Spurred on by Love
Post on 19/06/16
S.P.U.R is a word that gives great meaning to Amy Tham’s role as caregiver to her mother, who survived a stroke. Find out from Amy what it means.
My mother had a fall and sustained an inch-long cut on her forehead and a fractured left arm. Three days later, a stroke suddenly struck her and immobilised the right side of her body and affected her vocal chords.
At that moment, I was at a great loss as to how to face the reality of my mother’s stroke, as my father was also a stroke victim in 1982. He had passed away after struggling for 10 hours without regaining consciousness. All I could do for my mother was to console her, and I wept silently whenever I was alone.
When her condition became stable, I began to accept the situation and readjusted my lifestyle to accommodate her. I came up with my own theory, abbreviated as S.P.U.R., to overcome this tragedy.
S.P.U.R. stands for sacrifice, patience, understanding, and responsibility.
For me, a sacrificial spirit has been key in taking care of my mother’s basic daily needs. Due to her immobility and inability to express herself clearly, she had and still has a tendency to lose her temper, and it takes a lot of patience and understanding on my part as a caregiver to meet her emotional needs, without compromising my own mental health. Of course, I need to adopt a more responsible attitude and fulfil my duties as a daughter.
The first step I took after my mother’s discharge from hospital was to maintain my health, which meant forcing myself to take light bites, even during times when I had no appetite. Occasionally, I would pamper myself with tonic soup or essence to help relieve fatigue.
Whenever my mother is in high spirits, I would take her for a stroll in the garden, bring her out to new shopping centres, or dine with her in a food court or restaurant, despite the inconveniences. Passers-by, shoppers and waitresses tend to stare or may even pass rude remarks about us. We would just ignore them, and make our outing a delightful one.
The practice of being sacrificial, patient, understanding and responsible has helped me enormously in caring for my mother. In the process, I have learnt to grow as a person. Indeed, I believe S.P.U.R. helps not only the stroke survivor but also the caregiver. As it plays a crucial role in restoring the survivor’s spiritual strength and confidence in life, it gives a sense of purpose to the caregiver.
Time and again, I am rewarded with sweet smiles from my great mother, and it always makes my day. Is this not the result of S.P.U.R.?
By Amy Tham, Survivor.
Three Wisdoms I’ve Gained Caring for My Stroke Survivor
Hope from an American Survivor
The Rose Who Blossomed Despite Her Stroke
[Video Guide] Transferring a Stroke Patient
What Happens If I have Another Stroke?
10 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor After Your Stroke
Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Life After Stroke
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