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Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul: Stories to Inspire Caregivers in the Home, the Community and the World (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Paperback – July 13, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Canfield is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Mark Victor Hansen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

LeAnn Thieman, L.P.N., has been a nurse for thirty-two years. She is a professional speaker and the coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Magic of Making a Difference

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
Samuel Johnson

We were all looking forward to Easter. Charlie had run to get last-minute candy for the Easter baskets. Finishing breakfast, both of our children were running and laughing through the living room. Suddenly, Ken, our eight-year-old, burst into the den, where I was on the phone.

Steph is acting really funny, he said.

Yes, I know. I hear you laughing.

No, he insisted, There's something wrong.

I hung up the phone and walked quickly into the bedroom where five-year-old Stephanie was lying on the floor, unconscious, with a small amount of foam in the corners of her mouth. Unable to wake her, I told Ken to call 911 and I, nurse-mom, quickly assessed her condition. Though breathing with a steady pulse, her color was gray.

The ambulance arrived and took her to Children's Hospital. Shortly after entering the emergency room, she had a seizure. Within minutes, she stopped breathing. As the staff feverishly worked on her, my husband, Charlie, arrived. We stood together, looking through the emergency room windows, not believing what was happening.

The doctor pulled us aside and told us he had no explanation for Stephanie's condition but was very concerned because her status had changed so quickly. After routine questions regarding overall health status, history and access to poisons, they transported Stephanie for a CAT scan. We were left to pray. In a state of shock, I could not believe how rapidly our lives had been turned upside down.

An hour ago, we were eagerly looking forward to Easter, and now our world was crumbling around us.

With no remarkable results from the CAT scan, Stephanie was taken to the intensive care unit, where she was placed on a ventilator, in a coma. They called in expert after expert. Each ran tests and then let us know they didn't know what was happening. While I hoped and prayed for answers, I was also relieved as they ruled out one serious explanation at a time. I knew that in spite of the uncertainties, no diagnosis was good news.

We took turns at her bedside, making sure that someone was there at all times. After six days, there was no improvement. The doctors informed us that they believed she had viral encephalitis, and there was little they could do except provide supportive care. They also cautioned us that children with encephalitis often do not make a full recovery. If she did get better, we should brace ourselves for a child with severe disabilities. We were very discouraged yet hopeful for a miracle.

Later that evening, Stephanie began to move her feet and hands. By the following morning, she was breathing on her own, and the nurses detached the respirator. As I was washing her face, she suddenly put her arm around my neck and said my name. I thought I was dreaming and just stood there and stared.

From that day on, Stephanie showed steady improvement. With great courage, she approached her recovery with energy and humor. She never complained or asked Why me? She simply would ask, What's next?

We met with a series of rehabilitation specialists, who outlined a program for her to regain her strength and her skills. After a day at physical therapy, where many of the kids were coughing and sneezing, we decided it would be better to rehabilitate her at home. Both Charlie and I took a leave from work, and my mother came to help. We helped Stephanie re-learn how to walk, feed herself, ride her bike and read. We stayed focused on small improvements and watched slow, steady progress.

After six months of daily care, we decided to take a break and go to Disney World. Planning the trip gave Stephanie a new focus and seemed to accelerate her progress. After careful coordination with her doctor, we were off for a week of fun and relaxation.

From the moment she entered the Magic Kingdom in a stroller, she was fascinated by a rocket-ship ride on top of a building. The faster the ride went around, the higher the rockets flew. She begged to take a spin, but the line was long, and in the heat, we knew we'd have to pace ourselves. Instead, we went on the Teacups. What a mistake! It seems like someone was always getting sick on the Teacups. Then we tried It's A Small World After All. We didn't know that once you heard that tune, you could never get it out of your head.

All Stephanie wanted was to ride that rocket ship, but we knew she couldn't tolerate waiting up to an hour in such heat. Finally, on the last day, right about closing, we saw that the line had all but disappeared. We ran over to the gate only to have a smiling attendant pull the chain across saying, That's all for today. You come back and see Mickey tomorrow.


¬2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the CaregiverÆs Soul: Stories to Inspire Caregivers in the Home, the Community and the World by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, LeAnn Thieman, L.P.N. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Product Details

  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757301592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757301599
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Over 65 million Americans are involved with caregiving, yet everyone feels alone with their roller coaster of emotions. This inspirational book will give you a quick pick-me-up at any moment you could really use a hug. Lovely short stories by real voices of courageous caregivers who share their triumphs and sorrows, helping you have an easier journey. Your heart will be warmed as you smile and nod in recognition, and realize you've gained valuable insight, solutions and hope. I am honored that my story is included in this delightful book.

-Jacqueline Marcell, Author 'Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents', International Speaker on Eldercare & Alzheimer's
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Format: Paperback
Caregiving can be a lonely, desperate job. Chicken Soup For the Caregiver's Soul helps to ease that loneliness and desperation. The laughter, tears, joy, and most of all, love expressed by the caregiving heroes in these inspiring stories will fill caregivers with a sense of hope. Regardless of the situation, Chicken Soup For the Caregiver's Soul is a must read for caregivers and those who care for caregivers.
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Format: Paperback
I received my copy of the Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul as one of the book's contributors, and read it cover to cover. LeAnn, Jack and Mark have really captured the heart and soul of the caregiving experience with this finely edited book. As founder of Today's Caregiver magazine and caregiver.com (as well as a family caregiver), I have been blessed to read many books and articles about caregiving over the past nine years, and I find this to be extremely inspirational, touching and true. I would recommend it not only to caregivers but also to all of their friends and family members. I am proud to be associated with this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If You Are A caregiver, this can help console your feelings.. It is not easy being with someone for hours and days at a time who is suffering with dementia..Be patient and stride lightly until you feel the mood of your patient..get to know your patient and their dislikes and likes..you'll get along great!!! Keep this book tucked under your pillow,.... when you need a little comforting yourself, as we all do on occasion!!! I am not a caregiver, but I needed to know as much as I could to help and be with my mom..I spend every Holiday with her the entire day and ever Sunday!!! I too need the comfort sometimes.. I too need to understand what's happening..I really think that books aren't the architects drawing of individuals with Dementia. Obviously, they are all different in some ways!!! The main characteristic may be the same in the disease..I just had to know and understand it!!!!My mom is MY BEST FRIEND & MY MOM.... ALL MY LIFE, AND I WILL BE BY HER SIDE TO THE END !!!..
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Another uplifting book. I am caregiver for three people now and several stories have given me techniques for being more patient, with listening more carefully, and letting go, with my mother and others. For National Caregivers' Month (November 2014), I plan to reread it carefully, allowing the love and laughter and caring described by the writers, to be near to me.
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I was my mother's caregiver while she was in hospice with congestive heart failure. I needed a book to read by caregivers for inspiration AND to validate feelings I was having. I got this and more!!! I was able to learn to appreciate and find joy in the times I had with my mom. Some stories had me crying and some had me smiling. I love the Chicken Soup books!!!
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I have devoured this cup of chicky soup, just like every other one(I have bought MANY),,,,,,,,,
Only once was I disappointed, with the songwriter's .........
This book will truly make every emotion you have come to the surface at one time or another.
GREAT for a gift, too.
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I find this book to be very uplifting and encouraging to those of us who face the situation of taking care of people. My husband's parents both have a "brain" impairment injury and reading this book helps me cope with day to day care with both of them.
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