WELCOME TO CAREGIVING:
The Things Caregivers Never Talk About
Earlier this month I was interviewed by Jo Ellen Newman, CEO of Transforming Your Tomorrows. With this final installment of the interview series, I am asking you to invite a friend to join you to the virtual book launch event tomorrow, March 29, at 7:00pm Eastern. You can forward this email, or send the link www.WelcometoCaregiving.com to a Caregiver who could use a little pick me up, a medical professional who wants to support their patients, or anyone who wants a good read (yes, I’m declaring my book an overall good read 🙂 ). Together, we are going to get this much needed book into every hospital across America. XOXOX
Here’s the big question, Erin. Why did you decide to write a book?
The first time I was asked this question was by Jerry’s liver transplant surgeon. He graciously agreed to write the foreword for my book and we were on a Zoom call reviewing my vision and the necessary logistics. It totally caught me off guard. No one had ever asked me that question before. I felt my face flush with embarrassment as my mind raced, searching for a reason. All I could come up with was the truth. As silly as it sounded, I allowed the honest words to slowly fall from my lips, “Because I had to.”
I had told the story of Jerry’s liver transplant so many times. The diagnosis. Our team. Our move. “As long as the gets the transplant the day after we move, I’ll be fine.” (If I had known that’s exactly what would happen I would have asked the Universe for more time.) Honestly, I was simply called to put pen to paper.
I’m very excited about the book, but I’m equally as excited about it’s sister planning system: The Patient Handbook. Through all of Jerry’s surgeries and follow up appointments I pieced together ways to stay organized. Ways to take notes, keep calendars, and ask questions. There were bits of paper, backs of receipts, calendars with not enough space to write. So I created “Welcome to Caregiving: The Patient Handbook.” The goal of the handbook is to help patients and their caregivers communicate more effectively with their healthcare teams. I developed a binder system that is completely customizable (because all of our brains think differently), and the limited first edition includes calendar space and pages to write in your medications and supplements. I developed a Body Scan Checklist so before each appointment the patient (alone or with their Caregiver) can take a moment to mentally scan their body and write down any signs or symptoms they are experiencing that they want to ask their medical team about. My favorite section is the Appointment Notes section. I created space for patients to write their medical questions, a place for patients and Caregivers to write down what the doctor says, and an extra little place to jot down a note of gratitude. Because mindset is everything.
So why did I do it? I did it for love. It’s all for love.