother also said that she is still her child’s primary caregiver. With a gasp, I realized the implication of what I had just read.
I am 62.
I was born with Rh factor blood disorder shortly after the disease was discovered.
My disease was detected too late for newly developed treatment methods.
The doctor said my parents would have to wait and see how the disease would affect my development.
Most certainly, that child could have been me.
A chill ran down my spine.
My eyes filled with tears as I imagined this elderly mother, who has to be in her late 70s at the youngest, taking care of her aging child. She’s been a caregiver for 60 years, and she must be wondering who will care for her child when she no longer can.
I contemplated how Rh factor affected my life. For years I struggled with low muscle tone and poor coordination. I shunned physical sports and became a voracious reader, a necessary first step in becoming a writer. The direct line between Rh factor and my present life renewed my determination to redeem the time God has given me. (Ephesians 5:16)
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