Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver by Bobbi Carducci
Anyone who has ever been a caregiver can relate to this book. Though nonfiction, it’s told in the first-person point of view in a narrative style that reads almost like a novel as it chronicles the struggles of author Bobbi Carducci as she spent years caring for her physically and mentally ill father-in-law.
The book celebrates the joys of caregiving while being honest about the struggles. Though my family only had glimpses of caregiving, the struggles Carducci went through rang true. At times—and this is why I primarily read fiction—it was so real that I could feel my blood pressure climbing in sympathy with the author, especially when the frustrations of caregiving caused conflicts in her home life. It was frustrating to me that she quit her job to become a full-time caregiver, only to face countless challenges along the way. Of particular interest and concern were the “challenges” of the healthcare system (Rodger was treated as a vet through the government healthcare system). Through this all, of course, Carducci fought as his advocate—and he was lucky to have her.
Of course we can never know until we’re in that scenario, but think I would have given up in such a situation, so I give Carducci much credit for sticking with it through all the difficulties. I especially enjoyed the glimpse into Rodger’s past to see how his experiences had molded him.
I recommend the book to anyone who has been through caregiving or anyone who is currently going through it. It’s a slice of Carducci’s life and the life of Rodger, her father-in-law, and it’s a reminder of the fact that human beings share universal struggles and dreams—and aren’t so different after all.